Legal Business

Global London Focus: M&A – Hunting for whales


‘Initially the client was concerned, but the investment banks said: “A big tick for Gibson Dunn in public M&A in London.” Five years ago people would have said they don’t know us, now investment banks are pitching for us.’ Charlie Geffen, chair of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s London corporate practice, cites a mandate secured in early 2019 to answer the perennial question of whether US firms will ever directly challenge the Magic Circle in mainstream corporate work.

With his firm leaping up the M&A ranks by deal value – advising on $28.6bn UK deals in 2018, according to Mergermarket figures – the former Ashurst senior partner has some cause to be upbeat. Five years ago, when Geffen had only just walked through the door, the Los Angeles-born institution was nowhere to be seen among the top 20 law firms for substantive corporate work in the region, either in the UK or Europe.