The volume arm, which generated £6.6m in fees last year, is not seen as a core business for Dickinson Dees after being hit hard by the credit crunch.
Having first suffered the demise of its biggest client Northern Rock, the firm’s volume arm has made 64 redundancies in the past year.
It is understood that negotiations and due diligence with Optima are ongoing, with a deal expected to complete by the end of the year.
Optima, which spun off from DLA Piper in 2005, employs 900 staff and has a turnover of around £40m. Since going it alone it has received commercial backing from Capita, bought the volume business of Leeds-based Walker Morris and taken over Glasgow firm Turner MacFarlane Green and Bradford’s McKeags.