Simon joined Lopian Gross Barnett in 2013 and has made it his ambition to change the stereotypical image of an accountant; ‘Being an accountant and tax advisor is not about sitting behind a desk crunching numbers, it’s about understanding a client’s business and/or personal aspirations and working with them to help them achieve those ambitions in the best possible way. This is the driver behind the way I work with my clients’.
Simon saw that this was a fundamental part of the firm’s approach and jumped at the chance to join the practice.
Simon qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser whilst working for PwC in London, working within the Entrepreneurial and Private Client tax department. Whilst Simon’s eldest daughter would say that she was the driving force behind their move back to his northern homeland, after 6 years in London Simon realised his heart was still in Manchester. On relocating with his family, he joined BDO where he pursued his passion for working with entrepreneurs and their businesses and high net worth individuals.
Through both of these roles, Simon developed experience in a range of corporate matters, including tax efficient profit extraction, company reorganisations and share structuring. He has been involved in advising shareholders and management teams on business sales and management buy-outs, as well as financial due diligence matters.
On the private client side, and as the Director responsible for overseeing our personal tax department, he is regularly involved in Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax planning, as well as advising non-UK resident or non-UK domiciled individuals.
Simon advises broadly within his field but he has particular expertise in the following areas:
- Structures for Employee Incentivisation
- Research & Development Tax Relief
- Enterprise Investment Scheme
- Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Land Tax
Away from work, when not dealing with the trials and tribulations of three young daughters, Simon is a sports enthusiast (anything other than horse racing or boxing!) and tries to find time to play whenever he has the opportunity. Despite requests from his wife to draw breath, Simon has a habit of getting involved in communal and charity initiatives – being passionate about a few of these projects he says he struggles to say no!
In the last 12 months Simon has helped two new businesses get off the ground, by structuring third party investment under the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme to make the business an even more attractive proposition.
Since joining the firm Simon has worked with a number of businesses to prepare robust claims for R&D tax relief, securing tax savings for clients in excess of £750,000.
He also recently assisted a client in structuring a property acquisition in a way that reduced the anticipated Stamp Duty Land Tax liability by approximately £300,000.