GT launches dedicated Local Government Advisory

17 October 2014

Grant Thornton has launched a new practice that will provide accounting, consulting and advisory services to local authorities, police bodies and fire and rescue authorities: the Local Government Advisory practice. The new team will be part of Grant Thornton’s public sector industry team.

Accounting and consulting firm Grant Thornton UK has announced the launch of a dedicated Local Government Advisory practice. The new practice will be part of Grant Thornton’s public sector team and complement the firm’s broader public sector consulting. The Local Government Advisory team will consist of existing Grant Thornton public sector specialists and a number of external appointments.

The team will provide clients with advice in financial management and accounting, including services such as the review and development of medium-term financial plans and strategies, financial resilience health checks, finance department "fit for purpose reviews", and governance reviews. It will also focus on assisting clients with their collaboration activity, through options appraisal, business case development and review, due diligence, business planning advice, and collaboration health checks. The team will, in addition, provide support to elected Members in their scrutiny roles.

Grant Thornton UK Local Government Advisory

Commenting on the launch of the new practice, Guy Clifton, Head of Local Government Advisory at Grant Thornton UK, says: “I am excited by this opportunity, and confident that the team will be able to provide distinct added value to our clients, and support them in the significant challenges they face over the short to medium term.” “Our investment in this team confirms the priority and importance that Grant Thornton places on the public sector, and is in response to our clients request for additional support in navigating the financial challenges faced by the sector,” adds Paul Dossett, Partner and Head of Local Government at Grant Thornton UK.


Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

05 April 2019

A Newcastle-based consultancy has announced it will open its first office in Iraq. The news comes despite warnings that the area remains “high risk” for businesses.

16 years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the nation remains a shadow of its former self. The continued chaos wrought by the Iraq War – which eventually played a role in the rise to prominence of Daesh, further destabilising the region – means that even now, the nation’s capital is deemed to have the lowest quality of living in the world. According to a recent survey from Mercer, Baghdad ranked last overall – immediately below Bangui of the Central African Republic and Damascus in Syria – despite the other two being determined as the worst cities on the planet for personal safety.

However, as with the wider Middle East, the oil-rich state presents a lucrative destination to businesses willing to take the risk. To that end, a Newcastle recruitment consultancy has announced the opening of its first presence in Iraq’s capital city. Samuel Knight has taken the decision to open its Baghdad locale in order to grow its business in the Middle East.

Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

While businesses remain wary of the region, Samuel Knight specialises in recruiting talent in the energy and rail sectors, and in a release it said the new office would continue to focus on these areas. It will also allow the firm to make sure it abides by local compliance laws. The new location will be headed up by Haider Kadhim, Samuel Knight’s Iraq country manager, who will work as the first point of contact for clients and candidates. Representatives from the Department of Trade Industry are expected to attend a launch event for the office, which will be held this month.

Commenting on the new office,  a spokesperson for Samuel Knight said, “We probably don’t see it as a risk, but more of an opportunity, as we operate in the Middle East extensively already. We have contacts in place in the country location and with the consultants we have. We felt it was a great opportunity to expand into a country we are already doing work in. It means we have an on-the-ground team to help our clients. From our perspective, it is that we are looking to expand into new territories, but we are also supporting countries that are starting to redevelop after years of warfare.”

Steve Rawlingson, CEO at Samuel Knight, said, “Our aggressive five-year growth plan is manifesting at  an impressive rate, taking the company to exciting new territories. The team is working diligently to surpass expectations set out in the plan, and to ensure Samuel Knight is cemented as the leading global energy and rail recruitment specialist. Our Baghdad office will give us a distinctive edge over our competition and allow for more exciting business opportunities. Once the office becomes more established and client acquisition develops, we will certainly be adding more consultants and manpower in the city.”