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New Partner to bring first-hand experience to agriculture team

Leading East Anglian accountancy firm, Larking Gowen, has announced the appointment of a new Partner in its Farms and Rural Business Team. Laurie Hill, who joined the firm in 2019, will be starting his new position in April 2023.

With his continued involvement in the family farm, based at Bradenham, in Norfolk, Laurie has the advantage of seeing his role from the client's point of view.

"Because I’m a farmer outside the normal day job as an accountant, I have a view from both sides of the fence," he explained. "I approach my work in the way that I’d like to be approached as a client. Good communication, trust and honesty are the most important things."

Laurie started his training at a national firm, working in the commercial audit sector, but always with a keen eye for agricultural businesses. His experience there included a year working on secondment in New Zealand.

"I was always going to specialise in agriculture. I wanted to use my experience of working in that sector. You get to know your clients well, and become a trusted advisor in a family business, so it feels like a very privileged position," Laurie said.

Despite facing challenges, Laurie believes the farming sector will remain strong into the future, as businesses continue to adapt and evolve.

"There are significant pressures in farming. Prices of outputs have improved but we're dealing with ag inflation of around 24%, with fertilisers and sprays up to a greater extent. These continual increases in costs can’t be sustained for long. Cash flow is key for our clients for the next 12 to 18 months with input prices where they are," he said.

"The advisory side of the role is growing all the time, and we have to be proactive in this. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with fantastic clients over the years and I look forward to continuing these relationships, as well as forging new ones, as we look towards growth for the firm."

Steve Rudd, lead Partner on the Farms and Rural Business Team, added, “It’s fantastic that we can welcome Laurie to join the partnership from next April. He brings a huge amount of practical hands-on experience and knowledge coming from a Norfolk farming family. The whole team continues to grow, and Laurie secures us more resource to help farming families throughout the region.”

Managing Partner, Julie Grimmer, added, "I wish to send my personal congratulations to Laurie on his promotion. I’m absolutely delighted that Laurie is joining the partnership. We’ve already seen Laurie’s commitment to our client service values and to the development of people and to new relationships. His appointment contributes to the growth and success of the Farms and Rural Business Team and the long-term development of the firm.



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