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Saffery Champness expands position in the Entertainment Sector through acquisition of Specialist Film and TV Unit

03 Oct 2012

Saffery Champness, one of the UK’s top 20 accountancy firms, is expanding its footprint in the sports and entertainment sector with the acquisition of the specialist Film and Television Unit from RSM Tenon with immediate effect. 

The acquisition includes all of the RSM Tenon Group’s existing film and television business. The entire 17-strong team led by John Graydon and Nigel Burke have relocated to Saffery’s London’s offices this week, joining partner Julian Hedley, who left RSM Tenon last year to head up the Saffery Champnessy Champness Sports and Entertainment Group. Among the team who moved are long-standing colleagues Moses Nyachae and Nigel Walde along with Stephen Bristow who joined the team last year to lead on developing the business.

The Film and Television team has an unrivalled reputation in the international film and television industry for providing highly specialised advice and services to British and international film and television productions made in the UK and overseas.  John Graydon and the team act for all the major US studios, as well as a number of US and European independent production companies.  They have also advised the UK Government on the introduction of the UK film tax credit and the new creative sector tax relief announced by the Government in the last budget.

Julian Hedley, Partner, Saffery Champness says, “This is great news for Saffery Champness, we are fast becoming the market leading accountancy practice in sports and entertainment and see film, television and games as a core area for growth for the firm.  The highly specialised expertise offered by John and Nigel’s team will be a huge asset to the practice and complements the entertainment group, particularly as the creative sector looks towards embracing the new tax reliefs for British television, animation and games from next year.  Whilst this expansion will help us to further develop our offering, our collective clients can expect to continue to receive the same high level of service from us."

John Graydon, Partner, adds, “We have been able to assist producers at every budget level in the UK and abroad achieve financial efficiency on their projects ensuring that as much of their investment as possible can be directed towards the production of their films, and ultimately what audiences get to see on the big screen.  We have been working over the past nine months on the introduction of the new creative sector tax reliefs for television, animation and games and are looking forward to working with producers to unlock that funding which will help them and the UK creative sector boost its position and value in the international marketplace.   We look forward to working within the Saffery Champness fold and ensuring that we continue to offer our clients our best advice and services.”

Nigel Burke, Partner, says, “We are delighted that Saffery Champness has decided to follow the Government’s lead by pursuing expansion in the creative industries. With the introduction of tax incentives in TV, animation and gaming supplementing the existing film tax relief, the UK is going to be an exciting place in the coming years for entrepreneurial professional advisors in the media sector. Saffery’s existing prominent market position in advising film, sports and media talent combined with the film and TV team’s unrivalled offering to international producers will create the perfect accompaniment to creative industries growth in the UK.”

A recent report published by Oxford Economics1 highlighted the value of the UK’s film sector to the overall UK economy, in contributing £3.7 billion to UK GDP last year and £1 billion to Exchequer revenues.  The UK film tax relief plays a vital role in sustaining the global competitiveness of film production in the UK supporting the growth of the film sector and related industries.

The UK is a world leader in the creative industries and the introduction of tax relief for television, animation and games production will help to stimulate further growth.

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