Freshfields heads UK firms for global M&A

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has topped UK law firm list in Thomson Financial&#39s worldwide M&A rankings for 2001.

The firm has leaped over Linklaters to move from eleventh to seventh position.

Freshfields head of corporate Barry O&#39Brien said: “Once you&#39re in a leading position, it depends on the luck of the draw. We had problems with conflicts last year that held us back, but this year we&#39ve had less trouble.”

Linklaters remains in ninth place and Clifford Chance has moved from seventeenth to thirteenth. Allen & Overy has edged into the top 20, but while Slaughter and May and Herbert Smith are both still in the mix, they have lost ground.

The pre-eminence of US firms remains, with Shearman & Sterling the biggest mover of US firms strong in Europe.

The overall figures, though, show that the global value of M&A deals has dropped by nearly 50 per cent from 2000 and far fewer really big deals were announced as the global economy slowed.