Kirkland & Ellis was the leading legal adviser globally for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 in the consumer sector, according to GlobalData.

The US law firm advised on five deals worth a combined $6.67bn.

It was in the fifth place in GlobalData’s Q1 2020 ranking of top 20 financial advisers for global M&A.

GlobalData has published a top ten league table of financial advisers ranked according to the value of announced M&A deals globally. If the value remains the same for multiple advisers, deal volume is given weight.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett trailed Kirkland & Ellis, clocking four deals worth $6.49bn.

The consumer sector saw a 1.76% decrease in deal value from $55.9bn in Q1 2019 to $40.9bn in Q1 2020. Deal volumes also declined by 15.67% from 1,257 to 1,060.

GlobalData financial deals analyst Aurojyoti Bose said: “Advising on big-ticket deals helped Kirkland & Ellis occupy the top spot, despite advising on fewer deals compared to other firms. It stood at sixth position in terms of volume. Only three out of the top 10 advisers by value also ranked in the list of top 10 advisers by volume.”

Latham & Watkins leads by volume

Latham & Watkins has secured the top spot in the latest global M&A financial advisers league table based on deal volume in Q1 2020, having advised on nine deals worth $1.6bn.

Jones Day settled in second position (in volume terms) with eight transactions worth $6bn.

Bose added: “Latham & Watkins, though leading in terms of volume, lagged in terms of value and failed to make the list of top ten advisers by value. Akin to Latham & Watkins, most of the top advisors also lagged in terms of value. Only three out of the top 10 advisers by volume also ranked in the list of top 10 advisers by value.”

GlobalData’s league tables are based on the real-time tracking of thousands of company websites, advisory firm websites and other reliable sources available on the secondary domain. A dedicated team of analysts monitors all these sources to gather in-depth details for each deal, including adviser names.

To ensure further robustness to the data, the company also seeks submissions from leading advisers through adviser submission forms on GlobalData’s website.