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Deal activity focused on US as Brexit vote puts buyers off Europe, says Hogan Lovells boss

Businesses may be deploying deal capital to the U.S. as a cloud of Brexit uncertainty hung over Europe, the CEO of international law firm Hogan Lovells said.

"The U.S. market is still pretty frothy, there is still a lot of M&A activity across the U.S. market…If you have a choice between deploying capital into the U.K. or Europe, where there is this uncertainty, or deploying it into the U.S., there is probably a tilt in the favor of the U.S.," global chief executive Steve Immelt told "Squawk Box".

Data from Thomson Reuters showed that merger and acquisition activities involving U.K. companies fell 70 percent on-year in the first half of the year to $57.6 billion.

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Christopher Furlong | Getty Images
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"In terms of London-based transactional practice, it's been hands down pretty much for the last three to four months," Immelt said.

The lawyer added there did not appear to be appreciable shift of capital to Asia or other developing regions, which indicated businesses were focused on U.S. deals or were waiting for the final decision on the Brexit. A referendum on June 23 will decide whether Britain remains within or leaves the European Union (EU) trade block.

He added that should the U.K. choose to leave the EU, M&A was likely to remain slow until there was clarity on what the decision meant, which could take "a long time."

A leave vote would require two years or more of exit negotiations, according to most estimates.

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