DLA Piper leads global M&A legal advisor league tables

DLA Piper has retained its number one ranking by deal volume among top corporate law firms in 2011 globally, according to mergermarket’s league tables for legal advisors. The firm also rose to rank second in Europe, up from fourth in 2010, whilst retaining its fourth position in the Americas.

The firm also made significant gains in the Bloomberg Global M&A legal advisor rankings, increasing its global ranking by deal count increasing from third to second place. Substantial gains were made in Asia-Pacific, where the firm climbed 67 places to be fourth in China and 25 places to eighth in Hong Kong. In South Korea, DLA Piper increased its ranking 22 places to seventh by deal count. It also climbed two places to rank fourth in the US, whilst rising 18 places by deal value in the UK to rank 18th. DLA Piper also became the leader in terms of deal volume in the UK, up two places. Ranking for the firm’s operations also improved in Germany, Italy, Iberia, and the Nordic countries.

DLA Piper was involved in more than 347 transactions in 2011 with a total value of US$58 billion in various markets including Europe, Greater China, Japan, South Korea and South East Asia.

“Our team's performance as one of the top M&A legal advisors in the region was highlighted by both geographic reach and scope of different industries involved," said Mabel Lui, Partner and Asia Head of Corporate, DLA Piper. "We're fully committed to help clients retain their competitive advantage by providing the quality of strategic legal and business counsel which has contributed to this high number of successful transactions."

Noteworthy deals in which DLA Piper was involved include Banco Santander's acquisition of 100 percent of the share capital of Bank Zachodni WBK of Poland for €4.2 billion as well as Qualcomm Incorporated's acquisition of Atheros Communications in a deal worth US$3.1 billion. The firm also worked on the $1.9 billion strategic alliance between Turkish beverage group Anadolu Efes and SABMiller in Turkey, Russia, Central Asia, the CIS and Middle East as well as the Government of Hungary's acquisition of a 21.2 percent stake in MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Public Limited Company for £1.6 billion.

In Asia Pacific, the firm's involvement in major transactions included Hong Kong listed Schramm Holding AG's €142 million public takeover by AkzoNobel; Ping An Insurance's sale of a US$2.5 billion stake to Chow Tai Fook; and the US$886 million acquisition of Hong Kong listed supplier of mining equipment, ERA Mining, by Caterpillar Inc.

Lance Miller, Regional Managing Partner of Asia, DLA Piper said, "We are honoured by these excellent rankings. They not only reflect the unremitting efforts of our corporate team in the Asia Pacific region, but also demonstrate the seamless international cooperation of our global offices which enables us to provide value added services and strategic advice to clients around the world."

The end of year M&A rankings mark a very successful year for the DLA Piper Global Corporate team which, in addition to mergermarket's European Mid-Market Law Firm of the Year, also won the following awards and distinctions: Sub-Saharan Africa M&A Legal Adviser of the Year at the FT mergermarket European M&A Awards; M&A Lawyer of the Year - Mabel Lui, Cross Border M&A Deal of the Year - Middle Markets, and China M&A Deal of the Year Award, all at the M&A Atlas Awards 2011 - Asia Pacific Middle Markets; Band 1 – The Highly Regarded: Nationwide M&A (Chambers USA, 2011); Hong Kong Corporate and M&A Firm of the Year at the Asian-Mena Counsel Awards 2011.