BOSSES at Oxford law firm Henmans have agreed to merge the practice with a larger rival.

The company, which employs 120 staff based on the Oxford Business Park, is set to link up with Freeth Cartwright to form an integrated business worth almost £50m.

Malcolm Sadler, senior partner at Henmans, said: “This merger presents us with an opportunity to expand our client base across the country.

“By combining our resources, Henmans and Freeth Cartwright will become a key player among the UK’s top law firms. This is a very exciting time for Henmans and we very much look forward to the opportunities this merger will provide.”

The integrated group will have 629 staff including 125 partners and 10 offices nationally.

It is understood the merger will be officially launched next February when Henmans will rebrand as Henmans Freeth.

Freeth Cartwright has offices in Birmingham, Derby, Leicester, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Sheffield and Stoke on Trent.

Chief executive Peter Smith said: “This merger is a major step forward for both firms in achieving our long-term strategic objectives and strengthens the services we are able to offer.”