Our people

The partners and directors at Friend Partnership offer a knowledge and experience of complex issues combined with problem-solving skills and a highly personal service. To put it simply, our clients know we are firmly on their side, providing thoughtful and effective accountancy, taxation and business advice whenever they need it.

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 diverse range of sectors including manufacturing, retail motor trade and technology.  This hands-on experience and the commercial insight gained from being involved with businesses in a variety of sectors over many years is 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 the Financial Director of 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, logistics as well as support services and 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 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
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.

David Gillies

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, but more recently has 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

David Pegg

VAT Consultant

David has been involved in advising on VAT since it’s introduction in 1973, dealing with what Anthony Barber called a “simple tax”!

Having spent some 14 years with H M Revenue & Customs as a VAT Inspector, latterly at a senior level, David left to join a medium sized practice as a VAT consultant, and since that time has worked for a number of Practices heading up their VAT Departments, including time as the Regional Group VAT Manager for two of the “Big 4” accountancy practices.

David deals in all aspects of VAT, with particular specialisms in land and property, international trade, group re-organisations and restructuring, and civil fraud investigations.

A key aspect of any tax is ensuring that the correct advice is obtained at the correct time, and David is very pro-active in advising businesses on how transactions or businesses should be structured, working closely with our Tax Partner to ensure that they are as tax efficient as possible.

David also regularly lectures on VAT and provides advice to a wide range of businesses from start-ups to international corporate organisations.