Vizards Staples & Bannisters and AE Wyeth have agreed to merge in the autumn of 2001.

The new name of the firm will be Vizards Wyeth and it will have 40 partners supported by 200 solicitors, legal executives and support staff.

Martin Staples, the immediate past president of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (Foil), is the new firm's senior partner.

The firm's insurer clients include Norwich Union, Zurich, Royal & Sunalliance, Iron Trades and NIG, as well as Airtours, BAA and Mowlems in respect of liability claims.