4 March 2004 by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Cliffe Dekker scoops M&A and service quality awards

Almost immediately following on its rating by corporates as SA's best law firm last week, Cliffe Dekker has now been ranked the No. 1 legal adviser by deal value for 2003 in the Annual DealMakers Mergers & Acquisitions activity rankings. The firm was also ranked No. 3 by deal flow at the DealMakers gala awards presentation held in Sandton on Tuesday, March 2.

Cliffe Dekker was also the legal advisor to Harmony in the gold mining company's merger with ARMI and Avmin, which was named Deal of the Year. The firm also advised Harmony in the year's third biggest deal - the Harmony and ARMgold merger.

In a year that DealMakers' publisher, David Gleason described as "one of the most miserable ever" for M&A business in SA, Cliffe Dekker advised on 48 deals valued at R30, 1bn.

Commenting on these achievements, Cliffe Dekker chairman Chris Ewing said, "These rankings underscore the firm's growing stature as a major force in M&A activity. They are a credit to the expertise and intellectual capacity of the firm's professionals."

On February 27, Cliffe Dekker was ranked as the country's No. 1 large law firm by corporate SA in an independent survey of major corporate users of legal services, and winner of the Professional Management Review (PMR) Diamond Arrow Award for 2004. The firm was comfortably ranked the best law firm in the country, both in the large firm category - winning 12 out of 17 attributes - and achieving the highest overall score of any firm across the three size categories in the survey.

Ewing says the rankings attest to a high level of client satisfaction with the firm's service quality.

"In a people and professional oriented business like ours, one cannot overestimate the value of nurturing strong client relationships. In the past two years in particular, the firm has renewed its focus on service and expanding our capabilities to deliver the range of expert advice that truly matters to clients. These recent awards would seem to indicate that we are on the right track," he said.

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