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Werksmans dominates in two of the most credible M&A surveys in the country – South Africa Law & Business

LawFuel.com – Legal Newswire Service – Werksmans has once again taken pole position in the Ernst & Young’s Mergers & Acquisitions Review of Activity 2008 (18th edition) with wins in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) by both deal flow and deal value. Werksmans scooped this accolade based on the 67 deals, valued in excess of R162 billion, that it advised on in 2008.

This award further bolsters Werksmans’ already impressive M&A credentials. In the recent DealMakers 2008 Legal Advisers awards, Werksmans won three of the four categories, taking first place for M&A transactions both by volume and value, and also achieving first place by value in corporate finance.

“Our achievement in the Ernst & Young survey is particularly significant when you consider the 63% gap in the number of deals between ourselves and the nearest ranked firm in what has been a challenging year for M&A activity,” says Gareth Driver, head of Werksmans’ commercial department and M&A specialist. “Not only did we win on both deal flow and value, but Werksmans advised on all of the top five recognised mega transactions of 2008.”

Werksmans’ skills and depth of expertise is its competitive edge in the M&A arena. “What sets us apart is that our team consists of solution-orientated dealmakers with the knowledge, flair and insight needed to succeed in this demanding field of law,” continues Driver. “Having the necessary skills base and support from our loyal clients is what has kept us at or near the top of the list of corporate law firms almost every year since these awards commenced.”

“Our recent merger with Cape-based Jan S. de Villiers will further cement Werksmans’ status as South Africa’s leading M&A legal powerhouse,” he adds.

Despite the overall slowdown in deal flow, Driver still sees opportunity, particularly in re-structuring and the value proposition that will be offered as assets become available due to financial distress arising from the world economic crisis.

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