Global firm tops Australian M&A legal adviser tables

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Global firm tops Australian M&A legal adviser tables

The full-year league tables for M&A legal advisers in 2017 have been revealed by MergerMarket.

Globally, the value of deals slipped 3.2% to U$3.15 trillion in 2017 (compared to 2016) with 18,433 deals, just 205 fewer than in 2016. It’s the fourth consecutive year of deals totalling more than $3 trillion.

The top legal advisers globally were led by Skadden (240 deals totalling $540,645,000) and followed by Cleary Gottlieb, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Kirkland & Ellis, and Sullivan & Cromwell.

Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) bucked the global trend with a rise in deal value of 4.8% compared to 2016 with U$673.5 billion from 3,750 deals (6 more than in 2016). The region accounted for 21.4% of global M&A deals in 2017.

King & Wood Mallesons (111 deals totalling $80,960,000) led the region’s legal advisers followed by Clifford Chance, Skadden, Herbert Smith Freehills, and Allens.

In Australia, Herbert Smith Freehills led the legal advisers league table by deal volume (85) and value (U$53,194,000).

Others making the top 5 by deal value are Allens, King & Wood Mallesons, Clifford Chance, and Debevoise & Plimpton. By deal count, the top five is completed by Gilbert + Tobin, MinterEllison, King & Wood Mallesons, and Ashurst.

Shenzhen first for US intellectual property firm

US firm Brinks Gilson & Lione has become the first non-Chinese law firm to open an office in the high-technology hub of China’s Shenzhen region.

The Chicago-headquartered firm announced its intention to open the office, its first outside the US, in May 2016 as reported by Australasian Lawyer. Permission was granted by China’s Ministry of Justice in August 2017.

"We very much look forward to offering advice and guidance to Chinese-domiciled entities on the intellectual property laws of the US, and to helping them protect their IP," said Gustavo Siller, Brinks president, who spearheaded efforts to open the office and attended the opening event. “We know we will serve a key role protecting the innovations of Chinese companies and defending them against assertions of infringement in the United States.”

Harold V. Johnson, the firm’s managing shareholder and Fei Hu, former senior legal counsel at chipmaker ARM Ltd, will be joined in the new office by several Brinks attorneys on a rotating basis.

Asia lawyers among MoFo partner promotions

Hong Kong based Sarah Thomas and Japan’s Yuka Teraguchi are among ten lawyers promoted to partner at Morrison Foerster.

Thomas’s practice focuses on international arbitration, internal investigations and commercial litigation throughout the Asia-Pacific region.  Teraguchi focuses her practice on intellectual property litigation and counseling.

The class of 2018 includes six women and four men across multiple practice groups and nine different offices in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The promotions are effective from 1st January 2018.