DSW boosts its tax practice offering with takeover

Nicole Burstow (DSW Capital), Andrew Robinson, Dave Waddington (DSW Tax Advisory)

Dow Schofield Watts, the Daresbury-based financial advisory firm, has acquired a Lancashire firm to expand its tax practice, for an undisclosed sum.

Burscough-based STS Europe specialises in advising high-net worth individuals and is one of the leading firms of its type in the North.

It advises clients including UK-resident non-domiciles on matters such as inheritance tax, trusts and offshore structures, and also assists offshore banks and trust companies throughout Europe with UK tax issues. The deal enables the retirement of owner Andy Sharp.

STS Europe, which offers a full range of tax services including assistance with tax investigations and compliance, will now become part of DSW Tax Advisory, Dow Schofield Watts’ tax practice.

It will remain in its Burscough office and will operate as DSW STS in the immediate future. Andrew Robinson, a director in STS, will become a partner in DSW Tax Advisory.

Dow Schofield Watts offers an alternative to traditional accountancy and tax firms by enabling professionals to run their own business under its brand. DSW Capital plc, the company which owns the Dow Schofield Watts brand, provided funding support for the transaction.

Dave Waddington, of DSW Tax Advisory, said: “STS has built a strong reputation for its work with high-net worth clients and offshore trusts.

“The acquisition will bring additional expertise to DSW Tax Advisory and enable us to expand the range of services we offer.”

The deal brings the total number of professionals in the Dow Schofield Watts network to 105 and following its expansion into the Midlands with the addition of corporate recovery firm Bridgewood, and the launch of a new corporate finance team.

DSW Capital CEO, James Dow, said: “Tax advisory is a target area of expansion for us and the addition of STS will complement the existing services within the network, including corporate finance and wealth advisory.

“This is the first time we have supported a licensee to expand through acquisition and it demonstrates the advantages of becoming part of the Dow Schofield Watts Network.”

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