Cooley M&A: 2021 Year in Review

Firm recognized as one of the most active mergers and acquisitions firms in the world

Palo Alto – March 8, 2022 – As global mergers and acquisitions hit record levels in 2021, topping $5 trillion for the first time ever, Cooley’s M&A practice, led by co-chairs Barbara Borden and Jamie Leigh, continued to handle a large number of public and private transactions – with 365+ deals and more than $260 billion in aggregate deal value last year – making Cooley one of the most active M&A firms in the world, according to Bloomberg’s 2021 Global M&A Market Review Legal Rankings.

Cooley’s activity in 2021 earned the firm top recognitions on both Bloomberg and Mergermarket’s M&A legal rankings, most notably in Bloomberg’s top 4 for US M&A by count and top 6 for Global M&A by count, and Mergermarket’s top 4 for US M&A Exits by Deal Count and top 5 for Global M&A Exits by Deal Count.

To support these rankings, Cooley handled deals across a variety of industries while maintaining its market-leading position in technology and life sciences by working on some of the most notable deals of 2021, including: Arena Pharmaceuticals’ sale to Pfizer for $6.7 billion; Cornerstone OnDemand’s sale to Clearlake Capital for $5.2 billion; One Medical’s acquisition of Iora Health for $2.1 billion; Truebill’s agreement to sell to Rocket Companies for $1.275 billion; Uber’s agreement to acquire Drizly for $1.1 billion; Horizon Therapeutics’ acquisition of Viela Bio for $3.1 billion; and Baylis Medical’s agreement to sell its cardiology business to Boston Scientific for an upfront payment of $1.75 billion.

Other notable deals in 2021 included Sunbasket’s agreement to merge with Prüvit and Meredith’s concurrent sale of its TV broadcast group to Gray Television for $2.8 billion, and the spinoff and sale of its National Media Group to IAC’s Dotdash for $2.7 billion, as well as a number of deSPAC transactions, including SeatGeek’s agreement to combine with RedBall Acquisition Corp. and BowX Acquisition Corp.’s merger with WeWork

Cooley’s world-class transactional team has worked on 1,500+ M&A deals for an aggregate value of more than $520 billion since 2017, and has guided top companies and private equity sponsors in some of the market’s largest and most complex transactions. The 180+ member M&A group spans 17 major business and technology centers in the US, Europe and Asia, and represents all categories of participants in transactions. 

Outside of practice leadership, Cooley’s M&A practice group welcomed partners Erin Kirchner and Neal Aizenstein to the recently established Chicago office last year. Additionally, the M&A team continues to set the standard for gender parity in dealmaking. According to an August 2021 report published in the UC Irvine Law Review, of the 20 firms handling the most significant public M&A transactions from 2014 to 2020, Cooley was the only firm granting the same number of lead positions to women and men across M&A deals.

About Cooley LLP

Clients partner with Cooley on transformative deals, complex IP and regulatory matters, and high-stakes litigation, where innovation meets the law. 

Cooley has 1,500 lawyers across 17 offices in the United States, Asia and Europe.

Related Contacts
Jamie Leigh  Partner San Francisco
Barbara Borden  Partner San Diego
Related Practices & Industries

Mergers & Acquisitions