Law firms Hammond Suddards and Edge Ellison are merging to create one of the UK's ten biggest firms, with offices in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

The new firm, to be called Hammond Suddards Edge, will advise 18 FTSE companies employing 185 partners and 900 lawyers.

Turnover is expected to top £135m. It is hoped that resulting economies of scale will allow the company to invest in IT and overseas resources, as well as to attract more legal talent to the firm.

John Heller, Hammond Suddards' senior partner, welcomes the merger: "The strategic and cultural fit between the two firms is extraordinarily good. Edge Ellison has extensive experience in media, marketing and digital technology. This fits very well with our strengths in financial services and utilities."