22 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – SEPTEMBER 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM COVER STORY Domestic activity saw a 55 percent decline while outbound deals saw a 70 percent plunge in H1 2023, according to Refinitiv. The equity market raised $7.7 billion in the first half of the year, a 20 percent year-on-year rise. Australia’s M&A outlook is proving to be resilient to the headwinds on local and global economic concerns. A Deloitte survey shows that while activity levels are not likely to boom to the levels of 2021, but most M&A leaders expect the number of deals they pursue to rise or remain stable over the next few months. WHAT’S IN STORE FOR H2 Buzz in investment banking circles is that dealmaking in Southeast Asia will lift Asian deal activity in the remaining months of 2023, as several sectors in local markets consolidate. PwC believes deal flow is likely to open up in H2 2023, particularly if sellers focus on pre-sale preparation and readjust pricing expectations. For many buyers, financing is getting increasingly difficult and a lot more expensive, which is placing more importance on alternative funding and trying to create value from a deal. Many believe the uptick seen in restructuring activity in H1 2023 will continue in the second half as financing pressures are growing for many, including higher cost of debt, tight credit and challenges in raising capital. PwC sees a need for market players to go deeper into M&A targets and identify levers of value that can help realise the potential of each transaction. This is already happening with more interest and greater focus on strategic repositioning as well as specific drivers of value like energy efficiency, green tax credits and sustainable financing. Going by the green shoots that are sprouting in multiple markets, there is optimism that the rest of 2023 will see some transformational M&A activity. While current macroeconomic conditions are likely to influence dealmaking activity, a more stable interest rate environment will make it easier to price transactions. • Puno & Puno • Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law Offices NOTABLE FIRMS • Cochingyan & Peralta Law Offices • DivinaLaw • Gorriceta, Africa, Cauton & Saavedra • Gulapa & Quicho / Gulapa & Lim (Gulapa Law) • Insights Philippines Legal Advisors • Kua Sy & Yeung Law Offices (“SKY Law”) • Martinez Vergara Gonzalez & Serrano • Morales & Justiniano • Platon Martinez Flores San Pedro & Leaño • Sarmiento Loriega Law Office • Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako SINGAPORE DOMESTIC TIER 1 • Allen & Gledhill • Rajah & Tann Singapore • Morgan Lewis Stamford • WongPartnership TIER 2 • Drew & Napier • TSMP Law Corporation TIER 3 • Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow • Bird & Bird ATMD • CNPLaw • Dentons Rodyk • Duane Morris & Selvam • Harry Elias Partnership • RHTLaw • Shook Lin & Bok NOTABLE FIRMS • Atlas Asia Law Corporation • Eng & Co • Oon & Bazul • Prolegis • Quahe Woo & Palmer • Virtus Law (Member of the Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance) • Withers KhattarWong SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL TIER 1 • Allen & Overy • Clifford Chance • Linklaters • Milbank TIER 2 • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer • Herbert Smith Freehills • Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee • Jones Day • Latham & Watkins • Norton Rose Fulbright • Morrison & Foerster • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom • White & Case TIER 3 • Ashurst • Dechert • DLA Piper • Gibson Dunn • HFW • K&L Gates Straits Law • King & Spalding • King & Wood Mallesons • Pinsent Masons MPillay • Shearman & Sterling • Sidley Austin • Stephenson Harwood (Member of the Stephenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance) NOTABLE FIRMS • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner • Clyde & Co • CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang (Singapore) • Eversheds Sutherland • LNT & Partners • Mayer Brown PK Wong & Nair • Nishimura & Asahi-Bayfront Law Alliance • Reed Smith SOUTH KOREA DOMESTIC TIER 1 • Bae, Kim & Lee • Kim & Chang • Lee & Ko • Shin & Kim • Yulchon