It’s hard to believe that it was roughly a half-year ago that the Covid-19 pandemic began in the U.S. and that we’re still firmly up against it.

Yet this explains why we skipped the Q2 edition of the Dealmaker Quarterly this year. Simply put, we like everyone else were scrambling at the time we’d normally have published that edition to figure out how to proceed with both day-to-day business and long-range plans, and in our case decided, as we decamped from our offices to work remotely, turned on-site events into virtual ones and otherwise made wholesale adjustments to the way we operate, to fast forward to Q3 for our purposes here.

So we find ourselves at a peculiar juncture where we celebrate our Deal of the Year awards for deal advisers to the most
compelling large-cap and middle-market transactions of 2019 while we come to terms with the daunting environment for deals in 2020. That leaves our latest edition of DQ straddling the line between the old and new. While reviewing last year’s winners, capped by profiles of Kirkland & Ellis in the large-cap category (page 20) and Willkie Farr in middle-market (page 28), we also highlight some of our most forward-looking analyses of this year’s activity. Tom Terrarosa describes the plight of the oil & gas industry (see “Shale’s End,” page 16). David Marcus analyzes how dealmakers are trying to adapt their terms and conditions to the new reality (“The New Normal,” page 6). Steve Gelsi details how private equity is reducing dealmaking doubt with platform transactions (“Adding On Certainty,” page 14). Ronald Orol delves into the problems the SEC may create for company-investor communications with easier disclosure rules (“Leading the Blind,” page 11). And David Hatch explores a new perspective that trustbusters are attempting to take with growing deal complexities (“Vertical Leap,” page 8).

All in all, we think you’ll find this an insightful package of feature writing for a challenging era, or what we can’t help but call, as in David M.’s overview, “Plague Year” (page 5).

May it end soon.

By Ronald Fink, Deputy Managing Editor

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