Sullivan & Cromwell, Morgan Stanley Lead in 2018 Deal Advising

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP topped all law firms in the first half of 2018 by advising on the largest dollar volume of global mergers, despite working on 108 fewer deals than its nearest competitor.

The New York City-based firm advised on the largest market share (12.5 percent) of global transactions between Jan. 1 and June 30, Bloomberg data show. Its 84 deals were valued at a combined $259.7 billion.

Among financial advisers, Morgan Stanley held onto its lead from the first quarter, finishing out the initial six months of the year with 174 deals valued at a total of $623.5 billion. That dollar volume gave it a 30 percent market share of global deals, up 3.4 percent from the adviser’s first quarter share.

Legal Rankings

Sullivan & Cromwell jumped four spots from the first quarter, when it held a 10.9 percent market share and advised on 42 deals with a $102.1 billion aggregate value.

Latham & Watkins LLP came in second among law firms with a 12.1 percent market share driven by $251.7 billion in total deal volume. The firm, which ranked eleventh based on first quarter numbers, advised on 192 transactions in the first half of the year.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP ‘s 12 percent market share and $249.2 billion deal volume was third among law firms during the same period.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP rounded out the top five law firms based on global deal dollar volume. Each had more than $231 billion in total volume.

Financial Rankings

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC took the second spot among financial advisers behind Morgan Stanley. It moved up one spot from the first quarter rankings on 184 deals worth a collective $522 billion. That equated to a 25.1 percent market share at the year’s halfway point.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., responsible for a 23.5 percent market share in the first six months of 2018, followed Goldman. It advised on 166 deals with a combined dollar volume of $489 billion.

Citigroup Inc. and Evercore Inc. grabbed the final two spots in the top five for deal advisers. Evercore moved up seven positions from the first quarter rankings after advising on almost six times the deal value ($48.1 billion) it handled between Jan. 1 and March 31.

Goldman’s 184 deals were the most among financial advisers in the first half of the year, followed by Morgan Stanley’s 174. Lazard Ltd. and Rothschild & Co. were the only advisers outside the top five to handle more than 100 deals during that period.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jacob Rund in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at