Our people

The team at Friend Partnership is highly experienced, regularly delivering expert advice to a broad mix of clients.  Our clients know we are always firmly on their side, providing thoughtful, effective and pro-active accountancy, taxation and business expertise, whenever they might need it.

Our key contacts are shown below, who are also supported by a wider team who can be called upon for support, as and when needed.

We also have access to an experienced niche VAT Consultancy. Should you require specialist VAT advice, please contact David Gillies in the first instance who will put you in touch.

Malcolm Friend

Malcolm Friend

Senior Partner

Malcolm heads the Audit and Assurance department at Friend Partnership and also provides strategic, financial and business advice to his clients, who are involved in a variety of industrial and commercial sectors.

Malcolm has board experience in both Chairman and Financial Director capacities in a diverse range of sectors including manufacturing, the retail motor trade and technology.  The hands-on experience and commercial insight gained from being involved with businesses in a variety of sectors over many years is highly valued by his clients with whom he has many very longstanding relationships.

Malcolm has a Masters Degree in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte, where he worked in the Birmingham, London, New York and Paris offices.  Prior to joining Friend Partnership, he was Financial Director at a multi-site and multi-franchise retail motor group.

telephone: 0121 633 2000
Denise Friend

Denise Friend

Corporate Finance Partner

Denise founded Friend Partnership and in the course of her career has advised companies, institutions and management teams, principally from the UK but also from the USA, in numerous transactions in a variety of sectors including technology, manufacturing, construction, retail and logistics, as well as support services, media and entertainment.

In recent years Denise has held Board positions in education, healthcare and technology businesses.  The experience gained as part of a management team in high growth and international businesses is valued by clients of the firm and as they differentiate this from the traditional adviser role.

Denise is a graduate of the London School of Economics and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse.  Before establishing Friend, Denise was an Investment Controller at 3i and focused on buy-outs and development capital for growth businesses.

telephone: 0121 633 2000

David Gillies

Tax Partner

David joined Friend Partnership in July 2020.  During a career spanning more than 30 years, he spent many years working for “Big 4” accountancy practices, and more recently held a senior partnership position in a medium-sized practice where he focused on family businesses, property businesses and estate planning.

David delivers specialist and comprehensive tax planning advice and expertise to the firm’s clients operating in sectors including IT and technology, manufacturing, renewable energy, distribution, retail, property, and theatre and television production companies.

David provides a comprehensive portfolio of tax advice and services. This includes inheritance and estate planning, residence and domicile matters, capital gains tax, stamp duty land tax, property tax and property business structuring, family business structuring and creative industry tax relief. He possesses a genuine and palpable desire to understand and realise clients’ ambitions.

telephone: 0121 633 2000
Mark Scotter

Mark Scotter

Corporate Finance

Mark joined Friend Partnership in 2003 from Birmingham University where he graduated with a degree in Accounting and Finance.  He subsequently qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant in 2006 and is now a fellow of the ACCA and a member of ICAEW.

He has in excess of 10 years’ Corporate Finance experience and has been involved in all types of deals, including buy-side and sell-side advisory, private equity fundraising and corporate restructures.  He has experience across a wide range of sectors with a focus on manufacturing and technology businesses and has extensive experience in the review and development of complex financial models, business plans and corporate structures.

Mark has also acted in the capacity of interim finance director for a number of clients, and currently holds the position of finance director for a high growth technology company.

Mark leads the firm’s business valuation department and carries out valuations on a regular basis for a range of purposes including tax efficient share restructurings, corporate acquisitions and disposals and expert witness reports.

telephone: 0121 633 2000
Hannah Bowker

Hannah Bowker

Audit & Assurance Director

Hannah joined Friend Partnership in 1999 from Birmingham University, where she graduated with a degree in psychology. She qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant in 2003.

Hannah has substantial experience in audit and business assurance related services, working with clients covering a wide range of business sectors including manufacturing, professional services and automotive.

telephone: 0121 633 2000
Frank Upton

Frank Upton

Senior Tax Consultant

Frank joined the firm in 1992 having previously been with Price Waterhouse and before that Coopers & Lybrand.

He provides a range of tax advisory services and has particular expertise in dealing with complex personal, corporate and international tax planning matters and is also experienced in litigation support work, including acting as an expert witness.

Amy Cowling

Employment & Rewards Manager

Amy joined Friend Partnership in September 2017, having graduated some 10 years previously from The University of Birmingham with a degree in Environmental Geoscience.  After graduation, Amy began her career in payroll, working as a Payroll Administrator for a large outsourcing payroll company.  She completed her IPP Advanced Practitioner Certificate in Payroll in 2011.

Amy is now Employment & Rewards Manager at Friend Partnership, generally dealing with, and having vast experience in, large employee payroll volumes, differing payroll frequencies, payroll year end, P11D submissions and account reconciliation.

Amy also heads the PAYE ‘health check’ element of our risk management service.

telephone: 0121 633 2012

Sarah Jordan

Marketing Manager

Sarah joined Friend Partnership recently as Marketing Manager, having previously spent almost 20 years working within marketing and business development roles at law firms across the Midlands, during which time she has built up a vast range of knowledge, experience and expertise.

Working closely with the partners at the firm, Sarah’s role covers the full mix of marketing and business development, including strategic marketing support, brand, PR, events, client engagement and development, digital, and both internal and external communications.

Sarah will also be devising and delivering a Marketing Strategy, which will include growth plans that the firm is looking to achieve organically through the delivery of new service lines and products, as well as via niche recruitment.

telephone: 0121 633 2016