It was a spectacular October for dealmakers, with some $500 billion changing hands, $70 billion of which did so on Monday alone. And the wealth was spread very evenly among law firms and banks, though of course the banks don't get paid unless the deals close, and that's also the case for a small portion of some law firms' arrangements. Overall, however, two developments stand out in the world of deal advice: Boutique banks continued to go toe to toe with Wall Street's biggest, and attorney Scott Barshay of Paul Weiss got a tremendous endorsement from Qualcomm.
To be sure, October's ten largest transactions were heavy on bulge bracket banks, with Morgan Stanley (MS) , Citigroup (C) , Goldman Sachs (GS) JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC) dominating the list, but boutiques Evercore Partners (EVR) and Centerview Partners landed three mandates each. Evercore advised Qualcomm (QCOM) in its $47 billion agreement to buy NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) as well as the special committee of Hilton Worldwide Holdings (HLT) on Blackstone's $6.5 billion sale of a 25% stake in the company to China's HNA Group. Centerview is advising British American Tobacco (BTI) on its $47 billion bid for Reynolds American, General Electric (GE) on its $7.4 billion agreement to combine its oil and gas unit with Baker Hughes (BHI) , and the Qualcomm board.