Two small Washington law firms that specialize in representing financial institutions have announced their intentions to merge, effective Jan. 1.

Silver, Freedman & Taff and Elias, Matz, Tiernan & Herrick — which currently have 15 lawyers and 11 lawyers, respectively— will be called Silver, Freedman, Taff & Tiernan, the firms said last week.

Silver, Freedman & Taff, founded in 1971, primarily represents commercial banks, savings institutions, trust companies and credit unions with assets between $25 billion and $50 billion. Elias, Matz, Tiernan & Herrick, also founded in 1971, represents financial institutions and private equity funds in initial public offerings, debt financing and mutual to stock conversions.

The combined firm will have represented issuers and underwriters in more than 1,000 securities offerings raising more than $40 billion, and buyers and sellers in 800 mergers and acquisitions worth $50 billion.

“With this combination, we have assembled under one roof the leading attorneys in our industry,” Bob Freedman, senior partner at Silver, Freedman & Taff, said in a statement. “We are acutely aware of the needs of our bank and credit union clients, the regulatory environment they face and the strategic paths available to accomplish their goals. This combination expands our capacity and expertise further.”

Law firm mergers have jumped this year as the legal industry continues to grasp for ways to grow despite flat demand for legal services. There were 58 law firm mergers announced in the first nine months of 2013 — up 41 percent over the same period a year earlier, according to legal consulting group Altman Weil.