Mid-tier British-based law firms Pinsent Masons and McGrigors have agreed to merge following a partner vote, the companies said in a statement on Monday.

The combined firm, which will use the Pinsent Masons name, will employ more than 2,500 people and have offices across Britain as well as in Asia Pacific, Dubai and Qatar. It also plans to open offices in France and Germany later this year.

Last year saw a string of legal firm mergers, including Clyde & Co joining forces with Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, and Beachcroft with Davies Arnold Cooper.

Cross border tie-ups saw British law firm Ashurst and Australia's Blake Dawson announce plans to merge by 2014, while Canadian law firm Macleod Dixon joined international law firm Norton Rose Group on January 1 this year.

As well as consolidation driven by economic uncertainty, law firms face increased competition following the introduction of new rules under the Legal Services Act in October last year which enabled non-law firms to offer legal services for the first time and non-lawyers to invest in and own legal practices.

Scottish-based McGrigors had turnover of 70 million pounds last year, according to The Lawyer magazine, while London-headquartered Pinsent Masons had a turnover of 212.5 million pounds.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Greg Mahlich)