Law firms Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Goodwin Proctor were the top deal advisers for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the first quarter of 2022. Though global M&A deals experienced a 23% drop in the first quarter of this year as compared to the first quarter of 2021, Skadden still advised on 49 deals worth more than $145.6 billion, while Goodwin advised on 294 deals worth $51.8 billion, according to data from Refinitiv, an American-British provider of global market data.
The New York-based Skadden worked on several high-value deals in Q1. It has guided gaming company Activision Blizzard in the process of being acquired by Microsoft for $68.7 billion. It also advised companies such as EA Sports, Spotify, and Sony Music in major transactions, according to Reuters. The Boston-founded Goodwin handled the highest volume of deals of any law firm in Q1. These deals included representing software developer Citrix Systems in its $16.5 billion acquisition by Vista Equity Partners and Elliott Management affiliate Evergreen Coast Capital. Goodwin is currently on pace to advise on more deals in total than it advised on in 2021, when it provided counsel for 1,083 deals.
Other firms also did well in Q1 despite the total value of global deals falling from $1.3 trillion in Q1 of 2021 to $1 trillion in Q1 of 2022. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, which is advising Microsoft on its aforementioned acquisition of Activision Blizzard, was ranked second by deal value in Q1, according to Refinitiv. It announced that it worked on 53 deals worth $144.9 billion in Q1. Kirkland & Ellis advised on 207 deals worth $119 billion last quarter and was second only to Goodwin in volume of deals.
Matt Toole, Refinitiv’s Director of Deals Intelligence, explained that the technology and private equity sectors continue to fuel deal activity, according to Reuters. Technology M&A accounted for a quarter of total deals in Q1, the highest share on record, according to The Global Legal Post. Private equity-backed M&A deals increased 18% to approximately $291 billion, also a record.