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ROBIN Thompson & Partners and Brian Thompson & Partners, the leading trades union and personal injury firms, are expected to announce the result of merger talks this week.
A partnership meeting at Robin Thompsons at the weekend is expected to confirm the timescale for the move. Both firms hope the merger will be soon.
Geoff Shears, Brian Thompson's co-ordinating partner, says: "An amalgamation of the firms lets us make the best possible use of our strengths to maximise our position in the market."
Frank Foy, co-ordinating partner at Robin Thompsons says: "There are lots of common sense reasons and sound political reasons.
"We are close. Is it a good idea? Would it be daft not to? The answer to both is yes."
The move would create a 54-partner, 155-fee earner firm with a client base of the biggest UK unions.
It would also return the firm to its 1974 position - when the brothers, now retired as consultants, split the WH Thompson firm for what was described as "administrative purposes".
The merger will be quick, as both firms have worked closely for years. They share clients, accounting and training and have the same working methods.
Brian Thompsons laid off almost 25 per cent of its technical staff earlier this year because of the eventual - and expected - decline of industrial deafness cases, for which it had previously expanded.