Davis Polk & Wardwell and Kirkland & Ellis were the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers in the global information and communication technology (ICT) sector in the first half (H1) of 2020, based on deal value and volume, respectively, according to GlobalData.

Davis Polk & Wardwell advised on 22 deals worth $27.1bn, which was the highest among all the advisers. Kirkland & Ellis led in volume terms having advised on 65 deals worth $20.4bn.

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

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison occupied second position by value having advised on 26 deals worth $26.4bn, followed by Clifford Chance with ten deals worth $26.2bn.

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By GlobalData

Fenwick & West stood at the second position by volume with 64 deals worth $19.8bn followed by Latham & Watkins with 50 deals worth $4.5bn.

GlobalData legal deals analyst Aurojyoti Bose said: “Despite advising on around three times more deals than value category winner Davis Polk & Wardwell, Kirkland & Ellis lost the top position by value and had to settle for seventh. Apart from Kirkland & Ellis, only two other firms among the top ten by volume were able to feature in the value-ranked list.

“Meanwhile, Davis Polk & Wardwell advised on relatively fewer but higher-value deals, which helped it secure the top position by value. The firm managed to advise on seven deals worth greater than or equal to $1bn.”

The number of deals announced in the global ICT sector declined by 1.8% from 272 in H1 2019 to 267 in H1 2020. Deal value decreased by 37.6% from $24.8bn in to $15.5bn.

Davis Polk & Wardwell, which topped the ICT sector deals league table by value, stood at eleventh position by value in the GlobalData’s global league table of top 20 M&A legal advisers.

Kirkland & Ellis, which topped the ICT sector league table by volume, also topped the global league table by volume.

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.