Linklaters edges aside Freehills to top Asia-Pacific M&A rankings table
Linklaters has topped Mergermarket's Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) M&A rankings by value for the first three quarters of this year. The firm is closely followed by Wall Street leaders Sullivan & Cromwell and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in second and third place respectively, while Australian firm Freehills - which topped the ranking at year-end 2007 - has been knocked into eighth place. The rankings show Slaughter and May and Lovells making significant improvements to their positions over the first three quarters of 2008, with Slaughters jumping from number 53 at year-end 2007 to sixth place and Lovells leaping from 38th to 10th position. Australian leader Mallesons Stephen Jaques tops the Asia-Pacific M&A deal rankings by volume so far this year, followed by Freehills and Baker & McKenzie.Linklaters and Shearman & Sterling have advised on the region's largest deal over the period - the $30bn (£17bn) takeover of China Netcom Group Corporation by China Unicom which closed on 2 June. The deal saw Linklaters advise the target while Shearman advised the seller.Mergermarket's rankings also show Linklaters making a significant improvement in the US M&A tables by value. The firm ranked at number 50 at the end of 2007 but jumped to number 10 over Q1-Q3 2008. Only three UK law firms feature in the US M&A rankings, with Allen & Overy climbing from number 21 to 17 and Clifford Chance (CC) from 27 to 18. Skadden is in first place for 2008 swapping places with Sullivan & Cromwell. CC was the only UK firm to feature in the US M&A table by volume, with the firm coming in at number 16 - down from 12th place at the end of 2007.
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