Wiltshire private client specialists Wood & Awdry and Ford Gunningham have agreed to merge to strengthen their legal and financial services. The new firm now operates as Wood Awdry & Ford from offices in Chippenham and Marlborough.`Richard Ford of Ford Gunningham and Christopher Yates of Wood & Awdry become joint senior partners. A new management committee has been formed, made up of partners William Wyldbore-Smith and Hugo Richardson of Wood & Awdry, and Max Unwin of Ford Gunningham.`The merged firm has eight equity partners focusing on private client work, agriculture, property, business, education, matrimonial, civil litigation and crime. Wood & Awdry also brings employment expertise.`Ford said the firms have been in discussions for two years and that the main driver was boosting critical mass, IT support and the skills base. “Existing client relationships will be maintained, but we’ll be able to push work out to those with specialist skills,” he said.