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M&A legal advisor rankings for 2004

Linklaters has emerged at the top of mergermarket's 2004 European league table of legal advisors advising on 236 deals worth EUR 197.5bn. The UK law firm, ranked second last year, has a comfortable EUR 29.9bn lead over second place arch rival Clifford Chance which advised on EUR 167.7bn worth of deals. Clifford Chance, on the other hand, tops the volume table advising on 242 deals this year.

The magic circle firms Linklaters, Clifford Chance and Freshfields dominate both the European value and volume tables. These three UK law firms, which also shared the top spots in the 2003 value league table, have managed to retain their dominance despite determined expansion efforts by US law firms. Sullivan & Cromwell, the highest ranking US law firm by value, made a huge leap in last year's ranking from 11th place in 2002 to sixth place. The firm has managed to maintain its presence in the European market and is ranked fourth this year.

Herbert Smith has jumped from 11th place last year to fifth in the value rankings. The firm advised on several large deals this quarter including the EUR 5.1bn Sagem-Snecma deal and Ispat's EUR 3.9bn

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