Californian firm Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker is in merger talks with the majority of the lawyers at New York practice Battle Fowler.
If the talks are successful, approximately 110 lawyers from Battle Fowler will join Paul Hastings, leaving about 60.
Seth Zachary, joint managing partner of Paul Hastings, says that his firm is planning to acquire the real estate, corporate and bankruptcy practices and a tax partner from Battle Fowler.
He says that the firm would then have the largest real estate practice in the US and possibly in the world.
Asked whether his firm's actions could mean the end of Battle Fowler, he says: “That firm is making its own decisions about its future and we are making ours.
“Our global footprint, you can't fulfil in a mid-size firm. They have clients that are global in nature and we like to think we are providing an opportunity. “
Zachary says that at 230 lawyers the office would have the biggest real estate, corporate and tax practices of any non-New York firm in the city.
He says that he hopes the talks, which are still at a preliminary stage, will be completed within a month.