BIGGART Baillie is the latest Scottish law firm to announce a merger with a larger English practice.

It will link up with DWF, which has 10 offices across England, employs more than 1500 people and had a 20% rise in turnover to £102 million in the year to April 30, 2012.

The expansion into Scotland is DWF's third merger in recent months following tie-ups with Birmingham- based Buller Jeffries in April and Newcastle's Crutes at the end of last year. Biggart Baillie reported flat turnover of £16.15m in the 12 months to June 30, 2011.

The merged firm, which will have 1774 people, will be branded DWF Biggart Baillie in Scotland.

The deal is scheduled to complete on July 1. It is understood that there are no redundancies planned.

Alasdair Peacock, managing partner at Biggart Baillie, said: "These are exciting times in a rapidly changing legal market. Competition is fierce and this merger will enhance our ability to continue to compete at the top end of the market on quality and sector expertise. DWF's remarkable growth story is an obvious attraction and we are delighted to be part of that.

"The cultural fit is strong and our clients operating in Scotland and England will benefit from increased strength in depth, and also geographical coverage."

Andrew Leaitherland, managing partner at DWF, said: "We have ambitious growth plans and are always looking for ways to enhance our offering for clients and strengthen our UK-wide presence. Similarly, Biggart Baillie was keen to continue to expand and provide increased services for its growing client base outside of Scotland."

So far this year, McGrigors and Pinsent Masons, Andersons and DAC Beachcroft, and TLT and Anderson Fyfe have all announced merger proposals.

Biggart Baillie can trace its history to 1894 when Thomas Biggart and Harry Lumsden went into partnership in Glasgow to form Biggart Lumsden.

It merged with Baillie and Gifford in 1974 then did a further merger with Steedman Ramage in 2001.