Thomson Financial’s first-quarter law firm rankings have just been released, with Sidley Austin Brown & Wood named Number 1 legal advisor to issuers of US debt, equity and equity-related securities through the first three months of 2003. It’s a position the firm has held steadily for the last several years running.
Deal volume slowed this quarter due to a number of factors, including recent market uncertainty during the war in Iraq. However, the dollar volume of financings remained strong. Consider that as issuer counsel, Sidley led all legal advisors with 57 deals, down from 89 a year ago. Yet those 57 financings raised $32.3 billion for the quarter, a pace that would surpass the total debt and equity proceeds of $112 billion raised in all the firm’s 2002 deals, a total that also led all other US law firms.
Sidley continued to hold high rank and lead positions in several other first quarter categories (all US financings):
Debt, Equity & Equity-related – In addition to Number 1 issuer counsel, Sidley was Number 2 manager counsel, with $41 billion raised in 90 deals Investment Grade Debt – Number 1 issuer counsel; Number 3 manager counsel
Straight Debt (including mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities) — Number 1 issuer counsel; Number 2 manager counsel; and Number 2 issuer counsel for straight debt excluding MBS and ABS components
Mortgage-backed Securities – Number 1 issuer counsel; Number 3 manager counsel Investment Grade Debt –Number 1 issuer counsel; Number 3 manager counsel Preferred Stock — Number 1 issuer counsel, with nearly 27% market share on 11 issues; Number 2 manager counsel Asset-backed Securities – Number 2 manager counsel, with 33 deals representing a 17% market share Non-convertible debt – Number 2 issuer counsel, with 17 deals accounting for $15 billion “Certainly the quality issuers have taken full advantage of the favorable rate environment, which helps account for more proceeds being raised through fewer deals,” said Mark Wiltshire, co-head of Sidley’s capital markets group in New York. “We are pleased to be pacing the corporate issuer market once again in 2003.”
“Aside from interest rates, there hasn’t been a lot to drive the capital markets in recent months, but we see some hopeful signs of corporate expansion that could give a lift to certain sectors in the upcoming quarters, which in turn could give a bounce to deal flow,” Mr. Wiltshire added.
The latest Thomson rankings follow American Lawyer’s annual Corporate Scorecard, in which Sidley was named the Number 2 corporate finance practice in the US, based on the firm’s top ranks in 14 different transactional categories.