Major influence

DEALS driven by Wesfarmers have had a big influence on the legal league tables for mergers and acquisitions activity during the past six months.

Wesfamers’ move to change its ownership structure with the purchase of Franked Income Fund, and its more recent bid for Howard Smith in deals worth a combined $5.2 billion, have helped national law firms Freehills and arch rival Allens Arthur Robinson Group ride to the top of the Thompson Financial charts.

Allens led the race for providing legal advice on 19 deals amounting to about $25 billion announced between January 1 and June 30 where the target was an Australian company.

Those deals included acting for Cable & Wireless Optus, which was being taken over by SingTel, and Howard Smith.

Freehills topped the pile for deals completed within the same period, providing advice on 27 deals worth about $20 billion. Freehills acted for Wesfarmers and also advised Rosemount Estate in its takeover by Southcorp.

Both the firms also were involved in the BHP-Billiton merger.

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