Two City litigation firms are joining forces next month to create a practice handling ‘all forms of dispute resolution’.

London fraud specialist Byrne and Partners will be merging with PCB Litigation LLP on 1 April to create a 14-partner team. The firm – rebranded as PCB Byrne – will be located at Byrne and Partners current premises in 1 Plough Place, Holborn. The practice will have 49 fee earners and said it intends to develop its existing portfolio and scale up work across new markets in Asia, the Middle East, and Russia.

Last year, listed litigation funder Burford Capital bought a stake in PCB Litigation in what was described as the first transaction of its kind. The funder said the purchase of 32% of equity would finance a portfolio of matters and give it a stake in the firm's success overall.

Founded in 1979, PCB Litigation specialises in high value and complex commercial disputes across multiple jurisdictions. Meanwhile, Byrne and Partners specialises in commercial litigation, civil fraud and criminal defence.

Lockdown has seen a flurry of mergers in the legal sector, as firms - fortified by reduced costs and overheads - seek out ways to boost profitability. Carlisle firms Malcolm Dodds Solicitors and Wragg Mark-Bell; North-west firm WHN Solicitors and Accrington firm Rosthorns Solicitors; and Liverpool firm Astraea Legal and criminal firm Linskills have all announced mergers in the past six months.