Broker group Layton Blackham expects to grow to a premium income of £50 million following its friendly acquisition of Chambers and Newman, one of the largest independent brokers in West London.

The deal is one of the largest acquisitions completed by Layton Blackham under its Quantum Leap initiative. Its combined staff increases to around 270.

Chambers and Newman earns more than £4 million commission with 70 staff. It derives 70% of its business from general insurance, primarily commercial lines, and 30% from the independent financial adviser market.

Chris Blackham, Layton Blackham chairman, said that the partnership would place it at the forefront of the UK composite broking market.

He explained: "This is a good deal for our clients, staff and shareholders. It will enable the group to set in place a powerful framework of services that will be the composite broker of the future."

He added: "This is a very exciting time for everyone in our market who is willing to embrace change and by bringing together two major provincial broking forces we can add real value to the service we provide to our clients."

Chris Dongray, managing director of Chambers and Newman, was confident the merger would work since both firms shared the same philosophy of using IT systems to provide a high quality broking service.

A personalised approach had served Chambers and Newman well, he said, with some of its clients having been with the firm since it was established 50 years ago. He added that the acquisition would be a seamless process, with Chambers and Newman retaining its existing staff and directors.