South East firm Blake Lapthorn Linnell is set to merge with Hampshire-based White & Bowker, which will create a new regional giant with an estimated turnover of £40m.
The partners of both firms have voted in principle to merge, subject to final terms. The proposed merger would take place from 1 May and it is anticipated that the new firm will be named Blake Lapthorn Linnell.
The combined firm would have around 85 partners and more than 300 lawyers. This would make it the largest firm in the region by both turnover and number of partners.
Blake Lapthorn is predicting a profit per equity partner (PEP) this year of around £160,000, which will be a significant improvement on last year's disappointing PEP of £125,000.
Blake Lapthorn senior partner Jonathan Lloyd-Jones told The Lawyer: "We've always said we wanted to grow both through merger and organic growth. White & Bowker complements us both in terms of practice areas and geography."
Niall Brook, managing partner of White & Bowker, said: "Joining the two firms makes perfect business sense and will ultimately provide clients with a better law firm."
White & Bowker's main practice areas are charity, private client and real estate. It has offices in Winchester and Chandler's Ford, Hampshire. Blake Lapthorn has offices in Southampton, Oxford, Fareham, Portsmouth and London.