Media speculation is linking Irwin Mitchell with a merger that could create a UK top-20 firm.

Reports have suggested the national firm could agree a tie-up with Thomas Eggar, although both firms have refused to confirm if the rumours are true.

Irwin Mitchell, which stands on the brink of the top 20 with 2014/15 turnover of £210m, has made no secret of its expansion plans, with several takeovers in recent years and talk even of a flotation on the stock market.

The firm, largely built on consumer law, has gone public with its prediction that it will become the ‘legal brand of choice’ after further growth. It secured £60m in funding from three lenders last year and since 2012 it has acquired six firms, including Mayfair-based wealth services provider Berkeley Law and personal injury specialist MPH Solicitors.

The group said the fastest-growing section was its business last year legal services division, which recorded a double-digit increase in turnover.

Thomas Eggar, with turnover last year around £41m is nestled in the top 50-100 bracket of firms. It offers a mixtures of services for business and private client markets. The firm has six offices across the south of England and in London.

Spokespeople for both firms said they had no comment to make on speculation and declined to confirm if talks were being held.