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Awards for Excellence 2012: Best M&A House

Its defence work and advice to companies that are pressed by shareholder activists show that clients still turn to and trust the firm when the stakes are highest.

Awards for Excellence 2012

Best M&A House: Goldman Sachs

Also nominated: Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse

Another year, another furore over conflicts of interest at Goldman Sachs.

In March, Delaware Court of Chancery judge Leo Strine delivered a critical opinion in a suit brought by shareholders of El Paso alleging that the company’s takeover by Kinder Morgan had been tainted by flawed incentives for certain El Paso executives, reducing their determination to extract the highest possible price. Strine also noted that Goldman Sachs, while advising El Paso, owned a large stake in the acquirer and controlled two Kinder Morgan board seats, while the lead Goldman banker advising El Paso owned Kinder Morgan stock.

Goldman’s rivals rubbed their hands with glee at such an embarrassment for the firm, but it’s hard to see why. They can’t have been looking at the league tables.

Goldman increased its market leadership in the 12 months under review, advising on deals worth $740 billion, giving it an 18% market share, according to Dealogic.

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