City firm Turner Kenneth Brown is in merger talks with Nabarro Nathanson. If successful, the union would ensure Nabarros' position as a top ten law firm by adding TKB's 34 partners to Nabarros' 100-plus.
Both firms are cautious about discussing their courtship, however, following the collapse of TKB's talks with Alsop Wilkinson last summer.
Jeffrey Greenwood, Nabarros' outgoing senior partner says: "We are in exploratory discussions with partners at Turner Kenneth Brown to see if there is a fit between our two businesses. These discussions are at an early stage."
Jim Edmundson, TKB managing partner, says: "We are anxious to ensure that this is kept in context and we don't get too carried away. These things take time."
Greenwood says his firm's plan is for profitable, long-term growth and so is open to lateral hiring or merger opportunities.
Edmundson says: "We regard the two firms as a very good fit. The respective sizes of the firms mean that in no way is it an equal match. I would not call it a takeover, but others will, I'm sure."