Sullivan & Cromwell continue to lead the pack in the latest Thomson Financial’s latest survey.

Sullivan & Cromwell has stayed in pole position at the top of the US M&A tables for the first half of 2004, with corporate stalwarts Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and Cravath Swaine & Moore both surging up the table.

Sullivan kept the top place, which it secured in the first quarter, by advising on 45 deals worth $154.3bn, up 308% from the corresponding period in 2003, according to Thomson Financial.

Wachtell Lipton was second, advising on 24 deals worth $145bn, 851% more than the equivalent figure for last year, while Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom secured third place, advising on 50 deals worth $144bn.

Another strong performer was New York powerhouse Cravath. which surged back up the table to sixth place — up 22 places from this time last year.

The firm advised on 23 deals valued at a total of $69.2bn compared to the previous year’s figure of $5.6bn (£3bn).

Overall, the US saw $407.6bn worth of deals for the first half of 2004, which was up 99.3% from 2003’s first half total of $204.5.

While the largest M&A transactions so far this year have fallen in the first quarter of 2004 — including JP Morgan Chase’s $58bn tie-up with Bank One and Cingular Wireless’ $41bn takeover of AT&T Wireless — the second quarter has given way to a steady stream of solid but smaller multi-billion dollar deals.