After topping Thomson Reuters ranking of M&A legal advisers for the first quarter of 2013, Davis Polk & Wardwell was back in the number one spot in similar rankings compiled by Bloomberg and MergerMarket.
As The Am Law Daily reported, Davis Polk’s roles on two of the largest corporate deals announced so far this year catapulted the firm to a first-place finish in the year’s first league table ranking of law firms based on the total value of their corporate clients’ M&A transactions during the first three months of 2013. In February, the firm advised H.J. Heinz Company on its $28 billion sale to Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital while, just days earlier, the firm had served as outside counsel to cable TV and Internet giant Comcast on its $16.7 billion purchase of General Electric’s remaining 49 percent stake in NBCUniversal.
Now, Davis Polk has completed a trifecta of sorts by outpacing its peers on pair of similar lists released at the end of last week. Bloomberg [PDF] ranks the firm in the top spot as a result of its roles on deals announced between January 1 and March 31 with a combined total value of $92.7 billion, while MergerMarket [PDF] gives Davis Polk credit for $82.03 billion worth of announced deals during that same period.
As The Am Law Daily has reported in the past, the three outlets rely on different metrics when constructing their rankings, which means that the primary value of the so-called league tables lies in the broad view they provide as to which firms are most active on the M&A front.
Davis Polk is trailed in Bloomberg’s ranking by Sullivan & Cromwell and Weil, Gotshal & Manges, while Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer round out the top three on the MergerMarket list. Jones Day tops Bloomberg’s list of legal advisers ranked by number of deals announced during the first quarter, while DLA Piper comes out ahead in that category according to MergerMarket.
Davis Polk is not the only firm to benefit from roles on the handful of megadeals that cropped up in the early months of 2013. O’Melveny & Myers landed a fourth-place finish in MergerMarket’s rankings after ranking 107th during the first quarter of 2012. The firm received a boost this time around as a result of the roles MergerMarket credits it for landing representing financial advisers on the Heinz deal and on Liberty Global’s $23.3 billion purchase of Virgin Media, a transaction that was also announced in February.
As we reported last week, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom saw the total value of its deals drop off in the first quarter when compared with its rival firms—just a few months after topping all three outlets’ year-end rankings for 2012. Skadden, which ranked at number 19 on the Thomson Reuters list, checked in at number 18 on the Bloomberg’s rankings, while MergerMarket ranked the firm 14th in the first quarter. As with the Thomson Reuters rankings, Skadden fared better when deal volume rather than value was measure. The firm, which tied Freshfields for sixth place in terms of the number of deals it worked on during the year’s first quarter, placed sixth on the Bloomberg league tables, with 42 deals, and eighth on the MergerMarket rankings, with 40.