Clive Owen LLP is celebrating 40 years since its first office, in Darlington, opened to offer accountancy and taxation services to local owner manager businesses and private individuals.

The firm now operates from Darlington, York, Durham and Middlesbrough with 13 partners and 128 staff

To mark the landmark anniversary, the firm has launched a series of celebratory events for partners, alumni, clients and intermediaries which are planned across the year. It has also introduced a team ’40 challenge’ where colleagues are encouraged to pick something with a 40 theme as a challenge to themselves – such as reading 40 books, visiting 40 beaches or swimming 40km.

Clive Owen LLP managing partner, Gary Ellis said: “Although much has happened over the last 40 years and the client base and range of services provided has widened, the firm’s core offering of working with growing, entrepreneurial businesses and private individuals delivering exceptional service remains unchanged.”

The partnership was started by Clive Owen when, after working for a ‘Big Four’ firm and then gaining some industry experience, he realised that there was a gap in the market for an independent firm with a range of specialisms, offering exceptional client service.

Initially, Clive set up at home in 1983 and then opened his first office in Cockerton in 1984. The firm grew to a team of 10 and moved to offices in Blackwell Lane in April 1988.

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The current Darlington office was opened with a team of 40 in 1997. Housed in the stunning Grade ll listed building on Coniscliffe Road, Greylands, (originally a villa named Belle Vue), was Ropners shipping and insurance headquarters for 50 years. The building has been extended and upgraded over the years but still retains many of its charming period features including its cage lift and sweeping staircase in reception.

The Darlington headquarters houses 72 team members in tax, audit, IT, payroll, grants and transactional services, managed services, HR, marketing and administration.

The firm opened offices in York in 1994, Durham in 1997 and Middlesbrough in 2021.

Ellis added: “The way we work has been revolutionised through technology, the internet and cloud-based accounting, leaving us more time to focus on advisory work that helps us to help our clients achieve their business and financial goals.

“We are building on these advancements with new services that cater for the needs of businesses and individuals. The firm has ambitious plans for the future, including further expansion.

“As a commercially focussed organisation, we are very proud of what our team has achieved within the regional business community. As trusted advisers, we have developed robust, long-term relationships with our clients which has been the key to our success.

‘We’d like to thank everyone that has been involved with our business and who have helped shape our success over the past 40 years.

“It’s great to be able to mark this landmark anniversary together and we are looking forward to being able to spend time with past and present colleagues, clients and the business community over the coming months.”

The firm is currently undertaking a strategic review. Last year it worked with its teams to articulate a set of values. Everyone in the firm was invited to join in with the values workshops and more than 90% of them supported the partners in delivering the project which will underpin the next phase of growth for the firm.