M&A League Tables 2022: Legal Advisors

Data Insight 5 January

M&A League Tables 2022: Legal Advisors

Sullivan & Cromwell once again took the top spot in the Mergermarket global M&A league tables by deal value in 2022 with USD 560 billion, but underneath them was a lot more movement. Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett jumped from fifth in 2021 to second in 2022 thanks to USD 445 billion of activity, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom climbed four places to take third with USD 396 billion of deals.

The global league tables by deal count were more static, with DLA Piper and Kirkland & Ellis retaining their first and second positions respectively with 1131 deals for DLA Piper and 828 for Kirkland & Ellis.

Our global private equity advisory rankings saw Kirkland & Ellis come top of the global buyout deal value ranking, and Debevoise & Plimpton take first place for global exits by deal value.  

The Americas saw a real surprise as Simpson Thatcher leaped straight from sixth place into first with USD 410 billion of deal value, while Kirkland & Ellis stayed as number one by deal count with 783 deals.

In APAC excluding Japan an even bigger upset occurred as AZB & Partners made a dramatic jump from 15th place into first with USD 121 billion of deal value.

In the EMEA region the global pattern repeated itself. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer retained first place by deal value, but Clifford Chance and Latham & Watkins both jumped 3 spaces to take second and third. On the deal count side there was no change with DLA Piper and CMS keeping the first and second slots with 642 and 397 deals respectively.

The full league tables are available to download on the right.


All data is based on transactions over USD 5m and is based on the Mergermarket’s M&A deals database. Deals with undisclosed deal values are included where the target’s turnover exceeds USD 10m. Deals where the effective stake acquired is less than 30% will only be included if the value is greater than USD 100m.

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