Meet the Team

Our dedicated team of experts specialises in a variety of fields giving you and your business unbeatable service, support and advice. With over 55 staff Knill James has grown into a modern, forward thinking firm with a positive training and development culture.


Chris Ketley – Partner

Chris is a Partner at Knill James with a specialism in proactive, multi-disciplinary business consultancy with over 30 years of significant SME/OMB expertise. He has been a Partner with Knill James since 1988. Chris specialises in business coaching and mentoring, strategic development and non-exec services, and is passionate about delivering these to clients who are equally as passionate about their businesses and future plans. He is an expert in the provision of agile business improvement advice, as a result of his extensive experience within audit, assurance, ATOL and FCA reporting, management accounting and proactive taxation advice (including International).

Chris is a member of the global Mindshop Business Strategy, Development & Facilitation network of advisors. - 01273 484939


Kevin Powell - Partner

Kevin is a Partner of the firm, and has been a Partner at Knill James since 1990. Kevin heads up our agricultural and viticulture teams, providing extensive consultancy advice for this highly specialist sector. Kevin has specialist expertise in the tax consequences relating to succession planning and diversification; having been involved with and provided consultancy advice for many landed estates and agricultural businesses.

From 2018-2020, Kevin was the National Chairman of the UK200 Group which is the UK’s leading association of Independent Accountants & Law Firms and he remains a Board Member. He is a Governor at Hurstpierpoint College and also chairs their financial board. - 01273 484917


Nick Rawson - Partner

Nick has been a partner at Knill James since 1995 and provides audit and assurance services to some of Knill James’ largest clients. He also has significant experience in providing business advisory services to a wide range of clients, both individuals and companies. Nick delivers tailored business and tax advice to clients from a diverse ranges of sectors, including Professional practices, Food & Drink, Manufacturing and Property and Construction. - 01273 484923


David W Martin - Corporate Finance Partner

David joined Knill James from Mazars LLP in 2010 where he had been a Partner for 9 years. He also has experience in a “Big Four” practice where he worked internationally providing assurance and business advisory services. David has over 30 years audit experience mainly in advising owner-managed businesses, with a significant number being in manufacturing and FMCG sectors.

David heads up our Corporate Finance team and has a wealth of experience in advising special purpose reporting, investigations and due diligence. He is South East Member of the UK200 Corporate Finance Panel and a regular speaker at IAPA International conferences. - 01273 484933


Mark Filsell - Partner

Mark has over 25 years’ experience in practice, including working as a Senior Manager in a top ten firm. He advises a wide range of clients - from OMBs to large groups - on issues ranging from statutory audit to corporate governance and business planning. He also has extensive experience in the charities, independent schools and academies sector. - 01273 484941


Mike Chapman - Tax Partner

Mike Chapman heads up our Tax Department having joined the firm in 2015. He takes the lead on all corporate tax consultancy matters within the firm, having previously been with a number of national mid-tier and big four practices. Mike is an experienced speaker on technical issues and a regular contributor to local business publications. - 01273 484913


Sarah Lake - Practice Director

Sarah is an FCCA and started her career in practice with PwC. With more than 20 years’ experience in finance and project management, Sarah specialises in business process improvement and is responsible for managing the firm’s internal systems and procedures. - 01273 484927


Kirsty Wilson - Corporate Finance Director

Kirsty is a specialist corporate finance advisor for owner managed businesses. She joined Knill James in 2007 from a top 15 accountancy practice and has more than 10 years’ experience in lead advisory corporate finance. Kirsty provides support to business owners at all stages of the business life-cycle. She has led many businesses through transactions and has a particular specialism for acquisitions, disposals, company valuations, MBOs, MBIs and restructuring. - 01273 484921


George Clayson - Business Advisory Associate Director

George has specialised in due diligence and deal advisory services for over 15 years and has advised clients across a wide range of sectors and deal sizes. He is also experienced in providing strategic and business advice to start-ups and growing companies. - 01273 484909


Jamie Bird - Senior Tax Manager

Jamie is a Senior Manager in our Private Client team and has worked in tax and accounting for over ten years. Initially he trained as an accountant before specialising in Private Client Tax. He now advises clients on all aspects of taxation relating to their personal tax affairs, ranging from Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax, to employee share schemes/ incentivisation, including EMI schemes. Jamie is a member of the Chartered Institute of Tax Advisers. - 01273 484932


Alison Sampson - Senior VAT Consultant

Alison is our dedicated Senior VAT Specialist with over 30 years’ experience, including 10 years with HMRC. She has a wealth of knowledge & experience in all areas of VAT, and is skilled at providing practical explanations & solutions to complex VAT issues. - 01273 485083


Leanne Chant - Senior Manager, Audit

Leanne is the Manager of our Audit and Assurance Group and specialises in audits and accounts preparation for larger corporate clients. With over 20 years’ experience, she has detailed knowledge of a wide variety of businesses and organisations, ranging from construction companies and insurance brokers to travel agents and academies. - 01273 484922


Julia Mayne - Senior Manager, Business Hub

Julia is the senior manager of our Business Hub and specialises in preparing accounts for a wide variety of SMEs across a broad range of business sectors. She has extensive knowledge and experience of financial statements, having worked for over 20 years in industry and private practice. - 01273 485086


Donna Beddis - Outsourcing Manager

Donna manages our Outsourcing team and specialises in the preparation of management accounts and accounting software solutions. With over 15 years’ experience in industry and private practice, she is highly skilled at working with a wide range of businesses from sole traders through to large limited companies. - 01273 484929


Jacquie Wood - Payroll Manager

Jacquie has worked in the payroll sector for over 30 years and her experience covers the whole range, from single employee payrolls to Umbrella payrolls in the construction industry processing over 15,000 employees per week over multiple frequencies. As head of our Payroll Bureau, Jacquie aims to provide a friendly, professional, accurate and personalised service to all our clients, large or small. - 01273 484947

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