Three of the south east's leading law firms have merged to form one of the largest practices in the region.

Argles & Court, Burstows and Stonehams will combine into a 40-member partnership on November 1, with a network of offices in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

The firm, to be known as Argles Court and Burstows, will have Raymond Harris, currently senior partner of Argles & Court and Tony Burstow, managing partner of Burstows as its joint chairmen.

The merger has occurred at a time when insurance panels are shrinking and insurers are looking for a principal representative in each UK region.