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.


Nick Rawson - Joint Managing 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 - Joint Managing Partner

David joined Knill James from Mazars LLP in 2010 where he had been a Partner for nine years. He also has experience in two Big Four practices, where he worked internationally providing assurance and business advisory services. With over 30 years’ audit experience, David specialises in advising international groups and owner-managed businesses, notably in the property and manufacturing sectors. He also has a particular focus on schools and charitable organisations.

David has a wealth of experience in advising on special purpose reporting, investigations, and due diligence. He is South East Member of the UK200Group’s Corporate Finance Panel and is a regular speaker on Corporate Finance at international conferences. - 01273 484933


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


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


Kirsty Wilson - Corporate Finance Partner

Kirsty is an award-winning corporate finance adviser for owner managed businesses. She joined Knill James in 2007 from a top 15 accountancy practice and has nearly 20 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.

In 2023 Kirsty was named Corporate Finance Adviser of the Year at the South East Dealmakers Awards, and she also won the Financial Services category at the Sussex & Surrey Dynamic Awards for women business leaders. - 01273 484921


Jamie Bird - Tax Partner

Jamie is a Tax Partner 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


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


George Clayson - Business Advisory Director

George has specialised in due diligence and deal advisory services for over 20 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


Leanne Chant - Director

Leanne is the Director 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


Alex Robinson - Joint Head of Business Hub

Alex is Joint Head of our Business Hub. With over a decade of experience in private practice, Alex boasts a deep understanding of financial statements, bookkeeping, and management accounting. He has successfully guided clients in wide range of sectors, including charities and education, farming, professional services, property, and retail. - 01273 485092


Steven Thomson - Joint Head of Business Hub

Joint Head of Business Hub, Steven has over 20 years’ experience working with owner-managed businesses and UK subsidiaries of overseas businesses, successfully advising and supporting them to achieve their goals. A systems advisory expert, Steven also provides guidance to clients on the implementation of new technologies to refine existing systems, processes, and controls, ensuring these continue to meet the evolving needs of the business as it grows and develops. - 01273 485088


Kirsty Royds-Jones - Tax Manager

Kirsty is a Tax Manager with over 20 years’ experience in Private Client Tax. She leads our Probate service and provides expert advice on a range of personal taxation issues, including Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax, and Trust Taxation. As an ICAEW Authorised Individual for Probate Services and a Chartered Tax Adviser, Kirsty brings a detailed and nuanced understanding to her work, ensuring each client receives personalised and effective tax advice. - 01273 485094


Zelie Byrne - Tax Manager

Zelie is a Manager in the Tax team and focuses on corporation tax and employment taxes. She joined Knill James after training at KPMG and has over 15 years’ experience working in tax. As well as managing the tax compliance of our largest clients, she also advises on R&D and capital allowances, venture capital reliefs, employment benefits, and compliance obligations. She also works with our not-for-profit clients on tax compliance obligations and structuring. - 01273 484942


Michael Williams - Tax Manager

Michael is a Manager specialising in Corporation Tax matters and more complex projects as part of Corporate Finance transactions. He has significant experience in a broad range of tax services, including compliance, advisory and tax accounting and assists clients ranging from large groups of companies and inbound subsidiaries to owner managed businesses. In addition to Corporate Tax, Michael advises on employment tax issues, including the off-payroll working (IR35) rules. - 01273 484934


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


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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