Global capital markets are slower than last year, but there’s still plenty of work for those law firms advising issuers as well as underwriters, according to the latest Bloomberg rankings.
According to the Bloomberg League Tables, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP topped the charts when ranked by volume by advising issuers globally on 5.36 percent of $389.8 trillion of equity offerings—including those involving common and preferred stock, initial public offerings and rights offerings.
Also in the top 10 of firms advising issuers when ranked by volume are, in descending order:
- Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP;
- Latham & Watkins LLP;
- Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP;
- Linklaters LLP;
- Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP;
- King & Wood Mallesons;
- Vinson & Elkins LLP;
- Clifford Chance LLP; and
- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
By Number of Deals.
When ranked by deal count rather than volume, Latham & Watkins leads the list with 67 deals out of a total of 1,634 in which law firms were given credit. Latham is followed by Cooley LLP, Simpson Thacher, Davis Polk, Goodwin Procter LLP, Skadden Arps, King & Wood Mallesons, Grandall Legal Group, Baker & McKenzie, Conyers Dill & Pearman, Venable LLP and Vinson & Elkins.
There are some differences in the firms advising underwriters when ranking global offerings by volume. Davis Polk again tops the list, but in addition to Latham, Simpson Thacher, Linklaters, Cleary and Freshfields, there are four other firms among the top 10 of those advising. Those are:
- White & Case LLP ranked fifth;
- Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP ranked sixth;
- Shearman & Sterling LLP ranked eighth, and
- Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP coming in in the 10th spot.
And when U.S. offerings by volume are viewed on their own, the rankings differ slightly. Simpson Thacher takes the top perch, followed by Latham and Davis Polk based on volume. Also on the list are Skadden Arps, Vinson & Elkins, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Cleary, Ropes & Gray LLP, Baker Botts LLP and Cooley.
There were 134 initial public offerings in the U.S. in the first nine months of the year. In terms of volume, Baker Botts LLP was number one, followed by Simpson Thacher, Latham, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Vinson & Elkins, Goodwin Procter, Ropes & Gray, and Debevoise.
Marc Jaffe, a capital markets partner at Latham & Watkins, noted that “although the markets are choppy, they remain accessible by issuers and are by no means shut.” While offerings in the energy market have slowed because of the drop in oil prices, other markets have remained robust. In particular, he noted, there has been strength in “new issue offerings in consumer retail as well as the life sciences, which had slowed but is now making a comeback.”
As a result, while the results in the first three quarters of the year are trailing the same period last year, it is “historically still a good year even if it is down slightly,” Jaffe said.
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