Global M&A activity remained slow in the second quarter, with deal volume sitting at its lowest levels in three years, according to the latest M&A Trends & Insight for Lawyers report from Thomson Reuters Business Law Advisor – M&A. U.S. and UK M&A activity, however, bucked the global trend, with volume up 14 percent and 13 percent respectively.

Private equity deal volume and total deal values were up compared with the first quarter (up 14 percent and 48 percent, respectively), yet activity is running behind the comparable time period from a year ago.

Global M&A activity in the first half was generally slower compared to 2011. Continued economic and political uncertainties in many parts of the world may further dampen activity in the coming months. However, the increased activity in the U.S. and UK is an encouraging sign. High levels of corporate cash reserves and untapped private equity funds mean that potential buyers will continue to be on the lookout for opportunities that make strategic sense.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded here