Sullivan & Cromwell and Kirkland & Ellis were the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) legal advisers in the global automotive sector for 2020 by value and volume, respectively. Sullivan & Cromwell advised on five deals worth $10.28bn, which was the highest value among all advisers. Meanwhile, Kirkland & Ellis led in volume terms having advised on nine deals worth $3.7bn. A total 722 M&A deals were announced in sector during 2020, marking an 1.55% increase over the 711 deals announced in 2019, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData's report, 'Global and Automotive M&A Report Legal Adviser League Tables 2020', deal value decreased by 42.12% from $69.36bn in 2019 to $40.14bn in 2020.

Aurojyoti Bose, Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: "None of the advisors in the automotive sector registered double-digit deal volume during the COVID-19-hit 2020 and only one advisor, Sullivan & Cromwell, managed to cross the $10bn mark. Sullivan & Cromwell advised on three billion-dollar deals worth greater than or equal to $1bn. It also occupied the fourth position in terms of volume.

"Meanwhile, Kirkland & Ellis, despite advising on a relatively greater number of deals, failed to secure a ranking in the list of top ten advisers by value. It advised on a single billion-dollar deal only."

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom occupied the second position in GlobalData's ranking of legal advisers for M&As in the global automotive sector by value with four deals worth $7.23bn, followed by Davis Polk & Wardwell and Weil Gotshal & Manges with three deals each worth $6.3bn and $6.28bn, respectively.

Baker McKenzie occupied second position by volume with nine deals worth $2.53bn followed by Jones Day with six deals worth $245m.

Automotive M&A Top 10 Legal Advisers by Total Deal Value (2020)

2020 rank2019 rankAdviserNumber of deals 20202020 Value ($m)Number of deals 20202019 Value ($m)
11Sullivan & Cromwell510281551994
23Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom47228240007
34Davis Polk & Wardwell36300332688
416=Weil Gotshal & Manges3628321150
513Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer4517647631
68=Linklaters24672118856
720Simpson Thacher & Bartlett345732900
8=-Debevoise & Plimpton24000--
8=-Wilson Sonsini24000--
10-Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz14000--

Source: GlobalData Deals Database

Note: GlobalData's league table rankings is based on deal value. If value remains same for multiple advisers, deal volume is given weightage.

Automotive M&A Top 10 Legal Advisers Ranked by Volume (2020)

2019 rankAdviserNumber of deals 20202020 Value ($m)Number of deals 20202019 Value ($m)
12Kirkland & Ellis9370671490
225Baker McKenzie925322248
316=Jones Day62453-
43Sullivan & Cromwell510281551994
516=Ropes & Gray524713-
64Latham & Watkins5-57668
719=Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom47228240007
88Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer4517647631
95DLA Piper411151004
107Willkie Farr & Gallagher433419280

Source: GlobalData Deals Database

Note: GlobalData's league table rankings is based on deal value. If value remains same for multiple advisers, deal volume is given weightage.