Deloitte appoints Paul Knight as civil society Tax Partner

20 March 2018 3 min. read
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As Deloitte works to strengthen its tax offering in a challenging environment, the Big Four firm has appointed Paul Knight as a Tax Partner. Knight joins the firm from BDO, bringing extensive experience in advisory related to the public sector and charities, an area of growing concern across the UK.

Deloitte is currently working to strengthen its tax offering amid a shifting regulatory environment, as well as changing demands from clients in the public and private sectors. Recently this shifting environment saw Deloitte taken to court, alongside legal firm Linklaters, by former Arsenal FC shareholder Nina Bracewell-Smith. Since selling her lot in the club to Stan Kroenke, Bracewell-Smith has leveled a law-suit at the two firms for alleged negligence, claiming their advice in the sale led to the legitimate taxation of the multi-million sale by the British state. She claims this caused a large loss to her profit from the sale, which she believes could have been orchestrated to avoid taxation.

Meanwhile, the firm is also having to prepare itself for heightened demand from the public sector, as austerity and policy changes take their toll. Rebecca George, Head of Public Sector for Deloitte said, “The public sector is going through unprecedented change and the need to properly manage tax implications is increasing, a factor we are seeing every day through the work that we do across transformation, finance and technology.”

To this end, the hiring of Paul Knight is an important step for the Big Four firm’s UK tax practice. Knight joins Deloitte as a Tax Partner, and will lead on tax advisory matters related to public sector and charities. He brings more than 20 years of experience to the firm, with extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector, including on social housing, education and charities. His experience also covers regulatory and commercial matters.

Paul Knight, Tax Partner at Deloitte

Knight was most recently at BDO, as the firm’s Head of Not for Profit Tax. He joined the professional services group in 2008, winning a promotion to Partner in 2014. He was previously at Deloitte’s Big Four rivals KPMG, where he worked most recently as a Tax Manager, following more than ten years at the firm. He also holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of Reading.

Commenting on the appointment, Ben Powell, Head of Public Sector Tax at Deloitte, said, “Paul is a terrific addition to our partnership – his knowledge and insight in the Public Sector and Charities space is unrivalled, and his leadership in our tax services will enable us to provide ever greater support to Housing Associations, Universities, Charities and the wider Public Sector.”

Paul Knight said of his own appointment, “I will be using my experience to deliver tax advice that adds value to the Public and Not for Profit Sectors as they continue to evolve, diversify and commercialise. The tax environment has never been more complex for these organisations, and Deloitte’s approach to providing the very best tax advisory services, is entirely aligned to my personal enthusiasm and commitment to working in this sector.”