TWO Hampshire law firms are to join forces in a multi-million-pound merger.

Blake Lapthorn and Morgan Cole will combine to create Blake Morgan with a turnover of £72m and a workforce of 900 – including 120 partners.

It will launch on July 1 with 304 members of staff stationed in Southampton.

Consultant Alan Hodgart, CEO of Hodgart Associates, which helped with the merger, said: “The merger brings together two businesses that are very complementary.”