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DEALS OR NO DEALS – Since nothing else about 2020 is normal, we probably shouldn’t be surprised that the stock market and the economy are diverging more than ever. As Patrick Smith reports, the seeming disconnect between company market valuations and overall economic conditions has led to a “winners and losers” dynamic—some companies are thriving either in spite or because of COVID-19, while others are suffering. All of this has reinforced the need for law firms’ M&A practices to maintain a diversified client base. Brian Richards, chair of Paul Hastings’ global private equity practice, told Smith that deal flow in his practice has seen an increase in August, which he said is normally a down time for deals.“We have seen a big pickup in the last four weeks, but it is from businesses that have seen little impact from the pandemic or been positively impacted,” Richards said.