Morgan Stanley, Skadden Top First Quarter in Deal Advising

Morgan Stanley took the top spot, as measured by deal volume, for advising global mergers in the first quarter of 2018, Bloomberg data shows.

The financial adviser beat out its peers for the largest market share (26.6 percent) of global transactions it assisted during the first three months of the year. The 75 deals it advised totaled about $249 billion, a bump of more than 40 percent from its first quarter 2017 volume of $141 billion.

Among law firms, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP topped other firms with 46 deals valued at more than $169 billion, giving it a 18.1 percent market share of global transactions announced in the first quarter of 2018. Skadden more than doubled its $72.9 billion deal volume from the same quarter a year earlier, but it lagged behind its deal count (57) during that period.

The data for both financial advisers and law firms only includes deals in which the acquirer released the terms of the offer and the target company acknowledged the transaction. Proposed or rumored deals weren’t included.

Financial Rankings 

JPMorgan Chase & Co. was No. 2 after Morgan Stanley among financial advisers, with a 24.3 percent market share and a deal volume of $227 billion on 83 transactions. It jumped from its No. 5 rank in the first quarter of 2017, when it advised on $104 billion in deal value.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC’s 17.9 percent market share and $167 billion volume was third among financial advisers in the first three months of 2018. The company advised on 76 transactions, the second-most behind JPMorgan.

Lazard Ltd. and Citigroup Inc. rounded out the top five financial advisers by total deal value. Each exceeded $130 billion in volume and worked on more than 50 transactions.

Legal Rankings 

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP took second place, following Skadden, in the law firm standings for the first quarter of 2018. It had a 13.2 percent market share and advised on deals worth more than $123 billion. The firm didn’t crack the top 10 law firms for deal volume in the first three months of 2017.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz rounded out the top five firms by global deal volume. All three law firms had market shares greater than 10 percent and total deal values of at least $96 billion.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP worked on the most announced global deals of any law firm in the first quarter of 2018, with 104.