about Cassons

About Us

Over 40 years' experience
Cassons business advisers LLP is a firm of chartered accountants & business advisers and we have been advising barristers on all aspects of their financial affairs for over 40 years. This means that from your first VAT return through to planning for your retirement, you can be sure, whatever questions and challenges you may face in your career at the Bar, we have seen them and dealt with them successfully before. Scroll down the page to see personal profiles of our team members!
Office Picture

Organising your finances
We are proud of our reputation for looking after pupil barristers. Indeed, we have for many years spoken on Organising Your Finances at the Northern Circuit Advice to Counsel pupil seminar. We are also proud to say that we have guided clients during their careers from pupillage through to silk and judicial appointment.

We truly care for our clients
But what makes us different is that we truly care for our clients. We have a dedicated team who look after our barristers and they always try to build strong personal relationships with them. We are able to understand the specific issues being faced by barristers and it gives us a lot of satisfaction that we are able to take away their problems and find them solutions.

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Meet the team

We have a team of chartered accountants and tax advisers who specialise in looking after our barrister clients and you can see their personal profiles below.  We can also provide independent financial planning advice through Cassons Financial Planning Limited.  You will generally have personal dealings with one or two of our people who will organise any additional specialist support as it's needed.

  • Andrew Hood - Bar Department Manager

    Career & education

    Andrew has been with Cassons for 16 years, joining as a manager in 2001. His previous experience includes time spent at the Inland Revenue, a leading London accountancy practice and another North West firm.

    Responsibilities

    Andrew is a qualified chartered tax adviser and is the primary point of contact for many of our barrister clients.

    Hobbies and interests

    Outside of work Andrew is also busy, whether it's running, walking, climbing and the odd cycling event, sometimes managing to do all these in one day!

    Random fact

    When I started working in tax it was 1986, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was Nigel Lawson, VAT was 15%, the basic rate of tax was 30% and the top rate of tax was 60%!

    Andrew Hood of  Cassons for Counsel
  • Ashley Hayman - Senior Partner

    Career & education

    Ashley read law at Cambridge before becoming a chartered accountant and chartered tax adviser. He is also senior partner of Cassons.

    Responsibilities

    He has specialised in financial services and forensic accounting, though probably spends more of his time at present involved in corporate finance deals. He is a Founding Individual Member of the Expert Witness Institute. As part of his general client portfolio, Ashley is one of the partners in Cassons who specialise in the affairs of barristers. Indeed Ashley has been advising barristers since he began to work for Cassons in 1976. Ashley has advised the Council of Circuit Judges and the Association of District Judges on taxation matters.

    Hobbies and interests

    Ashley is a keen mountain biker and also enjoys walking in the country, especially in the Lake District. He has recently started playing bridge again after a gap of about 20 years. He is also an enthusiastic freemason.

    Ashley Hayman of Cassons for Council
  • Claire Hardwick - Bar Accounts Assistant

    Career & education

    Claire joined Cassons in 2007, as a qualified bookkeeper and with a degree in Maths and Computing for business. She has had a varied career, working in Information Technology for many years, including being the European Information Systems Coordinator for Cirque du Soleil!

    Responsibilities

    Claire looks after the bookkeeping, accounts, and tax for many of our barrister clients. Claire’s knowledge of IT has meant that she has moved very smoothly into computer-based bookkeeping and is able to help clients with any difficulties they may have with their accountancy software.

    Hobbies and interests

    Claire is an active member of the National Association of Ladies Circles ( the parallel organisation to Round Table) having been Chairman twice of her local Circle, Area Chairman and Treasurer to the National President. The photo to the side shows Claire taking part in a sponsored bike ride over Easter in which her team raised over £5,000, enough to buy a specialised wheelchair for a child.

    Random fact

    Less than half of people in the UK pay income tax, and income tax accounts for 23% of the government’s revenue

    Claire Hardwick of Cassons for Counsel
  • Janet Dentith - Chartered accountant and tax adviser

    Career & education

    Janet joined Cassons as a graduate trainee in September 2008 having graduated with degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Leeds.  She has gained a wide range of accounts and tax experience during her 3 year training period with Cassons, and qualified as a chartered accountant in 2012.

    Responsibilities

    Janet has undertaken regular accounting and tax support roles in Cassons bar department and in May 2011 she moved a full time position within the bar department where she looks after a portfolio of barristers, with responsibility for their accounts and tax returns. Janet qualified as a Chartered Tax Adviser in January 2017.

    Hobbies and interests
     
    Janet enjoys keeping fit, and is a keen walker and attends weekly gym classes.

    Janet Dentith of Cassons for Counsel
  • John Davenport - Director, Cassons Financial Planning Limited

    Career & education

    John is a Chartered Financial Planner and has been an Independent Financial Adviser for over 20 years.

    He has been with Cassons since 2008 having previously worked at DTE.  John started his career in 1986 at Nat West bank before moving to the Prudential insurance company.  In fact, he was “the man from the Pru” for 8 years.

    Responsibilities

    John regularly carries out financial planning reviews for our barrister clients, advising especially on pensions, mortgages, applications and protection policies.

    Financial planning services for Cassons for Counsel clients are provided by Cassons Financial Planning Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Hobbies and interests

    John is a self-confessed sun worshipper and likes to get away to hotter climates whenever he can. 

    Random fact

    The average person spends 6 months of their lifetime waiting on a red light to turn green.

     

  • Josh Donohoe - Tax assistant

    Josh Donohoe

    Career & education

    Josh joined the bar department as a tax assistant in September 2014 having completed A-levels in economics, business and maths at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School.

    Responsibilities

    Josh prepares accounts and tax returns for clients, and assists in the preparation of VAT returns. Whilst working at Cassons he is undertaking his Association of Taxation Technicians qualification.

    Hobbies and interests
     
    In his spare time Josh enjoys playing 7-a-side football and going to the gym. He also spends time skiing and is an avid Manchester United supporter.

    Random fact

    The word “tax” derives from the Latin word “taxo” which means I estimate.

    Josh Donohoe of Cassons for Counsel
  • Kevin Birch - Consultant

    Career

    Kevin qualified as a chartered accountant with a small firm in the City of London then moved to Deloitte's in London and then South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe and finally Namibia.  He became Group Accountant to the Namibian Breweries & Hansa Brauerei before returning to the UK as Financial Director of a mechanical engineering company.

    Kevin later joined with two colleagues to set up an accountancy practice in the UK which merged with Wise & Co in 2004.  He has specialised in the financial and fiscal affairs of barristers for thirty years and lectures on that subject at Inns of Court in London.

    Hobbies and interests

    Kevin played rugby until he was forty-two and was a keen competitor in motor rallies. He loves skiing, follows motor sport (F1) and supports Weybridge Vandals and Harlequins rugby clubs.  But Kevin's main interest is photography.

    Kevin Birch
  • Steven Greenwood - Director, Cassons Financial Planning Limited

    Career & education

    Steven started as an articled clerk with Touche Ross. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1986 whilst working at Cassons, becoming a partner in November 1996. Steven is a former “Investment IFA of the Year”.

    Steven is Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and holds a Diploma in Financial Planning and is a member of the Personal Finance Society.  Steven is also a partner of Cassons business advisers LLP, chartered accountants and business advisers. 

    Responsibilities

    As a Director of Cassons Financial Services Limited, Steven also has a small portfolio of personal clients, including a number of barristers, looking after their wealth management needs.

    Financial planning services for Cassons for Counsel clients are provided by Cassons Financial Planning Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Hobbies and interests

    He is also a keen skier, organising several visits to the snow each year.  Steven is also a keen footballer supporter and Burnley season ticket holder!

    In 2014 Steven undertook the new challenge of distance swimming and swam a mile on Windermere raising funds for Pendleside Hospice.

    Steven Greenwood of Cassons for Counsel
  • Tony Reynolds - Partner and Head of Bar Department

    Career & education

    Tony trained and qualified with a practice in Sale, South Manchester. He joined Cassons after qualifying in 1987, became an Associate in 1998, and a partner in 2002.

    Responsibilities

    Tony is the partner responsible for the Bar Department and also client relationship partner for a portfolio of non-barrister clients.

    Tony is especially interested in the developments within the Bar to open up the legal services market, such as direct public access and the development of legal disciplinary practices and alternative business structures.

    Hobbies and interests

    Tony is a keen walker and rambler and spends as many summer weekends as possible with his family at their mobile home on Anglesey.

    Random fact

    Tony has walked the coastal path around Anglesey which is 125 miles!

    Tony Reynolds of Cassons for Counsel