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Our ever-growing tax team sees experienced Tax Manager Emily Williams join the ranks.

Like so many others before and after her, Emily came to Bristol as a student and never left. As a graduate, Emily gained experience at a number of tax consultancies building up her expertise and qualifications. She became a Chartered Tax Adviser whilst at Clifton-based Saffery Champness, where she had a particular focus on looking after High Net Worth clients.

In 2005, a change of company and change of focus saw Emily move to BDO with a Corporation Tax brief. This included some R&D tax credit work which Emily would come to look back fondly upon. Emily built up a few solid years under her belt at BDO, until the financial crash came along. In the shake up Emily moved to global outsourcing firm Radius. Here she quickly impressed and was soon managing the Corporation Tax affairs of a portfolio of about 130 companies spread across the UK, Germany, France and Ireland.

Now in 2015, it was that old fondness for R&D that eventually led Emily to ForrestBrown:

“I find R&D work fascinating. Particularly the tangible stuff where you can actually see the activity: structural engineering and things to do with the environment – recycling is a big area. My new colleagues are really welcoming and I love the quirky vibe of the place”

A house extension and refurbishment is taking up much of Emily’s spare time right now, but when not in her overalls painting, she is a CrossFit enthusiast – a full-on training regime with a complete approach to fitness. Emily also has a burgeoning interest in baking and has recently taken on the daunting task of constructing her best friend’s wedding cake. With nine layers there is a lot to go wrong, so she has been bringing trial-run sponges into the office to try out on us. She clearly knows how to win friends and influence people!

More support for a busy office

With so many tax managers now working for us, our Office Manager, Kerry, needed some support for her demanding role keeping everyone in check! We are delighted to welcome Michelle Lang to the team to do just that.

Michelle has a wealth of experience working with successful start-ups, and loves the energy that is found in entrepreneur-led businesses. She initially trained as bi-lingual secretary and worked in Paris, before moving to Bristol and going on a career break to start raising a family. After spells in Yokohama and Oklahoma the family eventually returned to Bristol, and Michelle juggled family life with offering admin support to her husband as he set up a successful database company.

Wanting change, Michelle was keen to tap back into the international nature of her early career and Bristol International Twinning Association provided the perfect avenue to do this. Bristol is actually twinned with seven cities around the world, and Michelle organised cultural and commercial events with these twin cities.

Then a second start-up opportunity materialised when a close friend acquired the UK distribution rights to a boutique Danish jewellery brand: Trollbeads. What followed was an eight year whirlwind, when it was in Michelle’s words: “All hands to the deck”. They went from zero to supplying 500 retail outlets in that time!

Michelle decided to take a lead from her (now adult) children and take a gap year. This included three months of travelling, seeing old friends in Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, before rounding it off with a cycling trip across Vietnam and Cambodia.

After a brief foray into the education sector, Michelle now finds herself providing help to another innovative company at ForrestBrown. She’ll be offering support to the rest of the office and helping things run smoothly. With so much experience in early-phase, rapid growth companies, we are sure she will have all the skills needed to fit right in. After a month in the role, Michelle commented:

“The tax sector is new to me, but I feel that same energy at ForrestBrown that was there in the other start-ups I have been involved in. It’s a dynamic and fun place to work.”

Managing Director Simon Brown is pleased to welcome the new recruits:

“It’s been a stunning year of growth so far, and taking on Emily and Michelle is a reflection of that. They both have excellent track records in what they do and I’m sure they will help us move on to even bigger and better things.”

ForrestBrown in running for Start-up Business of the Year

As well as welcoming Emily and Michelle, we are pleased to report that we have been nominated for another award. This time we are in the running for Start-up Business of the Year at the 2015 Business Leader Awards – one of the premier South-West awards ceremonies. Being based in such a thriving area we are sure there will be stiff competition, but we are confident our phenomenal growth in client base, turnover and staff will stand us in good stead.