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International law firm DLA Piper and its Australian affiliate, DLA Phillips Fox, are to merge to create the largest legal practice in the Asia Pacific region and the world’s biggest law firm.

Partners in both firms are expected to give their consent next month, allowing the merger to be completed at the start of May.

DLA Piper’s Sheffield-born chief, Sir Nigel Knowles, said: “The cementing of the relationship between DLA Piper and DLA Phillips Fox is part of our Global Strategy and is an integral part in helping us become the world’s leading business law firm.

“With the integration of DLA Phillips Fox, DLA Piper will be the world’s largest business law firm, uniquely positioning our firm to serve the world’s leading enterprises wherever they may conduct business.”