Johnston Carmichael boosts national tax team


Susie Walker

Susie Walker

Partner & Head of Tax


Johnston Carmichael, has appointed six new specialists to its tax team in response to significant growth in tax requirements across a range of sectors including R&D, food and drink, oil and gas, and entrepreneurial start-ups.

The firm has secured significant new business on its activity in the tax arena compared to the same period in 2015.  

Susie Walker, partner and head of tax at Johnston Carmichael, says: “R&D tax activity has taken off in the first half of this year.

“We have seen ongoing growth where entrepreneurs and start-ups, of which there are an increasing number, look to share the success of their businesses and secure the retention of their people through share schemes. Also, a number of tax incentives for start-ups are proving invaluable to get new businesses off the ground.

“We are also providing ongoing support to businesses shifting their focus in response to market conditions, diversification in oil and gas is a key example, and they have sought out our expertise as they begin to work in sectors where we already have significant experience.

“Pulling in additional senior resources in the Highlands, North East and Edinburgh puts us in an excellent position. We are agile, with the ability to provide consultancy from any of our national bases to companies in any location.

“We have attracted highly experienced senior managers from competitors and industry, who have seen real opportunities to broaden their horizons we can offer through working with clients nationwide.”

Susie says that, in multiple sectors, Johnston Carmichael is involved in major restructuring projects currently taking place, and the firm’s ability to bring people with direct experience of the sectors in which its clients work is a huge asset.

“Businesses want to be extra-profitable when they can, to protect themselves in tougher times. The optimisation of tax and VAT affairs is incredibly important for any company preparing itself to see out a storm,” she adds.

Kirsty Wheeler has been appointed tax senior manager in Aberdeen, joining Johnston Carmichael from Wood Group. Kirsty is an international mobile employee specialist and joins the expanding National Employer Solutions team led by partner Richard Britten

Jay McKinnon joins as VAT senior manager in Aberdeen, from Anderson Anderson Brown (A2B) and has considerable experience in oil and gas. Her main specialism is assisting clients in the energy sector on International VAT and Customs Duty issues when undertaking global projects or operating within the UK and Norwegian Continental shelf. She also advises and assists clients on the recent changes to the Union Customs Code and advising on the indirect tax procedures and issues when moving goods worldwide, or to and from the UKCS.

Paul McGonigal, who has international experience after four years in Inland Revenue in New Zealand, arrives as VAT manager in Inverness.

Suzanne Brownie joins as tax senior manager in Edinburgh where she brings many years of transactional and entrepreneurial tax experience from A2B, while oil and gas service sector corporate tax specialist Frazer Nicol also joins from A2B as a tax manager in the capital. Tax assistant manager R&D tax specialist Andrew McMillan is also relocating to the city from A2B in Aberdeen.