Jones Day has come out on top, upsetting rival Kirkland & Ellis, as the law firm with the most private equity merger and acquisition activity in the US for 2014, according to research conducted for pfm by Pitchbook.
Jones Day worked on 93 private equity-backed M&A transactions last year while DLA Piper came in second place with 86 deals and former frontrunner Kirkland & Ellis came in third with 81 deals. The rankings are based on the number of deals conducted within the year, regardless of size. Deals in which a firm advised multiple parties are only counted once for that firm.
Compared to last year’s rankings, this year’s figures show that deals formerly conducted by Kirkland are being stolen by competitors. In 2013, Kirkland was the clear victor, far surpassing its rivals with 143 deals. Second place was held by Latham & Watkins with 71 deals and Jones Day came in third with only 45 deals.
Jones Day’s rise in the rankings might be due to the fact that the firm has been bulking up its deal team in the past year. Earlier this month, Timothy FitzSimons joined the firm's Chicago office as a partner in its M&A practice. He was previously a partner with Latham & Watkins. Last April, the firm hired private equity deals lawyer Louis Mercedes as partner in the group’s Boston office. He was previously with Edwards Wildman Palmer.