According to Thomson Financial’s third quarter league tables, Freshfields moved into pole position after advising on 211 announced deals involving any European involvement worth $323.8bn (£171.4bn).
Linklaters, which topped the third quarter rankings in 2005, slipped down one place advising on 216 deals totalling $285.8bn (£151.3bn). Linklaters did, however, retain the number one spot for announced deals involving any UK involvement.
Further down the pecking order in the European rankings, Latham & Watkins and German firm Hengeler Mueller catapulted up the league table. Latham moved up 11 places to finish 11th, while Hengeler jumped 16 places to take seventh position.
Clifford Chance maintained the top spot for completed European deals, acting on 223 deals worth $244.4bn (£129.4bn), a $50.4bn (£26.6bn) jump from the same period last year. Freshfields, meanwhile, ranked second with a total rank value of $221.9bn (£117.4bn).
Meanwhile, in the global rankings Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom jumped three places to top the table thanks to the firm’s role on deals such as AT&T’s $89.4bn (£44.6bn) acquisition of BellSouth and E.ON’s $71.4bn (£37.8bn) bid for Endesa.
French firm Bredin Prat & Associes made the biggest jump in the worldwide announced M&A rankings, climbing to 18th spot compared to 77th during the same period last year.
Clifford Chance led the worldwide completed rankings, improving its number two spot as the same time last year.