Former Burges Salmon senior associate joins ForrestBrown to develop its HMRC inquiry service

September 5, 2019

Bristol-based research and development tax credit consultancy ForrestBrown has appointed James Dudbridge to the newly created role of associate director.

James, pictured, will take responsibility for advisory service in the company, the UK’s largest business of its kind. 

Working with ForrestBrown’s most specialist and experienced consultants, he will provide strategic R&D tax credit advice to SMEs and large companies via bespoke consulting projects.

The role includes looking after the businesses’ inquiry support service, which was launched earlier this year to help businesses facing an HMRC inquiry into their R&D tax credit claims – whether those claims were prepared in-house or through another adviser.

HMRC has made several changes in recent months to help prevent abuse of R&D tax incentives. As a result, it has effectively raised the bar in terms of the standards it expects to see in support claims.

ForrestBrown’s inquiry support service pre-empts the increased number of inquiries it expects to be opened into poorly prepared claims.

James is an expert in handling HMRC inquiries and disclosures, having previously worked as a senior associate at Bristol-headquartered national law firm Burges Salmon, where he specialised in the international aspects of tax and estate planning, providing advice for UK resident non-domiciliaries and international clients with assets in more than one jurisdiction.

Prior to that he worked as a solicitor at London law firm Collyer Bristow, where he helped establish its Geneva office.

In 2017 he was named as one of eprivateclient’s Top 35 Under 35 and also has a diploma in Trusts & Estates from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

ForrestBrown managing director and founder Simon Brown said: “We are passionate about helping innovative businesses grow and providing growth fuel to the UK economy. Our inquiry support service will see a dedicated and multidisciplinary team of experts review R&D tax credit claims prepared by others.

“With James coming on board to deliver this offering, we are confident that the businesses of our enquiry support service clients will be protected as his team resolves their enquiries quickly and effectively.”

James added: “Over the past decade, I have been lucky enough to build up significant experience providing tax advice to a wide variety of corporate and individual clients and have handled numerous HMRC enquiries and disclosures.

“However, I was keen for a new challenge and the fast-paced environment at ForrestBrown was a real draw. There are many talented people at the company, which means there’s plenty of scope to grow and really make use of the existing knowledge within the business.

“I’m particularly looking forward to playing a key part in developing a wide range of flexible and tailored services to clients.”

ForrestBrown, which recently featured in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Small Companies to Work For, celebrated its fifth birthday in 2018 and has more than doubled in size since June 2017.

It now advises more than 150 companies a month and last year delivered more than £100m in tax credits for its clients.

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