Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters have topped the list of legal advisers to European mergers and acquisitions (M&A) by value and volume in 2010, according to Legal Week.

According to the rankings released by Mergermarket, Freshfields led the M&A rankings by value with roles in 179 deals worth $230.5 billion.

Linklaters topped the M&A rankings by volume, advising companies on 203 deals worth a total of $157.3 billion.

In 2009, Freshfields had claimed the top spot by both value and volume.

Though the overall value of European M&A increasing by 40 percent year-on-year to $644.2 billion, both the law firms saw the total value of the deals in which they participated as legal advisers fall marginally.

According to Mergermarket, Freshfields played the role of legal adviser on three of the 10 largest global deals of 2010 while Linklaters had a role in two of the largest 10 deals.

Interestingly, in the UK M&A tables by volume and value, DLA Piper and Freshfields led the ranks respectively.

In 2010, DLA Piper and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom topped the global rankings by volume and value respectively.

Most law firms feel that deal activity will increase in 2011 and sectors such as energy and power, as well as finance, consumer and media will be the drivers for growth. Cross-border deals in Asia and the emerging markets will lead the way.