Magic circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has emerged as one of the top global firms to advise on mergers and acquisitions, according to two separate pieces of research indicating the M&A market is back to pre-recession levels of growth.

Freshfields ranked second in the world for the value of deals it advised upon in the first half of 2014, according to the Mergermarkets H1 2014 Trend report. The firm advised upon $300.4bn (£175bn) worth of deals in the first half of 2014, an increase of 56.5% compared to the same period in 2013.

The only other UK firm to appear in the top 15 global M&A advisers was magic circle firm Linklaters, which was ranked 11th and advised on 103 deals worth $ (£82bn), a 51.5% increase.

The research valued total global M&A deals at $1.6trn (£933bn) for the first half of 2014, an increase of 56% on last year and the highest valued half year since 2007.

In a separate piece of research, Thomson Reuters’ Mergers & Acquisitions Review First Half 2014 ranked Freshfields third in the list of global M&A legal advisers, estimating the firm had advised on a total number of deals valued at $291bn (£170bn).

Reuters valued the total worldwide M&A market at $1.8trn (£1.04trn), during the first half of 2014, a 73% increase from comparable 2013 levels and the strongest first half for worldwide deal-making since 2007. 

Both lists ranked US firm Skadden as number one adviser on global M&A deals, estimating that it had advised on deals worth between $331.4-$387bn (£193bn-£225.7bn).