Specialist R&D tax credit consultancy targets 2019 growth

14 January 2019 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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ForrestBrown has unveiled plans to increase its headcount and occupy new offices in 2019, following a successful year for the research and development tax consultancy. The firm helped to deliver more than £100 million in R&D tax credits to innovative clients across the UK in 2018 alone.

Following the introduction of the research and development (R&D) tax credit initiative in 2000, which aimed to encourage greater R&D spending and drive investment in innovation, the number of claims for R&D tax credits rose significantly ever since, with HMRC having recently confirmed it permitted £3.5 billion in R&D tax relief for the 2016-17 financial year. This has led to a boom in the appetite among businesses for consulting firms which can facilitate their accessing of such relief mechanisms, particularly as the UK looks to incentivise innovation to soften the economic blow of Brexit.

Having celebrated its fifth year of business in 2018, ForrestBrown is one of the UK’s largest specialist R&D tax credit consultancies, working to help clients access R&D tax rulings and enable new firms to push ahead with new technological and scientific plans. As it prepares for a spike in demand, the firm has announced that it will be expanding its tax associate programme in 2019. The firm of chartered tax advisers, headquartered in Bristol, will do so by recruiting for eight new associates in April, plus a further eight this summer.

Specialist R&D tax credit consultancy targets 2019 growth

The professional services group enjoyed a bumper 2018, delivering more than £100 million in R&D tax credits to innovative clients across the UK, and opened a new London office in Tower 42. The consulting firm subsequently became an increasingly attractive target for acquisition, and in the spring, ForrestBrown became a wholly owned subsidiary of alliantgroup, a major provider of tax credits and incentives in the US, further enabling the firm to push for domestic expansion, which is likely to see the company occupy offices in Bristol in the near future, to ensure it has the space to accommodate a growing team.

ForrestBrown initially launched its tax associate training programme last year, and in 2018 supported 28 team members in their professional qualifications. With a headcount currently standing at 88, the consultancy will now look to add more than 40 new roles to its team of specialist tax advisers, sector specialists, lawyers and ex-HMRC inspectors in 2019. Last year, the firm was named as the number one company to work for in the South West in 2018, by The Sunday Times, also ranking 47th as a small company to work for in the UK.

Talking about the next phase of the consultancy’s journey, ForrestBrown Founder and Managing Director Simon Brown said, “We take great pride in investing in our people and are therefore delighted to be expanding our team in 2019. I am really proud of our success in the last year. We love helping our clients grow, and so delivering £100 million for them to invest back into their innovation this year is incredibly rewarding. At the same time, we’ve doubled the size of our team and won Taxation’s prestigious ‘best independent consultancy firm’ in recognition of our technical excellence and client service.”