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Tenon offshoot has strong first quarter

27th Jan 2014
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A new accounting firm in Glasgow, established by a group of former RSM Tenon partners, has experienced rapid growth in the first three months of operation.

The start-up firm, called the Consilium Accountancy Group, has so far taken on more than 20 members of staff at its head office in Glasgow.

As reported in Herald Scotland the team has been picking up clients across Scotland and is now looking to become an accredited training centre for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).

Last August the six partners - Charles Burton, Tom Arbuckle, John Blair, Raymond Clarke, David Holt and James Goodman - stepped down from Tenon just days a pre-pack deal was struck with Baker Tilly.

The partners had to wait until May this year before they could work again due to restrictive covenants, but then got engaged in a court battle after the deal went through to set up their own practice.

Lord Malcolm at the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled in favour of the partners, finding that the personal covenants aimed at preventing the setting up of an alternative firm could not be applied by Baker Tilly.

Burton, formerly managing partner in Tenon's Glasgow office, told the Herald that Consilium had generated a lot of goodwill from other professionals across the city.

“The support we have received has been fantastic and we have had a number of referrals,” he said.

"We have also got business from clients which wouldn't previously have considered us but they see us as a better fit for their business now as an independent.”

The firm is active across a number of sectors but is mainly focused on owner managed business.

It is also considering using its own experience to advise other start-up accounting firms, but said that businesses at that stage were unlikely to use much of their funds to hire accountants.

Last August Tenon had struggled to meet its banking covenants under an £80m debt to Lloyds and entered administration with Deloitte as administrators. It then immediately sold the trading operations to mid-tier rival Baker Tilly in a pre-pack deal.

After the Baker Tilly pre-pack was sealed, eight former partners from the Tenon office in Edinburgh also jumped ship to Mazars.

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