L-R: Kate Beckett, David Houghton and Michael Brian
Richard Bell

Dow Schofield Watts merges forensic practice with Chester accountants Bridge Houghton

North West corporate valuation and forensic accountancy firm Bridge Houghton LLP has merged with the forensic arm of advisory business Dow Schofield Watts.

The combined practice, moving forward as DSW Bridge Houghton Forensic, will be headed up by partners David Houghton, Kate Beckett and Michael Brian.

Operating from Dow Schofield Watts Group’s existing offices in Daresbury and Leeds, the partnership will provide witness, advisory, valuation, dispute and investigation services to both lawyers and corporate clients.

Chester-based Bridge Houghton was established four years ago by David Houghton, the former head of law firm Brabners’ accountancy advisory department, and Mark Fuller, who previously served as the head of fund management company Alliance Fund Managers.

The Dow Schofield Watts Forensic practice was founded in 2012.

Commenting on the deal, David Houghton said: “The coming together of our two practices creates a firm that will be one of the leading independent forensic teams outside London.

“Our skills and experience complement each other and the merger will materially strengthen the range of services that we can offer together and allow us to further develop our service offering to key partners in the professional community.”

Michael Brian said the merger represents an “exciting step” in the development of the partnership.

He continued: “We strongly believe that joining together with David and his team will create a business that is more than the sum of its parts.

“It gives us greater critical mass to broaden our service offering without diluting the high quality, client focused ethos which has allowed us to achieve what we have to date.”

Dow Schofield Watts’ founding partner, James Dow, commented: “David has built a national reputation for his work in forensic accounting.

“The merger will further strengthen the expertise of our team as we continue to develop our offering as the advisor of choice for professional and corporate clients.”

Mark Fuller, co-founder of Bridge Houghton, will step back from the practice to pursue new opportunities elsewhere.

He said of the deal: “I am delighted that we have secured this merger. The Bridge Houghton and Dow Schofield Watts brands have a great reputation and together they provide a formidable range of talent and services.

“I now have an increasing focus on developing the Academy for Chief Executives in the North West and will continue to pursue several other business interests.”

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