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Resurgence in debt and equity capital markets sees Allen & Overy claim top spot for issuer and manager roles

Allen & Overy (A&O) has topped Thomson Reuters’ table of legal advisers on global debt and equity capital markets work for the first half of 2013, landing roles on 456 deals.

The Magic Circle firm came out in first place for both manager and issuer roles, advising on 350 and 106 deals respectively.

Clifford Chance, which held the top spot this time last year for issuer roles, has fallen into second position followed by US rivals Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in third, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in fourth and Sidley Austin in fifth. Linklaters came in joint eighth position, down from fifth place at the half year in 2012, however for manager roles it claimed second place, advising on 234 deals.

Philip Smith, a capital markets partner at A&O told Legal Business: ‘It’s been an incredibly busy period since October last year until about three weeks ago. A combination of huge volumes in the emerging market space combined with a resurgent European high yield market have driven volumes. The uptick in equity markets has also driven increased activity in the equity-linked market.’

In high yield the firm has recently expanded its team by making Jeanette Cruz up to partner and high profile debt capital markets deals have included advising the Co-operative Group Limited and The Co-operative Bank on a plan to fill a £1.5bn capital deficit led by Alistair Asher, who joined the Co-op as General Counsel at the start of the month.

Boyan Wells, former head of A&O’s capital markets group and now a member of the global board, told Legal Business: ‘The past year has been one of a high level of issuance and we are delighted to have played a large part in that.’

The combined debt and equity capital markets activity was valued at $3.4tn in the first six months of the year, which is 5.9% higher than the first half of 2012. As for continued growth in the area, Wells remains cautious, commenting: ‘Market reports suggest that market level will continue to be high but only time will tell.’