National firm Browne Jacobson has confirmed it is in early discussions over a merger with construction and insurance law specialists Beale & Company.

The combined firm would have offices in eight city locations, including Dubai and Dublin, and more than 1,000 lawyers including 137 partners.

The combined turnover for 2016/17 is expected to be £82m, which would rank it in the UK top 50 by income.

In a joint statement Iain Blatherwick, managing partner at Browne Jacobson, and Antony Smith, senior partner at Beale & Company, said: ‘We have been in discussions for some time and can now confirm that we have agreed heads of terms. Our practice areas are highly complementary and we believe there is a strong strategic and cultural fit.

‘A combined firm would offer clear strategic benefits and deliver attractive long-term benefits for all our clients and people by enhancing the breadth and depth of our legal services in the UK, Ireland and internationally.’