M&A team of the year
The finalists in this category have all - to varying degrees - seen their efforts to focus on key sectors pay off in a major way. The winner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, has targeted sectors such as financial institutions, energy, healthcare, private equity and technology, media and telecoms. The 55-partner UK team may have received most publicity for its work for Northern Rock, but it also notched up a string of multi-billion pound deals such as EMI's takeover by Terra Firma, the acquisition of rolling stock provider Angel Trains, and Reed Elsevier's offer for CashPoint. The judges admired the depth of specialist support in areas such as tax, employee benefits, intellectual property and antitrust.
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