Clifford Chance is ranked eleventh with $390bn (£242bn) worth of deals. Norton Rose, which acted for Mannesmann in the Vodafone bid, did $273bn (£170bn) worth of deals last year.
But City stalwart Slaughter and May, which has consistently resisted the creep of globalisation, does not figure in the tables.
Slaughters corporate partner Patrick Balfour denies that his firm has fallen behind. He says: "Year on year firms go up and down the tables and I don't think that globalisation is just led by your ranking on a league table."
A source at Allen & Overy, which also failed to make the grade, says the firm failed to rank because the US & UK practices included in the table were involved in some of the biggest mergers and acquisitions of last year.
But Freshfields' head of corporate Barry O'Brien believes firms need to have global as well as local capabilities. He says: "There are now a significant number of deals which do not touch the UK or only touch it indirectly.