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Mergermarket 2020 preliminary M&A league tables: Freshfields ranks fourth globally and first in Europe and Asia by value

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (‘Freshfields’) has ranked fourth in Mergermarket’s preliminary M&A league tables of legal advisors for 2020 by deal value, after advising on 181 transactions across the year totalling a value of $357.2m. This is an eight-point jump from the same period in 2019, where it placed 12th.
Freshfields ranked first for M&A deals by value in the league tables for Europe, where it retains its top ranking from 2019, and in the Asia-Pacific region, up from 8th place in 2019. In Europe the firm advised on 134 deals with a total value of $242.4m, and in Asia it advised on 41 transactions totalling $94.9m in value.
The picture is similarly impressive across other jurisdictions. In the Americas, Freshfields placed 10th with 77 transactions worth $176.5m, and ranked seventh in the Middle East and Africa, with a value of $16.3m from 13 deals.
Julian Pritchard, partner and London transactional practice head, commented: “2020 was a remarkably resilient year with M&A activity being driven by both necessity and opportunity. After a challenging Q2, the year picked up and closed strongly. Looking ahead, with vaccines receiving regulatory approvals, financing still readily available, new investment classes like SPACs providing even more M&A fuel and equity valuations at high multiples, conditions are primed for a deal-making surge in 2021.

“In fact, data suggests a rally may already have begun, with 2020’s six biggest acquisitions all announced in the three months from September. A good example is our work on AstraZeneca’s $39bn acquisition of Alexion which, announced mid-December, was the largest acquisition of a US corporation in 2020.”