Morning Briefing: Which firm tops the M&A league tables?

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Which firm topped the M&A league for 2014?
Mergermarket has just published its league table of top M&A legal advisers for 2014 and for the fifth consecutive year the leader based on deal volume was DLA Piper. The firm was involved in 449 transactions with an 81.5 per cent increase in the global value of deals. The firm is also number one in the UK and fourth in the US. In Asia-Pacific the top firm for deal value was Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, replacing Herbert Smith Freehills which slipped to number 8. Also in the top 5 were King & Wood Mallesons, Kim & Chang, JiaYuan Law Offices and Linklaters. For deal volume in Asia-Pac King & Wood Mallesons came top followed by Herbert Smith Freehills, Kim & Chang and Clifford Chance

A hot year for M&A says KPMG
This year will see an appetite for deals returning and there’ll be the financial resources to allow large corporates to increase M&A activity. That’s according to a new report from KPMG which notes that its measure of corporate appetite has increased by 7 per cent from 12 months ago and with large corporates paying down debt and increasing cash reserves they will be well-placed to do the deals. This rise in both appetite and capacity is already being reflected in the level of transactions completed, with both completed deal volumes and deal values over the last 6 months reversing the downward trend of recent years. Healthcare and technology are leading sectors for deals although most industries are showing growth with the exception of energy. 

Norton Rose Fulbright head of energy leaves Sydney
The Asia-Pac head of energy for Norton Rose Fulbright has relocated to Singapore from Sydney. Vincent Dwyer’s move follows the firm’s global head of energy relocating to Sydney and is the fourth new partner to join the office in the last 12 months. Dwyer was based in the city state for four years previously. 

Two new partners at Corrs Chambers Westgarth 
Corrs Chambers Westgarth has promoted two lawyers to partners. Melbourne-based Matthew Critchley and Sydney’s Michael do Rozario are both litigation specialists and were promoted effective 1st January 2015.