Was it all a bad dream?

A busy 2011 might have left mergers and acquisitions lawyers wondering whether the Great Recession was just a plot device in Margin Call. Global M&A activity rose to $2.2 trillion in 2011, making it the strongest year since 2008, mergermarket reports. The picture was even rosier in the United States, which had $820.6 billion in deals; here, it was the strongest year since 2007. Energy, mining, and utilities work was especially robust, as was cross-border deal making.

Worldwide project finance work hit new peaks, with 945 deals closing in 2011, up 8 percent from 2010, according to Dealogic. Total value rose 13 percent, to $405 billion.  Left out of the sunny scenarios: capital markets lawyers, who saw proceeds from global equity capital markets work fall 28 percent from 2010. For these attorneys, it turned out, 2011 was more like Groundhog Day.

Previous Corporate Scorecard coverage :: 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008


With Strings Attached Are regulators blocking more deals, or does it just seem that way?
Law of the Jungle Some of last year’s biggest M&A deals started with a hostile bid.
Breaking Away Market conditions were right for an upswing in spin-off actvity last year.

Methodology The American Lawyer’s Corporate Scorecard tracks the transactional practices of leading firms. Corporate Finance is a collection of subspecialties, and our Scorecard ranks firms within those areas. Unless otherwise noted, data includes only public, registered, underwritten offerings or deals transacted in 2011, including firmly underwritten rule 144a transactions, but not pure private placements or the filing of shelf registrations. Values are as of February 2012, unless otherwise noted. Data is from Thomson Reuters except for: Bankruptcy data, provided by BankruptcyData.com; project finance data, provided by Dealogic; and private equity and M&A data, provided by mergermarket. Click here for more about our methodology.