Saffery Champness


Background Summary

Headquartered in London, Saffery is a chartered accountancy firm that acts as a member of Nexia International, a global accounting and consulting network of firms.

The group was founded in 1855, when Joseph John Saffery established an accountant’s office in London’s Guildhall chambers. 

Following this, Saffery acted as a founding member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) in 1880, becoming president of the organisation in 1889 and 1891.

The firm was directed into its current form through the merger of Safferys and Champness, Cowper and Co in 1982, then merging with the London office of Armitage and Norton five years later.

As for the group’s international operations, it founded SC International in 1986, which proceeded to merge with Nexia International in 2007.

Matthew Burton is the current managing partner at Saffery, having taken over the position from Rob Elliott in April 2018.

The firm operated under the name Saffery Champness until September 2023, when it opted to rebrand simply as Saffery.

Saffery Champness works with clients across a range of sectors, including but not limited to private wealth, landed estates and rural businesses, not-for-profit, entrepreneurs, sports and entertainment, and international.

The group claims that it provides “a fresh perspective, an independent voice, and a long-term view” of how obligations and aspirations can be partnered together. It says that its expertise lies in the complex range of issues involved in “amassing wealth, protecting it, using it to best effect, and passing it on”.

Moreover, it offers a range of accountancy, tax, business advisory, and fiduciary services, focusing on eight sectors that cover a wide selection of business, individuals, and organisations.


For the year ended on 31 March 2023, Saffery saw its revenues hit £105m, a 17% increase compared to £89m reported in FY22. Operating profit for the year was £26.9m, up from £25.6m.

The total number of UK employees throughout the year was 903, of which 83 partners. During the period, revenue per partner amounted to £1.2m.

Recent Coverage

Recently, Saffery has secured a lease for its Edinburgh team to relocate to new premises at 9 Haymarket Square, offering increased space and aligning with their agile working policy, alongside appointing Sean McGinness as head of office for Edinburgh and promoting Harry Kendall to director and Katie Shaw to assistant manager in the audit team.

In March, the firm promoted six directors to partner, including David Bussey in Harrogate advising on trust and estates, Luke Hanratty in High Wycombe with expertise in technical areas like particle physics, Steven Coelho in London specialising in private client tax, Anna Hicks leading audit and financial reporting technical activity, Andrew Smith in London offering tax advice to private companies, and Helen Wilkie as a not-for-profit audit specialist, with the managing partner emphasising their contributions to client success and the firm’s commitment to supporting their development and potential.

In October 2023, Saffery launched its new North West corporate finance and transaction services team, led by partner Hayley Brightmore-Cox alongside directors Erin Berry and Jennifer Serridge, and manager Joe Donnelly, with expertise in the lower mid-market, adding to the firm’s nationwide transaction support services and broader business advisory offering, aiming to create a leading offering for the North West mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market, reflecting the region’s dynamic businesses and significant investor interest, with the team’s established track record and experience bringing added value to the transactions and clients they advise.

In September 2023, the firm rebranded as Saffery, marking a new chapter for the firm and aligning more closely with Nexia, reflecting its focus on cross-border advice and services, with over 1,000 people across 10 offices in the UK and Ireland, while its independent fiduciary business is rebranded as Saffery Trust, and a new employee valuation proposition is launched to support recruitment and retention efforts.

In April 2023, Saffery promoted Casidhe Baleri, Seb Cartwright, Hilary Clelland, Sarah Donaghay, Kathy Johnson, and Sean Watts to partner across various offices, with women making up the majority of those promoted for the second consecutive year, each bringing specialised expertise in areas such as not-for-profit management, corporate finance, corporation tax services, outsourcing solutions, sports and entertainment advising, and corporate tax advisory.

Read Saffery news here.

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