Goodwin Procter, Sullivan & Cromwell M&A groups shine in deal growth

  • Global M&A has surpasses $4 trillion this yr
  • Deal worth is up 92% from Q1-Q3 2020

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(Reuters) – The worth of world M&A offers has sailed previous $4 trillion up to now this yr, simply breaking previous information. And Sullivan & Cromwell attorneys had a hand in a whopping $535 billion of these offers by way of the third quarter, in keeping with information from Refinitiv, greater than every other regulation agency.

“While it is always difficult to predict how busy the global M&A markets will be in the future, given our level of activity we expect to be busy well into 2022 and, hopefully, beyond,” Frank Aquila, the worldwide head of Sullivan & Cromwell’s M&A observe, stated in a press release.

The agency is much from alone in using the worldwide M&A wave. Latham & Watkins was principal advisor on $413.2 billion in introduced offers by way of Q3, rating first in that class. And Boston-founded Goodwin Procter was top-ranked by the variety of world offers it dealt with, advising on 769 offers – all however two as principal advisor.

Goodwin is cementing its place as a dealmaking machine after main the full-year quantity rankings final yr, as soon as once more beating out Kirkland & Ellis and Latham, each of which suggested on greater than 600 offers apiece up to now in 2021.

“Steady ranges of innovation and funding throughout the know-how, life sciences, personal fairness, actual property, and monetary industries have stored our shoppers phenomenally busy,” Goodwin chairman Rob Insolia said in a statement.

The picture at the top doesn’t change much when focusing on announced deals with any U.S. involvement – Sullivan & Cromwell’s U.S. deal work topped $453 billion in value so far this year, while Goodwin worked on 690 deals.

The Refinitiv data shows several firms gaining or losing ground this year. In terms of announced global deals as ranked by deal value:

– Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer dropped to 10th from fourth place

– Simpson Thacher & Bartlett rose to fifth from 13th place

– Davis, Polk & Wardwell, the reigning firm this time last year, is currently ranked sixth

– Cravath, Swaine & Moore has risen to ninth place from 25th place

The value of all announced global M&A transactions combined is up 92% compared with the first three quarters of 2020, according to Refinitiv.

But even on a quarterly basis, the numbers are eye-popping – the summer produced $1.6 trillion in deals. Refinitiv says that’s more than any other quarter on record.

“In the midst of the longest M&A cycle in historical past, which has been undeterred by politics, commerce wars and referendums, maybe it’s not stunning that an unprecedented world pandemic would supercharge deal making in each area, in each sector and throughout each deal sort,” Matt Toole, director of deals intelligence at Refinitiv, said in a statement.

That dealmaking frenzy has had downstream effects on the law firms that advise them. With demand so strong, law firms are scrambling for bodies to keep up, making for a job-seekers market in corporate practices, driving up salaries and increasing pressure to keep bleary-eyed associates from jumping ship.

Read more:

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McDermott continues corporate hiring blitz with 6 new partners

Recruiters try to keep up as demand for associates hits overdrive

White & Case takes lead on global deals amid 1H M&A surge

David Thomas

David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.

Goodwin Procter offices in Washington, D.C. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly