Smailes Goldie Group grows its agribusiness expertise

Well-known North Yorkshire chartered accountant Stephen Headley is to join Smailes Goldie Group’s thriving agriculture and landed estates team in November.

(L-R) Peter Dearing, Stephen Headley, Martin Overfield, Victoria Shannon and Ben Thiim

Stephen Headley joins the firm with nearly 30 years of experience in advising farmers and landowners on the full range of business, accounting and tax matters. He is the son of a farmer and owns his own farm on which he has developed a renewable energy business.

At Smailes Goldie Group, Stephen will be working alongside the existing team, headed by Martin Overfield, to deliver its already successful specialist succession planning advice, keep in touch with contacts in the sector and roll out new initiatives. He will also provide commercial and technical support to the team, working with the Group’s clients, as the department continues to grow.

Stephen said: “Smailes Goldie Group has an established reputation as a go-to firm for farmers and other agricultural businesses across North Yorkshire and the East Riding and so it was a natural next-step for me.

“Agriculture is a sector that regularly encounters tough challenges and the farming community is once again grappling with the lingering impact of the pandemic and the transition to the new subsidy regime.”

Martin Overfield, Partner at Smailes Goldie Group, said: “I’ve known Stephen for more than 20 years as a friendly competitor in a highly specialised market and know that we share many values and views. He will be an ideal support to help our growing team in a sector facing fresh challenges.”

Amongst the changes set to impact the agricultural sector in the coming years is the expansion of HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative from VAT to various other taxes, including income tax. Partner Pete Dearing will be working with the team to ensure clients have a smooth transition to the new digital record keeping and reporting requirements.

The appointment further strengthens the firm’s commitment to supporting rural clients, following the recent appointments of two new partners, Victoria Shannon and Ben Thiim who both have specialisms in this sector.

Ben is a tax specialist with a focus on all aspects of private client and trust tax for UK and international clients, as well as advising on certain aspects of corporate tax planning. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) and holds the STEP advanced certificate for the UK taxation of international clients.

Meanwhile, Victoria advises rural businesses, landed estates and families on a wide range of matters, including long-term, multi-generational tax planning with a commercial focus. She holds the FCCA accountancy qualification and is also a member of STEP.

Smailes Goldie Group is a 120-strong firm, predominantly supporting businesses in the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region from its offices in Hull and Barton.

To find out more about Smailes Goldie Group’s full range of services, please visit