Dickinson Dees and Bond Pearce have revealed they are in talks over a potential merger that would create a combined firm with revenues of more than £90 million.
The move, which will put the combined firm in the U.K. top 40, comes after talks between Bond Pearce and Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens broke down in March.
Dickinson Dees, which is based in the northeast, has been looking to expand its geographical presence, with Bond Pearce's network of southern offices viewed as a complementary fit.
Outside of Newcastle, Dickinson Dees has offices in London, Leeds and Teesdale, while Bond Pearce has bases in Bristol, Plymouth, Southampton, London and Aberdeen.
Bond Pearce's turnover currently stands at £46.5 million alongside profits per equity partner (PEP) of £220,000, while Dickinson Dees recently posted a 2 percent turnover rise to £46.1 million for 2011-12, with PEP expected to be in the region of £240,000-£250,000.
Dickinson Dees managing partner Jonathan Blair said: "Bond Pearce's vision is to compete as a top 30 U.K. law firm by delivering the best service experience. Dickinson Dees' vision is to become, by 2020, a top 20 U.K. law firm.
"Our strategies, cultures, sector capabilities and geographic footprints appear to be sufficiently complementary as to warrant consideration of whether, in a rapidly consolidating market, a merger of our two firms would facilitate the execution of their respective strategies."
Bond Pearce managing partner Victor Tettmar added: "Both Bond Pearce and Dickinson Dees have clearly articulated strategies.
"By merging the two firms we could take a major step towards fulfilling our longer term strategic goals, implementing now a client and values driven merger to create a firm in the top 30 in the U.K. capable of delivering the strength in depth and specialist skills required by our clients, be they large corporates, major organizations or high net worth individuals. It is that opportunity that we now wish to explore."
Blair added: "We will not be making any further comment until our discussions have been completed."