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Mergers & Acquisitions

The Top Women M&A Lawyers

In the highly competitive arena of public M&A advisory, women lawyers continue to be dramatically underrepresented. However, according to research compiled from Deal Point Data’s M&A database, the gender gap is getting smaller. Seven women were included in the Ranking of the Top 50 deal lawyers on deals announced in the last twelve months. The rankings were based on the equity value of announced deals involving U.S. public targets excluding withdrawn transactions. Faiza Saeed, the newly elected presiding partner at Cravath has been among the top ranked deal lawyers during the last year, last 3-year and last 5-year periods. Skadden Arps was the only firm to have two female attorneys on the list in the last year. Skadden partners Laura Knoll and Margaret Brown both earned top rankings in each of the last year, last 3-year and 5-year periods.


Top Women M&A Lawyers - July 18, 2015 to July 17, 2016
U.S. Public Targets Overall Ranking
1. Laura P. Knoll Skadden #3
2. Margaret A. Brown Skadden #5
3. Faiza J. Saeed Cravath #18
4. Lizanne Thomas Jones Day #36
5. Melissa Sawyer Sullivan &Cromwell #47

Market Leaders - U.S. Public Mergers

In the first half of 2016, Wachtell Lipton led the market on U.S. public M&A deals with definitive agreements. Wachtell also ended the first half on top based on overall announced deals. Weil Gotshal & Manges took top honors in the closed deals category.

Category Top Ranked Firm Equity Value ($bil)
Definitive Agreement Wachtell Lipton 61.8
Announced Wachtell Lipton 126.7
Closed Weil Gotshal 7.2

M&A Adviser Fee Watch

$1.462 billion in M&A advisory fees involving U.S. public targets have been disclosed through July 17. Goldman, Sachs & Co. led the market with $359 million in fees disclosed. Morgan Stanley took second place among financial advisors in disclosed fees. Citigroup rounded out the top three.

High-Yield Bond News

New Issue Volume

In the second quarter, S.E.C. registered high-yield new issues raised $22.7 billion, the highest quarterly level since the fourth quarter of 2012.

High-Yield Bond Covenants

We evaluated the covenants in June's S.E.C. registered new issues and found that 50% contained limitation on restricted payments provisions up from 43% for similar deals priced in May. Limitations of indebtedness covenants were present in 63% of new issues, up from 57% of deals priced in May. Poison pill puts were included in 75% of new issues down from 86% in May.