Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Kirkland & Ellis have emerged as the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers in the financial services sector for 2023, leading in deal value and volume, respectively, as per GlobalData’s latest legal advisers league table.   

The deals database of GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, indicates that Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom advised on transactions worth $27.2bn, securing the top spot by value. 

Kirkland & Ellis led in terms of deal volume by advising on 49 deals throughout the year.  

GlobalData lead analyst Aurojyoti Bose said: “Due to involvement in high-value transactions, the total value of deals advised by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom jumped significantly in 2023 compared to the previous year. Resultantly, its ranking by value also took a major leap from the 47th position in 2022 to the top position in 2023. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom advised on seven billion-dollar deals that also included one mega deal valued at more than $10bn. 

“Meanwhile, Kirkland & Ellis fell short of just one deal to touch the 50 deals volume mark in 2023. Interestingly, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, apart from leading by value, also gave stiff competition to Kirkland & Ellis for the top position by volume.” 

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom held the second position in terms of volume by advising on 45 deals.  

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It was followed by Alston & Bird with 36 deals, CMS with 26 deals, and Giordano Halleran & Ciesla also with 26 deals. 

In the ranking by deal value, Cravath Swaine & Moore took the second spot, advising on $22.6bn worth of deals.  

Debevoise & Plimpton was not far behind, with deals amounting to $20.6bn.  

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett advised on deals valued at $16.8bn and $16.6bn, respectively. 

GlobalData’s league tables are based on the real-time tracking of thousands of company websites, advisory firm websites and other reliable sources available on the secondary domain. A dedicated team of analysts monitors all these sources to gather in-depth details for each deal, including adviser names. 

To ensure further robustness to the data, the company also seeks submissions of deals from leading advisers.