Practice split will bypass division

East Anglian firm Birkett Westhorp & Long has denied that a split into two separate practices will affect the operations of its recently established financial services division.

The Ipswich-based firm is to split from its Essex operation in June five years after merger.

The Ipswich firm will remain with 24 partners, while the Colchester firm will have 15.

There is no confirmation of the names which the two firms will use after the demerger.

But Mike Harris, the firm's director of finance and administration, says that despite the split there will be little impact on the Birkett Westhorp & Long's financial services division.

The division, which handles portfolio management business as well as life and pensions, was launched in November. It is currently being headed by Richard Larner.

"The financial services part of Birkett Westhorp & Long will remain in Ipswich, so I don't think that the demerger will have any significant affect on that division," says Harris.

"That side of the business hasn't got so sufficiently established yet that it will be significantly affected by the loss of the Essex office."