West Midland law firms Manby Steward Bowdler and Fbc are to merge, it has been revealed.

The two practices will be known as the name Fbc Manby Bowdler LLP with effect from April 2008.

The move will create a regional practice of more than 300 people and, the firm said, will allow it to compete with larger city practices.

Manby's senior partner Gavin Southall said: "Both firms have found that there exist amazing synergies between us, which make the combination excellent for the business and local community."

Manby, which has 20 partners, has offices in Wolverhampton, Bridgnorth, Telford and Shrewsbury. Fbc - which was formed in 1978 by the merger of three West Midlands Solicitors firms and 19 partners - has offices in Wolverhampton, Willenhall and Telford.

A spokesman for both practices confirmed that there was unlikely to be any job losses as a result of the merger and that partners were now discussing how the new practice would be structured and organised.