Top-60 firm Blake Lapthorn has confirmed it has held talks with two other firms about possible mergers.

The south-east firm said discussions have been held with Cardiff-headquartered Morgan Cole and Reading firm Boyes Turner.

Combined, the firms posted £94m in turnover last year and have around 470 lawyers, and around 160 are partners.

In a statement, Blake Lapthorn managing partner Walter Cha said: ‘In common with all firms, Blake Lapthorn has been looking to seek advantage in a competitive legal market. A merger is one of the many options we have been exploring and Morgan Cole and Boyes Turner – both excellent firms – have been among those we have talked to.  

‘Discussions have not progressed beyond first stages at this juncture and it is too early to say whether talks will continue with either of the firms or indeed others. We will not be commenting further until and unless there is anything to put before our partners and staff.’

Blake Lapthorn is the biggest of the trio, with turnover in 2012/13 of £45.6m and 234 lawyers, of which 86 are partners.

Morgan Cole saw revenue drop almost 8% last year to £33.7m, while Boyes Turner posted £14.7m turnover – a 4% year-on-year increase.

The three are the latest mid-sized firms to discuss joining forces in recent months. Last week top-60 firms Wragges and Lawrence Graham confirmed they were ‘exploring how clients might benefit from our two firms forming closer ties’.