PEI Awards 2015 Legal Firms: KWM takes gold

King & Wood Mallesons picked up three awards for its achievements in Europe and Asia in 2015, alongside wins from Kirkland & Ellis, Debevoise & Plimpton and Clifford Chance.

In Private Equity International's 2015 awards the race was tight in the law firm of the year categories, but there was one standout winner. King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) came out on top in three categories.

The firm held onto its crown as Europe’s best law firm for fund formation for the fifteenth consecutive year, and knocked Clifford Chance off the perch it had occupied for 14 years as Law Firm of the Year in Europe for Transactions.

KWM's private equity group had an action-packed year in Europe. It was recognised for advising a number of notable deals, including on Ardian Co-investment IV, a €1.1 billion vehicle, which received commitments from more than 50 investors globally.

On the transaction side, KWM was also recognised for its part in Intermediate Capital Group’s £1.2 billion ($1.7 billion; €1.56 billion) disposal of equity, debt and co-investment interests in the portfolio of 34 European companies to a US investor.

In Asia, KWM also picked up the title for best fund formation law firm, after it was recognised for its work on China-focused vehicles and activity in the TMT and pharmaceuticals industries.

Kirkland & Ellis was another big winner, marking its third consecutive year as Law Firm of the Year in North America for Fund Formation.

Kirkland was recognised for a number of key fund formations last year, including one of the largest single closings in private equity history, the $12 billion Warburg Pincus XII, which held a “one and done” close after just six months in market.

Debevoise & Plimpton also reclaimed the gold title as Law Firm of the Year in North America for Transactions, a category it swept in the PEI Awards for 2011 and 2013. Last year, the firm represented 16 private equity clients in 29 announced transactions.

Clifford Chance also won an award for its achievements in Asia, marking its fourth consecutive year as Law Firm of the year in Asia for Transactions. During 2015, the firm worked with some of the biggest private equity players in the region, including CVC Asia Pacific and the Carlyle Group.

Click HEREto read our full coverage, which details which fund managers, investors, advisors and transactions; click HERE to read the list of Americas winners; click HEREto read the list of winners in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and HERE to view all winners in Asia.