Angus Maitland's PR outfit dislodged Brunswick from the top slot largely through its work advising confectionery giant Cadbury Schweppes on its £2.7bn acquisition of chewing gum firm Adams.
The deal secures Cadbury's place as the global number two gum firm, adding Adams brands Bubblicious, Bubbaloo, Halls, Dentyne and Trident to its stable.
Financial services specialist Penrose Financial makes a rare appearance at number two in the Deal Watch table, compiled according to figures produced exclusively for PRWeek by M&A information database Zephyr.
The agency scooped five deals totalling £2.5bn, the largest being French electricity and electronics firm Schneider Electric's £2.4bn sale of Legrand to a consortium of firms, including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and France's Wendel Investissement.
Penrose acted for the consortium via its four-year relationship with client KKR, alongside Kekst & Co in the US and Publicis Consultants in France.
Chime Communications' financial PR brands - Bell Pottinger Financial and Smithfield Financial - bagged 18 deals between them worth over £4bn, earning third and fourth places respectively, in the league.
Smithfield handled PR for brewing giant Scottish & Newcastle and its £1.3bn purchase of Finland's Hartwell.
Smithfield's sister agency Bell Pottinger handled 12 deals alone, including PR for tobacco and luxury goods client Compagnie Financiere Richemont's sale of a two per cent stake in British American Tobacco for £816m.
Brunswick lost four places since November, taking fifth place with deals worth £1.9bn.
The agency worked on client Compass Group's £712m sale of Little Chef and Travelodge to private equity business Permira.
Permira, advised by Finsbury on PR surrounding the acquisition, announced the deal just weeks after selling Homebase to GUS for £910m.
Last month also saw the completion of Logica's £480m takeover of CMG to form FTSE 100 firm LogicaCMG.
Maitland advised Logica, while Citigate Dewe Rogerson advised CMG on the deal.
CDR's Amsterdam-based sister agency Citigate First Financial - created from Incepta's takeover of First Financial last February - also handled CMG's PR in the Netherlands, securing its place at the bottom of the league.
DEAL WATCH DECEMBER 2002 RANKING
Ranking Financial PR Company No. Deal Value
of Deals pounds m
1 The Maitland Consultancy 3 3,250
2 Penrose Financial 5 2,516
3 Bell Pottinger Financial 12 2,155
4 Smithfield Financial 6 1,964
5 Brunswick 9 1,873
6 Citigate Dewe Rogerson 7 1,004
7 Finsbury 8 901
8 Tulchan Communications 2 500
9 Gavin Anderson & Company 9 485
10 Citigate First Financial 1 480
Source: Bureau van Dijk - ZEPHYR