International firm Trowers & Hamlins will continue its regional expansion next month through a merger with Devon practice Stones Solicitors.

The deal will create a combined firm of nearly 800 people with turnover of about £85m.

Trowers & Hamlins senior partner Jennie Gubbins (pictured) said the merger would enable the firm to build on its existing real estate offering in the south-west, ‘in particular helping us to broaden out from our social housing and public sector heritage’.

For the first time the firm would also be able to offer corporate and private wealth advice from a ‘regional base’, enabling it to expand its regional non-public sector practice, Gubbins said.

Trowers & Hamlins has offices in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Exeter, London, Malaysia, Manchester and Oman. It has strengthened its regional presence in recent years by opening an office in Birmingham, taking on more office space in Exeter and moving to larger premises in Manchester.

The firm’s regional offices have more than 90 fee-earners, including 21 partners, specialising in real estate, construction, public sector and local government, dispute resolution, banking and finance, and employment.

With offices in Exeter and Okehampton, Stones Solicitors’ practice includes agriculture and environment, travel and tourism, healthcare, real estate and residential development, and private client.

The merger comes into effect on 1 October.

The new firm will be known as Trowers & Hamlins. In Exeter, it will be known as Trowers & Hamlins incorporating Stones Solicitors for two years post-completion of the deal.