Shearman & Sterling is on the verge of voting on a merger with Italian firm Chiomenti e Associati.
The vote will be the culmination of talks between Shearmans and the corporate and commercial firm, which have been on-going since March.
Chiomenti recently acted on behalf of Italian state-owned electricity company Enel on the world's largest initial public offering (The Lawyer 8 November).
An Italian source says: “Shearmans is going to go to the partnership for approval and a vote is imminent.”
But Carlo Croft, a senior partner at Chiomenti, denies that the two firms are in talks.
Commenting on the firms' current strategy, Croft says they are working closely with Slaughter and May.
Last month Shearmans expanded its French office by taking on 13 lawyers, including three partners, from rival firm Simeon & Associes.
Eversheds is also looking to expand in Europe after setting up an Italian desk in its London office in May. The firm is talking to a number of practices in the Italian market but a spokeswoman at Eversheds refuses to reveal which firms it is in discussions with.
Shearmans was unavailable to comment.