TWO major commercial property firms have announced a merger.

Vail Williams has joined forces with with Hughes Ellard.

Hughes Ellard’s four directors – Gary Jeffries, Carl Walker, Russell Mogridge and Nik Cox - will become equity partners in Vail Williams.

All other members of the 25-strong Hughes Ellard team will take up equivalent roles in either Vail Williams’ Southampton or Portsmouth offices.

The move will result in a combined team of more than 50 based in the Solent.

In total, the Vail Williams national team will now number more than 160 across eight offices.

Vail Williams is entering the final year of an ambitious three-year growth plan instigated by managing partner, Matthew Samuel-Camps, at the start of his tenure in 2015.

The latest deal follows on from Vail Williams’ acquisitions of business rates specialists Bisset Moffatt Hill in 2016 and the general rating division of Ruddle Merz in 2017.

Mike Greenwood, Vail Williams’ regional managing partner for the Solent, who worked at Hughes Ellard earlier in his career, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to combine our two businesses, giving us the ability to service our clients more effectively and to continue our growth plans through the final year of our business plan and into the future. The team at Hughes Ellard are market leaders and we have a strong set of shared values. It will be a privilege to work with them again.”

Gary Jeffries, managing director of Hughes Ellard, said: “It is great news for Hughes Ellard to be joining forces with such an established and successful former ‘rival’. We look forward to building on that success with our new colleagues and partners.”

Both businesses have strong full-service offerings that complement each other, with Hughes Ellard bringing greater expertise in the Solent transactional market and Vail Williams bringing greater strength in consultancy.