Olivia Rowlinson and Tom Blandford

Promotions for Olivia Rawlinson and Tom Blandford


We're pleased to announce two major promotions within our Leeds team, with Tom Blandford promoted to Legal Sector Audit Partner and Olivia Rawlinson to Tax Director.

Despite the pressure placed during the pandemic, we have stuck to our ambitious growth plans and actively continued to nurture our talent as well as recruit during the crisis.

New partner, Tom Blandford, joined Armstrong Watson in 2017 as Audit Director within the specialist Legal Sector Team, exclusively advising solicitors across the Yorkshire region.  Tom was awarded the title of ‘Accountant of the Year’ at last year’s Yorkshire Accountancy Awards and is also a founding member of ALFMA (the Association of Law Firm Merger Advisers).

Olivia Rawlinson joined Armstrong Watson in 2018 having spent much of her tax career resolving HMRC disputes. She has continued to develop her expertise in this area and has also shown her strength in tax consultancy by undertaking a much broader range of tax advisory projects.

These announcements follow on the back of recruitment news last week, with Simon Mayoh joining the Leeds team in a new role as Financial Planning Consultant.

Commenting on how the firm is bucking the trend and continuing to recruit and promote within the Yorkshire region, CEO and Managing Partner, Paul Dickson said,

“Whilst the pandemic may have meant a temporary change to our working environments, our clients require our support and advice more now than ever and we’re determined to continue with business as (new) normal in the approach we take.  It’s important to be able to adapt, however we remain focused on the future, with further growth and additional recruitment planned.

“Recognising and nurturing the talent we currently have within the firm is integral to this growth and both Tom and Olivia have shown this in abundance. Tom holds a strong reputation for advising managing partners and law firm boards on best practice and will continue to do so as part of his audit, accounting and strategic services to the legal sector. Olivia has demonstrated that she can turn her hand to a large variety of tax advisory projects and going forward she will leverage her experience in HMRC dispute resolution and risk management to develop this Armstrong Watson offering.”

Commenting on his promotion, Tom Blandford said,

“It is an honour to become a partner within Armstrong Watson and particularly in the context of our continued growth throughout the Yorkshire region.  We have a fantastic team in the firm and in our three Yorkshire offices working hard alongside me, and I am extremely proud that CEO and Managing Partner Paul Dickson, and the Armstrong Watson board, believe in me to grow and develop our specialist practice for lawyers and law firms in Leeds and beyond.  I look forward to continuing to work with my exciting clients, helping them manage their challenges and make the most of the opportunities that these uncertain times present.”

Olivia Rawlinson also commented on her new position,

“My journey this far at Armstrong Watson has been brilliant and I look forward to continuing along this path. Assisting our clients on their own growth journeys and through their challenges is part of our culture and is what makes going to work so enjoyable.  Part of the Armstrong Watson plan is to grow and develop the HMRC dispute resolution practice and I am excited about being a fundamental part of that aspiration.”

Armstrong Watson continues to increase its presence across the North of England, last year opening an office in Newcastle and earlier this year acquiring the Eura Audit practice in Northallerton, merging with the office already in situ in the town.  The firm now has 16 locations across the North of the UK – including 3 in Yorkshire (Leeds, Skipton and Northallerton), 35 partners and is the 28th largest accountancy business in the country.