Voting is now ongoing for the coveted 2014 Private Equity International Awards, which – among other questions – asks the industry which law firms and placement agents have carried out the most impressive body of work over the last 12 months.
In Europe, King & Wood Mallesons (which merged with London-based SJ Berwin in late 2013) and Clifford Chance will be fighting to preserve their respective 13-year hot streaks as best law firms for fund formation and deal advisory work respectively. While across the Atlantic, Kirkland & Ellis will try to retain its crown as North America’s best law firm for fund formation after snatching the title a year ago from long-time winner in the category Debevoise & Plimpton. Taking this rivalry even further, Debevoise will try to start a new winning run as North America’s preferred law firm for deal work after knocking Kirkland to the number two spot in the category. And keep an eye out here for Latham & Watkins too, which advised on an impressive 20 leveraged buyout transactions worth a combined $14 billion in 2014, second only to Kirkland in last year’s Mergermarket US legal advisory league tables.
One of the most competitive categories is shaping up to be Asia law firm of the year for fund formation. Debevoise won the award last year, ending O’Melveny & Myers three year winning streak in the category. In 2014, Debevoise continued its impressive Asia-focused work, including advising on the $1.7 billion Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia fund, but a number of its rivals, including Clifford Chance, Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Dechert are all fierce contenders after their substantial Asia fundraising work in 2014.
Elsewhere in Asia, Clifford Chance will fight to hold onto its title as best firm for deal work after dethroning Debevoise in 2013. One thing that should help its chances is having completed transactions for multiple private equity firms, including the KKR-led buyout of COFCO Meat and CVC’s numerous deals across the region.
There are nearly 70 categories in all across three regions: the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. You'll have the chance to vote on best placement agent of the year, best law firm for fund formation and best law firm for transactions for each specific region.
The resulting awards are the industry’s most comprehensive, and the only ones voted on entirely by the industry for the industry. That is, they are totally independent; there is no sponsorship, no panel of judges. They are the practitioners' awards.
Voting closes at midnight PST on Friday, January 16. For more information and to vote now, click HERE.