Davis Polk & Wardwell and AZB & Partners have topped the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers league table in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region during the first half (H1) of 2020, based on deal value and volume, respectively, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Davis Polk & Wardwell advised on 20 deals worth US$29.2bn, the highest value among all the advisers. On the other hand, AZB & Partners, which led in volume terms having advised on 40 deals worth US$21.7bn during H1, settled for the second position in value terms. Linklaters occupied the third position in terms of value with six deals worth US$12.1bn.

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas occupied the second position by volume with 39 deals worth US$9.7bn, followed by Herbert Smith Freehills with 28 deals worth US$7.1bn, according to GlobalData.

Aurojyoti Bose, Financial Deals Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “AZB & Partners, despite advising on double the number of deals advised by Davis Polk & Wardwell, lost the top position by value to the latter.”

Though both the firms advised on same number of big ticket deals (such as Facebook’s acquisition of 9.9% stake in Jio Platforms for US$5.7bn and Public Investment Fund’s acquisition of 2.32% stake in Jio Platforms for US$1.4bn), Davis Polk & Wardwell also advised on few additional high value transactions such as the acquisition of 58.com by a consortium of investors for US$8.7bn.

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Asia-Pacific deal landscape in H1 2020

Deal activity in Asia-Pacific remained relatively resilient compared to other regions during the COVID-19 hit H1 2020. The number of deals announced in the region increased by 11.3% from 5,640 in H1 2019 to 6,278 in H1 2020, according to GlobalData’s Financial Deals Database. Deal value also increased by 4.1% from US$255.9bn in H1 2019 to US$266.4bn in H1 2020.

Davis Polk & Wardwell, which topped the Asia-Pacific deals league table by value, stood at eleventh position (by value) in the recently released global league table of top 20 M&A legal advisers by GlobalData. Similarly, AZB & Partners, which topped the Asia-Pacific league table by volume, occupied the eighteenth position (by volume) in the global league table.

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