The M&A pie has been shrinking this yearThe M&A pie has been shrinking this year

Desai & Diwanji has again reclaimed its throne as the busiest M&A firm in India having acted on 33 deals in the first three quarters of the year with Khaitan & Co also laying down improved M&A figures, while AZB & Partners, Talwar Thakore Associates and S&R Associates harvested the biggest value deals, also benefitting Linklaters and Allen & Overy.

The data that was compiled by data analytics company mergermarket, shows a significant slow down in M&A activity with most of the record momentum from the first quarter of 2011 accounting for positions. In the first three quarters of this year, Indian M&A activity fell by 42 per cent compared to the same time period last year, although Q3 of 2011 showed an improvement over 2011’s Q2, up from $3.7bn to $8.3bn.

The $7.2bn BP-Reliance gas contract made up the lion’s share for the top firms, contributing to AZB bagging 24 deals worth more than $11bn, while Linklaters and Allen & Overy (A&O) had seven and three deals to their name respectively worth $9bn and $8.7bn. Linklaters best friend Talwar Thakore Associates (TTA) improved its position from third to fourth place with $7.9bn worth of deals.

AZB saw a collapse of 62 per cent in the values of deals against the same period last year, mirrored by Linklaters’ 26 per cent decline, 60 per cent by A&O and 26 per cent by TTA.

S&R Associates made its mark in the table with the now $5.46bn Vodafone buy of a 33 per cent stake in Essar.

A volume game

While Desai & Diwanji led with a massive 33 transactions by volume, in the value stakes it only came in 13th place with $2.5bn.

The number of deals decreased for most firms, except for Khaitan & Co and J Sagar Associates (JSA) in the top six. This made Khaitan & Co the fastest riser, climbing by value from 17th to 11th place with 12 more deals than last year to hit 23 deals worth $3.9bn, which puts the firm in third place by volume behind AZB.

Amarchand Mangaldas and JSA came in fourth and fifth place by volume, with 15 and 10 deals respectively, each aggregating just under $4bn.

Trilegal had 10 M&A deals to its name with an aggregate worth of only $611m, just above DSK Legal’s tally of seven M&A Deals worth $273m.

Nishith Desai Associates and Tatva Legal both advised on six M&A deals, in total worth just under $200m. ALMT Legal was on four M&As.

Busy-ness: Legal Advisers to Indian M&A by volume (Q1-Q3 2011)

Q1-Q3 2010

Q1-Q3 2011

Firm

Q1-Q3 2011 Value (US$m)

Q1-Q3 2011 Deal Count

Q1-Q3 2010 Deal Count

Count Change

2

1

Desai & Diwanji

2,571

33

35

-2

1

2

AZB & Partners

11,167

24

50

-26

6

3

Khaitan & Co

3,913

23

11

12

3

4

Amarchand

3,994

15

21

-6

9

5

J Sagar Associates

3,305

10

5

5

5

6

Trilegal

611

10

11

-1

11

7

Linklaters

9,039

7

4

3

12

8

S&R Associates

7,150

7

4

3

15

9

DSK Legal

273

7

4

3

16

10

Talwar Thakore Associates

7,901

6

3

3

7

11

Nishith Desai (NDA)

592

6

8

-2

4

12

Tatva Legal

189

6

13

-7

39

13

P. H. Bathiya

168

4

2

2

18

14

ALMT Legal

165

4

3

1

10

15

DLA Piper

52

4

5

-1

High worth: Legal Advisers to Indian M&A by value (Q1-Q3 2011)

Q1-Q3 2010

Q1-Q3 2011

Firm

Q1-Q3 2011 Value (US$m)

Deal Count

Q1-Q3 2010 Value (US$m)

% Value Change

1

1

AZB & Partners

11,167

24

29,763

-63%

3

2

Linklaters

9,039

7

12,158

-26%

2

3

Allen & Overy

8,693

3

21,770

-60%

5

4

Talwar Thakore & Associates

7,901

6

10,724

-26%

28

5

Vinson & Elkins

7,200

1

815

783%

8

6

S&R Associates

7,150

7

9,332

-23%

6

7

Herbert Smith/Gleiss Lutz/Stibbe

6,239

2

10,700

-42%

8=

Conyers Dill & Pearman

5,460

1

-

-

8=

Slaughter and May

5,460

1

-

-

11

10

Amarchand & Mangaldas

3,994

15

6,268

-36%

17

11

Khaitan & Co

3,913

23

3,214

22%

43

12

J Sagar Associates

3,305

10

324

920%

21

13

Desai & Diwanji

2,571

33

1,447

78%

55

14

Kirkland & Ellis

2,411

3

164

1370%

19

15

Wadia Ghandy & Co

1,846

3

1,801

3%

Source: mergermarket

Methodology: mergermarket included announced transactions over $5m in value from 1 January to 31 September 2011. Deals with undisclosed values were included if the target's turnover exceeded $10m. Deals where a stake of less than 30 per cent is acquired were only included if the value exceeded $100m.

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Like +0 Object -0 Hitler 11 Oct 11, 12:59
Great strides made by DSK and TTA. Keep it up
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Like +0 Object -0 Inside out 11 Oct 11, 13:18
Trilegal bearly appears on these league tables. Question, where are they making their money, advisory?
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Like +0 Object -0 Tr Assoc 12 Oct 11, 11:39
Quoting Inside out:
Trilegal bearly appears on these league tables. Question, where are they making their money, advisory?


This is incorrect, Trilegal had advised on a $500 m acquisition in the first quarter of this year, incorrect to state that big deals are not being done by the firm.
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Like +3 Object -0 Inside out 12 Oct 11, 13:03
Now we know why Trilegal "bearly" appears on these tables. I thought associates are meant to have an eye for detail and good comprehension (and am hoping you're not a partner, for your clients sake). Please note the use of the word "bearly" in my post. I didn't say Trilegal doesn't appear on these tables and if Trilegal is generating a significant proportion of it's revenue from one client, then that is all together interesting.
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Like +0 Object -0 Got to be kidding 15 Oct 11, 13:59
@ Inside Out - Am I to understand that you are asserting that Tr Assoc has poor comperhension because he ignored your 'bearly' qualifier. Frankly I think it demonstrates great generosity on his/her part to presume that 'bearly' (which I hope someday makes it to a dictionary.. perhaps as some form of a play on yogi) was mere an inadvertent and not an erroneous inclusion. Trust this satisfies. Heres hoping that you can do a better job scoring a cheap point the next time arouns.
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Like +1 Object -0 Inside out.... 16 Oct 11, 17:27
It's "merely", "here's" and "around".
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Like +5 Object -0 Anand 11 Oct 11, 15:08  interesting
from A&O grant
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Like +5 Object -0 Chuck 11 Oct 11, 18:56  interesting
They are saving a lot on salaries as so many associates have left in the past few months.
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Like +2 Object -0 Sam 12 Oct 11, 00:06
Quoting Chuck:
They are saving a lot on salaries as so many associates have left in the past few months.


Awesome one - over half the firm has quit it seems, may be kian could confirm?
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Like +1 Object -0 Associate 11 Oct 11, 20:39
@2,3,4- Even A&O has stopped giving work! very few and very limited (only for projects).
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Like +1 Object -0 Sameer 12 Oct 11, 00:05
Quite appalling to see the india best friend of a firm as huge as A&O in this shape. I have heard that the equity partners have lost interest as A&O is buying them out!
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Like +2 Object -0 Sam 12 Oct 11, 00:15
What are the numbers for firms such as Platinum? MMB Legal? Argus? Phoenix? Am quite certain that they'd be around the $500 m mark as well, if not over. They're giving some of the older names a good run for their money.
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Like +0 Object -0 Sam 12 Oct 11, 00:37
Come on they are the best recruiter in the market.
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Like +9 Object -0 Insider 12 Oct 11, 00:48  interesting
Their problem is that they tend to promote nepotism, the smart ones jump ship and the one's left behind move up to partnership! It's a win win!
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Like +0 Object -0 Associate 12 Oct 11, 08:40
@6- Not sure about A&O buy-out!! even if A&O buys out- there should be some work for the associates, SA or Partners- there is none/ very few at the moment!!! and Best friends doesn't mean A&O cant refer the work to other law firms, infact A&O is outsourcing 80-90% of its work to some other good firms/ partners.
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Like +0 Object -0 SA 12 Oct 11, 10:38
If they don't have work, where is the money coming from?
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Like +0 Object -0 Anon 12 Oct 11, 12:28
Hey Kian, you should advice people to stop using 'they'. By the time I reached comment 11, i was thoroughly confused who is 'they'/ 'their', etc.
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Like +0 Object -0 ... 12 Oct 11, 14:17
boss, people are pissed with Trilegal. Wonder what the firm has done- not recruited you guys, maybe?
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Like +3 Object -0 .... 12 Oct 11, 14:42
It cuts both ways. Trilegal hires anyone and everyone; unlikely the posters here are rejects. Although, I'd defer to your better judgement.
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Like +0 Object -0 XYZ 12 Oct 11, 15:24
Quoting ....:
It cuts both ways. Trilegal hires anyone and everyone; unlikely the posters here are rejects. Although, I'd defer to your better judgement.


Am I supposed to believe that people using names of [...] and [...] are objective observers of law firm fraternity and not some people personally aggrieved by the firm?
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Like +2 Object -0 tweedledum 16 Oct 11, 18:44
No one is expecting you to believe anything :) If you poked around a little yourself, you would understand what trilegal does, who it hires and so on. It's hardly a secret.
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Like +0 Object -0 Mr A 12 Oct 11, 22:42
Good show Khaitan
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Like +0 Object -0 Chuck 13 Oct 11, 17:55
Agree it seems Khaitan is improving with every next count.
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Like +0 Object -0 legal eagle 15 Oct 11, 17:09
Desai & diwanji seems to be ruling the charts. any comments guys?
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Like +0 Object -0 Amit 15 Oct 11, 17:20
Great Job Desai and Diwanji...
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Like +3 Object -0 Mr B 15 Oct 11, 18:19
Desai & Diwanji is infamous for undercutting fees to no extent to get mandates ...and is also known losing clients
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Like +1 Object -0 A 17 Oct 11, 12:58
hows the hyderabad firm doing ? kian - any update ?
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Like +6 Object -0 Bhagwan 20 Oct 11, 00:45  interesting
Desai and Diwanji is a very ordinary firm. They under cut alot and are a complete cheap man choice for extracting lot of work. Last heard one of the senior partners entire team of 7 members quit and was wiped in a span of 9 months..
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Like +0 Object -0 @ Kian 21 Oct 11, 11:38
"Last heard one of the senior partners entire team of 7 members quit and was wiped in a span of 9 months.."
Kian.. Could you please confirm this... Thanks
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