Skadden Tops M&A Rankings for Q1 2018

Skadden topped Bloomberg’s law firm league table for global M&A deal volume in the first quarter of 2018.

With 46 deals representing $169 billion in deal volume in Q1, Skadden outperformed the rest of its peers in Big Law. The firm’s average deal size was $3.7 billion, and its market share was nearly 24 percent, according to the Bloomberg ranking.

In the biggest deal of the first quarter, Skadden represented Express Scripts Holding Company in its $68 billion acquisition by Cigna. That deal was the latest sign in vertical integration in the healthcare industry.

Skadden’s activity in early 2018 is a continuation of its deal work last year, when it topped the year-end Bloomberg ranking. In 2017, Skadden represented principals on 261 deals worth a total of $430 billion.

Skadden partner Stephen Arcano, who heads the firm’s New York M&A group, told Big Law Business at the beginning of January that he expected M&A activity to remain high this year.

He said April 4 that prediction had been correct.

“The M&A market has been robust so far this year, though there is risk that deal activity could be negatively impacted going forward by rising interest rates or disruption in the capital markets, as well as evolving regulatory and trade policies,” he said via email.

Total global M&A volume increased 24.9% from the first quarter of 2017, reaching reached $936.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg ranking. Private equity transactions accounted for 23 percent of the global deal volume during that period.

After Skadden were Paul Weiss and Wachtell, respectively. Paul Weiss counted 37 deals worth $117 billion and Wachtell counted 14 deals worth a total of $97 billion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Russell-Kraft at srussellkraft@gmail.com.

To contact the editor on this story: Casey Sullivan at csullivan@bloomberglaw.com and Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bloomberglaw.com.