Movers & Shakers - Chantrey Vellacott DFK appoints tax director

A LEADING firm of chartered accountants in Colchester has been strengthened with the appointment of a new director.

Michael Smith has joined Chantrey Vellacott DFK as tax director. The 35-year-old has arrived at the firm’s Balkerne Hill office from the City where he spent a year as a consultant.

Michael heads a team of four tax consultants, which covers all of the major taxes and works alongside the firm’s audit, business recovery and business advisory divisions. After qualifying as a chartered tax adviser and accountant, Michael joined PricewaterhouseCoopers and went on to be the UK tax manager for global consumer giant Kimberly-Clark before taking up the consultancy role.

He said: “Joining Chantrey Vellacott DFK is a fantastic opportunity to develop the tax practice within the Colchester area as part of a national firm and to be able to use all of my specialist experience to support our diverse range of clients”.

Dawn Lay-Flurrie, partner and head of office said: “Michael has a very strong background as both a chartered accountant and as a tax adviser and we’re delighted to welcome him to the firm. His expertise will enhance our tax team in helping with the growth and adding value to any business, whether a sole trader, partnership, owner-managed or large multi-national corporate.”


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COMMERCIAL litigation solicitor David Gibbs has been promoted to the role of associate at the firm where he began his career.

Mr Gibbs specialises in insolvency, including bankruptcy and corporate insolvency cases, providing legal advice in respect of debt recovery, turnaround and commercial litigation matters. He began his career with a two year training period at Birkett Long in Colchester from 2003 before becoming a qualified solicitor and member of the commercial litigation and insolvency team.

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He said: “I am very pleased to have been promoted in the firm where I underwent my training. I really appreciate the faith shown in me by the firm.”

Prior to training as a solicitor, Mr Gibbs gained experience by drafting manuals for an insolvency practitioner and working as a paralegal for a niche personal injury firm.

Adrian Livesley, managing partner, said: “David’s promotion to associate is very well deserved and is testament to his hard work since he joined us in 2003.

“Birkett Long is committed to the progression of all our team members and David is a wonderful example of what can be achieved.”

SAVILLS has named Mark Russell as the new head of its Ipswich-based rural team.

Mark, who joined Savills in 2000, takes over from Michael Horton who will continue to lead the rural business across East Anglia. A driving force behind the company’s rural development service, which provides land owning clients with advice on development opportunities and maximising asset values, Mark focuses on providing professional services (valuations, expert witness and consultancy advice) to private and corporate clients from the Ipswich office. Mark will be in overall charge of the Ipswich rural department spanning land agency, estate management, agribusiness and professional services.

Mark said: “In Ipswich we have successfully grown our professional business over the last two years whilst maintaining our farm agency profile with a number of sales in 2011.

“This year has started with a continuing strong interest in farmland given the turmoil in world financial markets. Our main challenge therefore is to maximise our market share of agency instructions and. alongside that. continue to provide the highest quality advice to landowners and farmers.”

Michael Horton said: “Mark has provided invaluable support to me over the last year, allowing me to focus on the wider rural business and he thoroughly deserves this chance to take the reins. I wish him every success.”

Savills has also announced the appointment of Guto Edwards as the new head of its rural professional services team in the eastern counties.

Guto, who is based in the Cambridge office, joined the company in 2011 and has 17 years’ experience in the rural sector. Guto said: “I am looking forward to leading our experienced team in providing advice to clients throughout the region.”

Michael Horton said: “Guto has very quickly proved himself to be an extremely skilled and knowledgeable practitioner and I am delighted to announce his appointment.”

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