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Case Study: Pro-Activity Leads to Tax Savings

“By listening to our needs and understanding the business, Tom and the team were able to offer us a different level of proactivity that we had not seen before from our previous advisers”

Jason Adlam, Chief Executive Officer, Harris CM


Jason Adlam is the CEO of Harris CM Limited, a multidisciplinary construction company who engaged Armstrong Watson for Audit and taxation services in 2017.

Why they sought to work with us?

Having previously been with a large national firm, Jason felt that his previous advisers did not provide great service for the following reasons:

  • Their service was not partner led
  • As an owner managed business they didn’t receive the level of service or expertise that they required.
  • They didn’t receive value for money
  • Their advice was reactive rather than proactive
  • They did not invest in the relationship

Jason sought to work with Armstrong Watson as they are independent but were able to provide the breadth of services and technical expertise that was required to build and protect the business.

What did we do?

  • The first piece of work undertaken was to implement a more efficient tax planning structure for the owners of the Harris CM group. This exercise gave greater potential for shareholder wealth to be realised at more efficient tax rates for future generations.
  • Through a review of the most tax efficient remuneration structures for the directors and shareholders, significant tax savings were also realised through implementing a more proactive added value structure.
  • The year end audit procedures also became driven and highly successful with the added value elements being described as ‘the best added value audit documentation we have received in ten years’.
  • Armstrong Watson were also asked to assist Jason with his new exciting business venture Adlam’s’ Gin. The scope of this assignment was to provide clear commercial advice and undertake the compliance work required at the start of such a new venture.

How we did it?

We worked successfully with Jason by:

  • Investing in the relationship and understanding their needs on both an operational and wider structured level;
  • delivering the required results and keeping promises made through technical ability and the breadth of services available;
  • demonstrating added commercial value through proactively understanding the needs of the business.
  • Quarterly advisory meetings have formed the basis for understanding Jason and the businesses needs. Jason has remarked that the team at Armstrong Watson are always available to help and provide clear and precise support on a daily basis.

“Having worked with Tom and his team at Armstrong Watson for the first time last year I have been particularly impressed by their responsiveness and proactivity as well as their breadth of knowledge. They always respond quickly and expertly with technical queries. Having previously worked with a larger firm, I found the audit process to be extremely well structures and efficient and the team were a pleasure to work with”

Andrew Bolton, Chief Financial Officer, Harris CM


  • The undertaking of wider taxation planning has led to greater tax efficient structures and a strong improvement in the wealth realised by the shareholders.
  • Suggested audit added value improvements were facilitated by the directors on an operational level in order to better the commercial aspects of the business.
  • Adlam’s Gin has successfully grown in its business life cycle and will soon become fully operational selling Gin to the majority of the UK Gin market.
  • Jason and Harris CM are extremely satisfied with the move to Armstrong Watson and are excited by what the future may hold.

"Following our move to Armstrong Watson in 2017, the AW team was my first choice to support the launch of our new venture, providing clear commercial advice on the structuring and tax planning opportunities. Not just knowledgeable but commercial and fun to work with!”

Jason Adlam, Chief Executive Officer, Harris CM