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ICAEW rebukes CCJ-flouting showbiz accountant

A showbiz tax accountant whose clients include actors and musicians has been severely reprimanded for failing to provide information to ICAEW on seven outstanding County Court Judgments made against his firm.

25th Nov 2019
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The ICAEW has hit Alistair Bambridge with a severe reprimand, a fine of £3,000 and ordered him to pay costs of £2,790.30 for two separate disciplinary cases arising from his failure to provide information regarding open disciplinary investigations into unsatisfied County Court Judgment (CCJ) debts.

The tribunal heard how the seven outstanding CCJs ranged from the first in January 2016 for £1,324 to the most recent lodged on 9 May 2018 for £10,010 - the latter being the highest amount. 

Throughout the institute’s investigation, Bambridge remained resolute that all outstanding CCJs were satisfied. He first called the ICAEW on 26 July 2018 to explain that at that point all but one of the debts had been settled and he was in the process of disputing the final CCJ worth £10,010. 

Yet Bambridge did not provide the Institute with any evidence to back his claim and such evidence presented to the contrary did little to quash the ICAEW’s line of questioning.

The ICAEW continued to pursue confirmation that the CCJs had been satisfied in late October 2018, but Bambridge did not respond to formal requests. 

It wasn’t until March 2019 that Bambridge picked up the phone to the ICAEW, but this was the last time he spoke to the Institute about the matter. He was not present at the tribunal and did not have any representation. 

During the telephone call in March 2019, Bambridge claimed it would take three to six months to get proof from the courts that he had satisfied the judgments. 

The ICAEW then discovered in June 2019 that all CCJs except one worth £1,628 were unpaid. On top of that, an updated search report revealed another unpaid judgment debt for £4,229 from March 2019. During the course of the investigation, formal notice was issued to Bambridge requiring him to provide information and evidence.

The tribunal concluded in both cases that Bambridge had not responded to the ICAEW’s request for information and evidence.

Had Bambridge provided the ICAEW with this supporting information, the tribunal said he could have avoided disciplinary proceedings. Instead, he was hit with a severe reprimand and fine, and ultimately lost his membership for not paying the disciplinary fine and sanction.

Chris Cope, solicitor, adviser to practising accountants and director of ANCS Ltd, comments:

"I am bewildered by this case. There were numerous CCJs, which is bad enough. Most were never satisfied which is even worse. The member said that they had been satisfied, which appeared to be untrue. He produced no evidence that the majority of the CCJs had been satisfied which seems very odd. Then he failed to attend the hearing. As Lord Sugar would say ‘you’re fired’ or, in this case, ‘you’re out’".

If you are presently subject to a complaint, you can call the Accountants National Complaint Services Limited for advice (01769 581581) or visit their website

*26 November 2019: This article was amended following discussions with the ICAEW to reflect the fact that Alistair Bambridge was sanctioned for failing to provided information regarding his disciplinary proceedings. The ICAEW also clarified that Mr Bambridge is no longer a member, as he did not pay his fine.

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By Ian McTernan CTA
26th Nov 2019 11:21

This seems very lenient given the circumstances and the lies he has told. About the only decent thing about the case is the relatively low costs from the Institute....

I would have expected him to be suspended or removed. Members have been given much higher fines and costs for much lesser offices.

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By Tom Herbert
26th Nov 2019 14:56

Just adding a quick update: This article has been amended following discussions with the ICAEW to reflect the fact that Alistair Bambridge was sanctioned for failing to provided information regarding his disciplinary proceedings. The ICAEW also clarified that Mr Bambridge is no longer a member, as he did not pay his fine.

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By KIKISROSSIDES
26th Nov 2019 12:03

I couldn't agree more with Ian. This person should have been expelled given his actions. I have seen members punished severely for much less and had to pay excessive fines and costs!
Sometimes I wonder about the ICAEW and the way they carry out their duties!

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By carnmores
26th Nov 2019 13:43

I like his firm we use them for our clients that have to file US tax returns etc. no complaints at all

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By [email protected]
26th Nov 2019 14:46

Interesting negative reviews of Bambridge on this website link

https://www.yelp.co.uk/biz/bambridge-accountants-london-2

Surprised that he wasn't struck off. but still allowed by ICAEW to continue to peddle his wares with the unsuspecting public.

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