19 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – SEPTEMBER 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM COVER STORY SMALLER DEALS M&A activity in 2023 has not been attention-grabbing grabbing with not a single mega-deal announced during the first half of the year. A mega-deal refers to deals worth more than $25 billion. Bankers believe large deals involving organisations with a presence in several geographies are becoming more and more difficult to pull off due to higher scrutiny from regulators around the world. One notable change is that antitrust lawyers are being brought into the M&A process much earlier than before, which is also slowing down deals. Nevertheless, there has been a healthier level of mid-market deals as companies pursue strategic growth agendas. Smaller deals also help companies with transformation and growth plans, and mid-market transactions are expected to dominate the market in the remaining months of the year. CHINA LEADS THE DROP The decline in deal volumes in the region was triggered by a fall in M&A activity in China, traditionally Asia’s biggest deals market ahead of Australia and South Korea. Refinitiv data shows deals involving Chinese companies fell 35 percent compared to a year earlier, which is a decade low. Outbound M&A plunged to the lowest level since 2006. China’s outward direct investment touched $75.4 billion, a 9.6 percent growth on a year-on-year basis, according to E&Y, a global consulting and accounting firm. Chinese companies declared total overseas M&A value of $11.7 billion, a 14 percent fall from a year ago, and the lowest in a decade. E&Y says 224 deals were announced in the first half of 2023, indicating a 13 percent decline on a year-on-year basis. Sector-wise, E&Y data shows the power and utilities sector was at the top in terms of deal value, financial services ranked second, and advanced manufacturing and mobility came in third. These three sectors accounted for 54 percent of total deal value in H1 2023, with power and utilities seeing the biggest surge. • LexCounsel • P&A Law Offices • Rajani & Associates • Sarthak Advocates & Solicitors • Singh & Associates • Singhania & Partners • Spice Route Legal • Tatva Legal • Vertices Partners • Wadia Ghandy & Co NOTABLE FIRMS • Ahlawat & Associates (NEW) • AKS Partners • Archer & Angel • Begur & Partners • Burgeon Law • Caibre Legal • Dua Associates • Gravitas Legal • Khaitan & Khaitan • Lakshmikumaran & Sridharan, Attorneys • Mansukhlal Hiralal & Co • NovoJuris Legal • Pioneer Legal • Sagus legal • Stratage Law Partners, Advocates & Solicitors • Tempus Law Associates • Vaish Associates, Advocates INDONESIA TIER 1 • ABNR Counsellors at Law • Assegaf Hamzah & Partners • Ginting & Reksodiputro in association with Allen & Overy • Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners, a member firm of Baker McKenzie • Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung in association with Herbert Smith Freehills • SSEK Legal Consultants TIER 2 • Dentons HPRP • Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo • Makarim & Taira S. • Makes & Partners • Melli Darsa & Co • Oentoeng Suria & Partners in association with Ashurst • Soemadipradja & Taher • Walalangi & Partners (in association with Nishimura & Asahi) • Widyawan & Partners TIER 3 • AYMP Atelier of Law • Christian Teo & Partners • Hogan Lovells DNFP, in association with Dewi Negara Fachri & Partners • Mochtar Karuwin Komar • Roosdiono & Partners • UMBRA – Strategic Legal Solutions NOTABLE FIRMS • Adisuryo Dwinanto & Co (ADCO Law) • Adnan Kelana Haryanto & Hermanto • Azwar Hadisupani Rum & Partners • Budiarto Law Partnership • Budidjaja International Lawyers • FKNK Law Firm • Hendra Soenardi • Hutabarat Halim & Rekan (HHR Lawyers) • IABF Law Firm • Imran Muntaz & Co • Leks&Co • Sutedja & Associates • TNB & Partners in association with Norton Rose Fulbright Australia • TnP Law Firm JAPAN DOMESTIC TIER 1 • Anderson Mori & Tomotsune • Mori Hamada & Matsumoto • Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu • Nishimura & Asahi • TMI Associates TIER 2 • Atsumi & Sakai • Ushijima & Partners TIER 3 • City-Yuwa Partners • Hibiya-Nakata • Kojima Law Offices • Miura & Partners