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Skadden Arps Tops as Merger Advisor in 2012

According to annual data compiled and published by Thomson Reuters, New York-based Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom advised on 200 completed deals around the world in 2012, worth a total of $316 billion in deals. In 2011, the firm had advised on 201 merger acquisition deals worth $233 billion.

According to Reuters, one of the biggest transactions handled by Skadden last year was a $56 billion sale of Russian oil company TNK-BP to Rosneft Oil Company in Russia. This deal was made in December. Another big deal was made in June when the firm advised on a $20.1 billion acquisition of Grupo Modelo SAB de CV by Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The Thomson Reuters data published by Thomson Reuters News & Insight ranks the top law firms of the world according to the value and number of deals advised upon by the law firms.

According to Reuters, Simpson Thacher advised on 133 deals worth a cumulative $281 billion and slipped from its No.1 slot, yielding it to Skadden. Wall Street law firm Sullivan & Cromwell advised on 120 deals worth $275 billion.

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According to the data, though the worldwide merger work remained comparatively flat in 2012 at $2.6 trillion, law firms worked aggressively to cash in on the work, mostly by partner acquisitions and other tactics of market positioning.

In 2012, energy and power sectors yielded the greatest worth, about 18 percent of all transactions in mergers, though it was less than what it was in 2011, when energy and power contributed almost 19.8 percent of the deals. Other industries that had strong merger and acquisition activity included healthcare and consumer staples.

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