Octavia Estates is a property development and investment business established in 1992 by Charlie Lockhart and Patrick A’Hern. Their business covers all areas of the UK and deals with both commercial and residential developments, with each project seeking to appoint a local team to run the schemes on their behalf. In 2004 Octavia Estates relocated the business from London to Cirencester and took the opportunity to review its professional advisors at the same time.
Director, Charlie Lockhart, explained: “A good accountancy practice was critical for our on-going success and growth. Each project we undertake is complex with numerous suppliers and sales. We needed to make sure that our financial planning was robust and our tax planning as clear and concise as possible. McGills acted for the partner of our new PA when we moved to Cirencester. She recommended Simon Nuttall and, from further investigation, it was clear that McGills were the most respected firm in the area.
“Since 2004, they have dealt with all aspects of our business, reviewing our books, producing our accounts and providing tax advice. Each year we review our development pipeline with McGills and discuss how best to structure the corporate structure to protect the business. They hold interesting seminars in the town, often jointly with other professionals, and this provides an interesting learning experience and networking opportunities with others.
“Our relationship with McGills proved to be very important during the last recession. In 2008 we were faced with our main lending bank – Heritable Bank being put into administration following the collapse of the holding bank; something Octavia never dreamed would happen.
“McGills held our hand and helped us negotiate with the administrators, enabling us to have time to re-finance our portfolio with the Cirencester branch of Lloyds Bank. Lloyds knew Simon well and this helped smooth the re-financing during this difficult time.
“Octavia now have a strong working relationship with McGills. Our accounts are submitted on time each year and it is a pleasure to know that a significant part of our work in running the business is dealt with quickly and efficiently even though McGills often have to ‘remind’ us to submit the information to them on time!
“We have introduced McGills to another property client, where they have subsequently been appointed as auditors and we are delighted to have done this. We would not hesitate to recommend the firm to other local companies.”