Legal firm Speechly Bircham has confirmed it is in talks with commercial law firm Withers.
The news follows last week’s report in trade newspaper The Lawyer that the two firms were poised for a merger.
In a statement issued jointly on behalf of both firms, a spokesperson said: “Withers and Speechly Bircham can confirm that they are in preliminary discussions regarding a potential merger.
“Both firms see exciting opportunities for growth in such a merger. Both Withers and Speechly Bircham have been growing their international offering in response to changes in the global legal market and the increasing importance of private capital in the world economy.
“There is still a lot more work to be done before any final decision can be reached and so we will not be issuing any further comment at this stage.”
Should both firms merge, it would result in a corporate entity that jumps straight into the top 25 UK firms.
Speechly restructuring partners Keith Bordell and Rupert Connell both joined in November 2011. Bordell joined from Travers Smith, where he headed its corporate recovery group.
Connell joined the firm from Barlow, Lyde & Gilbert, with over 25 years’ experience specialising in corporate restructuring & insolvency.