Law firm keeps busy

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Slaughter & May, the City legal firm, has for the second year running topped the league table for lawyers working for merchant banks or companies in UK public takeovers, writes Martin Flanagan.

The firm acted in 16 deals worth a total of £4bn. This reflected a sharp increase in takeover activity - in 1993 it achieved first place with 13 deals valued at £1.8bn.

Last year Slaughter & May was used by LWT when the company was taken over by Granada, and by the Westland helicopters group which failed to retain its independence following the GKN bid. It also acted in the biggest failed deal of last year when it helped Lasmo to repel the £1.6bn bid from Enterprise Oil.

Freshfields was second in the league table, compiled by Acquisitions Monthly. It worked on 11 deals worth a total of £3.6bn.