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Mergers & Acquisitions

The Top Law Schools for Public M&A

Deal Point Data compiled a ranking of law schools that have produced the most prolific attorneys in the highly competitive and lucrative field of U.S. public M&A advisory. Harvard Law ranked number one. Attorneys that received their law degrees from Harvard Law School led the market in terms of both the number of deals and the dollar value of deals they have worked on. The ranking is based on transactions announced from January 1, 2008 to July 30, 2016 for publicly traded targets involving U.S. listed firms. To be included in the ranking, each attorney must have been a partner who was disclosed in the merger agreement. Harvard’s top ranking was fueled by a who’s who of respected deal attorneys including George Bason of Davis Polk & Wardwell, Faiza J. Saeed of Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Peter Allan Atkins of Skadden, Arps. New York University School of Law placed second in the ranking propelled by distinguished graduates that include David A. Katz of Wachtell Lipton, Benet J. O'Reilly of Cleary Gottlieb and David Feirstein of Kirkland & Ellis. Columbia Law School rounded out the top three law schools with notable alums such as Scott A. Barshay of Cravath, Philip Richter of Fried, Frank and Daniel A. Neff of Wachtell.


Law School Ranking - Top Grads for M&A
1. Harvard Law School
2. New York University School of Law
3. Columbia Law School
4. Yale Law School
5. Georgetown University Law Center
6. University of Chicago Law School
7. University of Pennsylvania Law School
8. George Washington University School of Law
9. Fordham University School of Law
10. University of Michigan Law School

Market Leaders - U.S. Public Mergers

In the first eight months of 2016, Wachtell Lipton led the market on U.S. public M&A deals with definitive agreements. Wachtell also ended on top based on overall announced deals. Bennett Jones took top honors in the closed deals category through August.

Category Top Ranked Firm Equity Value ($bil)
Definitive Agreement Wachtell Lipton 109.1
Announced Wachtell Lipton 165.1
Closed Bennett Jones 16.1

M&A Adviser Fee Watch

$2.28 billion in M&A advisory fees involving U.S. public targets have been disclosed through September 6. Goldman, Sachs & Co. continued to lead the market with $506 million in fees disclosed. Morgan Stanley took second place among financial advisors in disclosed fees. Qatalyst Partners rounded out the top three.

High-Yield Bond News

New Issue Volume

S.E.C. registered high-yield new issue volume increased 25.75% to $47.38 billion compared to the first eight months of 2015.

High-Yield Bond Covenants

We evaluated the covenants in August's S.E.C. registered new issues and found that no deals contained a limitation on restricted payments provision. This compares to 36% for similar deals priced in the last three years. Limitations of indebtedness covenants were present in 13% of new issues, down from 14% of deals priced in July. Poison pill puts were included in 63% of new issues up from 57% in July.