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About us


Atherton Clarke LLP is a firm of Certified Chartered Accountants, who perform specialist casework. Although qualified to do so, we do not perform annual compliance work for clients, ie submission of annual accounts, Companies House returns etc. Although some clients are engaged directly, in the main, we assist general accounting practitioners and solicitors in our specialised area.


Our principal area of work is Code of Practice 9 (formerly called ‘Hansard’) investigations.


Our other specialist areas are

  • R & D Tax Credits
  • Business Premises Renovation Allowance.


Alex spent 23 years at HMRC (formerly known as Inland Revenue Department), where he conducted tax investigations on high net worth individuals and companies. He has spent the last 14 years on ‘the other side’ initially at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, assisting clients in defending themselves against HMRC. Alex is also a qualified accountant (ACCA).

After rising in HMRC to the rank of Senior Inspector, where his work included the most serious cases, including criminal prosecution, Alex turned from ‘gamekeeper to poacher’ and moved to Pricewaterhouse Coopers tax department, where he worked with various clients providing advice and defence strategies to minimise liability during HMRC investigation. He left PwC to run his own practice, which was then acquired by BTG Tax, part of Begbies Traynor plc. He was appointed partner at BTG, and was National Head of Tax Investigation Services.

In July 2010 he formed Atherton Clarke with lifelong friend David Atherton, concentrating on specialist areas of accounting and finance.


David was an early pioneer, launching the website in 1996. Ten years later, with annual sales approaching £200m per annum, he sold the company to BT plc. Prior to dabs, David worked for HMRC and the BBC.

David is a serial entrepreneur, and has invested in many businesses, including city centre theme bar cafés, online gaming, music rights, and toy invention/design. He is also active in the real estate market. Between managing these, he is an active stock market investor/trader.

David’s role in Atherton Clarke is general management.

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