The vast majority of Europe’s largest buyouts in 2021 have been handled by a group of only eight law firms, according to fresh research that exposes the clubby nature of the top tier private equity industry.

According to data from Refinitiv, 95% of the 20 largest private equity acquisitions—worth a total value of nearly $200 billion—involved at least one of the group comprising: Kirkland & Ellis; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Latham & Watkins; Clifford Chance; Weil Gotshal & Manges; White & Case and Linklaters.

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