Tarlo Lyons in merger talks with Blake Lapthorn

South East firm Blake Lapthorn Linnell is negotiating a merger with 20-partner London firm Tarlo Lyons.

The deal will be Blake Lapthorn’s fourth merger in as many years.

Tarlo Lyons co-managing partner Warren Foot said: “Both firms are keen to reach a decision in weeks rather than months.”

Tarlo Lyons’ light has faded since coming to prominence during the dotcom boom. It has been trying to reinvent itself as a full-service firm and needs the critical mass that a merger would provide.

Blake Lapthorn managing partner Walter Cha said: “We’re looking to grow London and don’t think we can do that organically, so have identified a firm we want to talk to.”

At the end of the last financial year Blake Lapthorn had 207 lawyers and a £33.3m turnover. Tarlo Lyons’ turnover has slumped from around £10m in its 2001 heyday to around £6m, generated by 47 lawyers.