The merger of accountancy firms Thomas Westcott and Davison Bedworth creates a major new force in the North Devon business world. The combined practice brings together 18 partners and 180 staff in offices across Devon with the North Devon area being served by 70 staff in Barnstaple, Bideford, Ilfracombe and Holsworthy. Davison Bedworth partner Stephen Cresswell said: "I and my partners are delighted with this merger. I have no doubt that it will be of immense benefit not only to our clients but also to North Devon as a business centre. Thomas Westcott have long been one of the most dynamic accountancy firms in Devon and their emphasis on partner led personal service fits in perfectly with our own approach to clients. I believe the combination of talents and expertise which the combined practice can offer is exceptional in the region."Operating under the Thomas Westcott banner the North Devon practice offers a wide range of specialist skills including audit and assurance, corporate services, taxation and tax consultancy, forensic accounting, litigation support and arbitration, management consultancy and IT. The firm also assists clients internationally through its membership of IGAF Worldwide which provides top quality accounting services and tax advice across the world. As an approved trainer of both chartered and chartered certified accountancy students and a long term holder of the prestigious Investors in People award the firm will also be a beacon of excellence for young people in the region with ambitions to gain a professional qualification. Thomas Westcott senior partner Richard Thomas commented: "This is the latest in a series of successful mergers we have undertaken in recent years. We now have a unique spread of offices across Devon which enables us to deliver large firm quality and expertise to clients at a local level.