International firm Reed Smith is in merger talks with Philadelphia-based Pepper Hamilton, the parties confirmed today. 

Reed Smith said both firms see ‘many potential benefits to joining forces’ based on their preliminary discussions.

The firm added: ‘There remains a significant amount of work to do with Pepper Hamilton to assess those benefits and before any transaction would be ready to bring to the Reed Smith partnership.’

Pepper Hamilton has 13 offices in the US with 500 lawyers, and is ranked among the 100 largest firms by revenue. However with revenues of $388.5m last year, its turnover was just over a third of that of Reed Smith.

Reed Smith has 1,800 lawyers and 26 offices across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the US. 

The news comes a few months after Reed Smith said it was cutting 45 lawyers roles from its offices in the US, Europe and the Middle East, as part of a restructure to help the firm remain competitive.