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Herbert Smith Freehills is tipping the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT), financial services and property sectors as hot sectors as the firm again tops the M&A league tables.

Herbert Smith Freehills has led the way for M&A transactions in Australia and New Zealand, topping the Thomson & Reuters M&A legal advisor league tables for Q3 2017. It confirms the firm’s position as the market leader for Australia and New Zealand mergers and acquisitions.

The firm ranked:

  • 1st by deal count and deal value of announced deals in Australia and New Zealand (Thomson Reuters)
  • 1st by deal count and deal value of completed deals in Australia and New Zealand (Thomson Reuters)
  • 1st by value of announced deals in Australia and New Zealand (Bloomberg)
  • 1st by deal count of announced deals in Australia and New Zealand (Mergermarket)

The firm achieved these exceptional results despite the decrease in overall market activity in the region during the first nine months of the year, according to Thomson Reuters.

The Thomson Reuters reporting revealed Australian outbound M&A performed well this quarter, with a 39% increase in volume and only a 1% decline in the number of deals from the same period in 2016.

Partner Rebecca Maslen-Stannage explained this buoyancy in the market: “Technology deals have been active, and with the cross-media reforms set to become law we expect this activity to extend into the media sector. Financial services remains strong in a sector with rapidly changing market dynamics.”

She went on to say, “we are delighted to have had another strong quarter. We continue to see clients looking forward for strategic deals, having been through cost-cutting and efficiency programs and now being able to focus on building for the future.”

According to Thomson Reuters, announced Asia Pacific (ex Japan) M&A deals reached a combined total of US$712.7 billion, a decline of 4% when compared to the same period in 2016. This slight downturn has lessened from earlier in 2017, however, revealing growth in the months since Q1.

Partner Simon Haddy explained: “Once again, infrastructure and energy transactions have been a strong source of deal flow across the region. In Australia, for example, the continued activity in the renewables sector has been very pleasing – not only in terms of deal volumes, but also relation to the various sizes of deals and the range of parties participating.”

“We see activity levels remaining high as we move into the final quarter of 2017. There is a definite sense of energy among clients looking to transact before the holiday period”, he added.