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Meet the Team

Everyone at Friend & Grant is dedicated to delivering the best business, tax and accountancy advice and exceptional service to every one of our clients.


Mark Friend - Managing Director - Chartered Accountant Kent

Mark Friend BSc ACA

Managing Director

Mark Friend is a Chartered Accountant and member of the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales). He works with a portfolio of clients on planning and business development, and on helping them to reduce tax and to create and protect wealth.

Andrew Grant Director at Friend and Grant - Chartered Accountants Rochester, Kent

Andrew Grant FCA


Andrew Grant is a Chartered Accountant and fellow of the ICAEW. His portfolio includes growing businesses where he finds business, accounting and tax solutions to ensure they maximise income, protect wealth and reduce tax.

Accounting Services Team

Scott Russell

Scott Russell FCCA

Head of Accounts

Scott joined the practice in 2009 and qualified in 2010 as a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

In 2016 Scott became Head of Accounts with responsibility for dealing with the day-to-day affairs of a portfolio of business clients.
Scott also leads on all the firm’s audits.

Simon Laurie Accounts Department

Simon Laurie BSc FCCA

Accounts Department

Simon joined Friend & Grant in March 2009, and since February 2013 he has been a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. In 2014 Simon joined the firm’s management team and works closely with the directors on a portfolio of business clients.

Before joining us Simon completed a joint honours degree in Marketing and Accounting at Canterbury Christ Church University achieving a 2:1.

Luke Anderson Accounts Department

Luke Anderson ACA

Accounts Department

Luke joined our Accounts Team in August 2012 and passed  his AAT examinations first time. Luke completed his exams and became a qualified Chartered Accountant in November 2017.

Luke’s work is focused on helping our business clients to save tax, save time and build wealth.

Chris Shaw Accounts Department

Chris Shaw ACA

Accounts Department

Chris joined Friend & Grant in June 2014 as a graduate trainee accountant in our accounts department. Chris qualified as a Chartered Accountant in September 2018 and is ACA qualified.

Bryony Banham Accounts Department

Bryony Banham

Accounts Department

Bryony joined the firm in September 2016 as an apprentice working in our Accounts Department. Bryony is currently studying for the AAT qualification.

Lewis Pyne Accounts Department

Lewis Pyne AAT

Accounts Department

Lewis joined our accounts department in June 2016 as a senior. Lewis has the AAT qualification and works primarily on accounts preparation for limited companies.  Lewis is now studying for the ACA, Chartered Accountant qualification.


Nick Arnold Tax Department

Nick Arnold

Accounts Department

Nick joined the practice in September 2018 as an apprentice accounts assistant. He’s already started studying for his AAT exams and is currently attached to the accounts department.

Dan Stearn Accounts Department

Dan Stearn MAAT

Accounts Department

Dan joined our Business Support team in May 2017.  He is an experienced qualified accounting technician. Dan has quickly been brought up to speed and is now a Xero Certified Advisor, a QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor and a Sage One Certified Advisor. Dan will be studying with us to pass the chartered accountancy examinations.

Taxation Services Team

Jan Friend

Jan Friend CTA

Head of Tax

Jan Friend is a Chartered Tax Adviser and, as head of the Taxation Team, is involved with all tax matters, business and personal. Jan looks after a portfolio of high-net-worth clients as well as being our probate and estate planning expert.

Darren Hughes Tax Department

Darren Hughes

Tax Department

Darren works as member of the Tax Department, dealing mainly with our smaller clients. He is also responsible for general tax compliance work. His portfolio of clients is largely made up of self-employed and partnership businesses, and includes property developers & investors, rental property owners and our high-net-worth clients.

Darren first started working for Mark as a trainee in 2000, when Mark was a sole practitioner. Darren joined the firm’s management team in 2014.

Slava - Tax Department

Slava Knazevs MA ATT

Tax Department

Slava specialises in company tax returns and research and development tax credits (R & D tax credits) and has helped companies secure valuable EIS and SEIS funding.

Sophie Purdue Tax Department

Sophie Purdue

Tax Department

Sophie joined the practice in September 2016 as an apprentice working in our Tax Department.

Sophie is currently studying for the AAT qualification. Once completed, she will go on to study tax further with the ATT exams, and then may even become a Chartered Tax Adviser.

James Thompson Tax Department

James Thomson ATT

Tax Department

James deals with personal tax return preparation and provides capital gains tax advice to our clients to help reduce their tax burden.

Christie Inns

Christie Inns

Tax Department

Christie joined Friend & Grant in November 2018 as an apprentice accounts assistant and is currently attached to the tax department.

Cloud Accounting and Business Support Team

Gavin Hooker

Gavin Hooker BSc (Hons) FCCA FMAAT

Head of Business Support

Gavin joined Friend & Grant in July 2016 having previously worked for a local top twenty accountancy practice. He has a wide range of experience working with owner managed businesses of various sizes and sectors.

At Friend & Grant, Gavin works closely with a portfolio of business clients to provide support on cloud-based accounting software.

Gavin is a Xero Certified Advisor, a QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor and a Sage One Certified Advisor.

Bradley Medhurst - Cloud Accounting

Bradley Medhurst MAAT AATQB

Business Support

Bradley joined our tax department in August 2015 and then moved to the Business Support team in September 2016. His client base includes sole traders, partnerships and small limited companies. Bradley works with these businesses to assist with the bookkeeping and the preparation of both statutory accounts and management reports.

Bradley is AAT qualified and is currently studying for his Chartered Accountant qualification.  He is a Xero Certified Advisor, a QuickBooks ProAdvisor and is also a Sage One Certified Advisor.

Melissa Harle

Melissa Harle MAAT

Business Support

In 2016 Melissa joined our Business Support department to specialise in bookkeeping, management accounts and cloud-based accounting.

She is a Xero Certified Advisor with payroll and migration certifications too. Melissa is also a certifed ProAdvisor for QuickBooks Online and is Sage One Certified.

She enjoys interacting with clients, helping them to achieve their business goals through providing accurate financial information.

Jack Tuffin Cloud Accounting

Jack Tuffin

Business Support

Jack joined the firm in October 2017 as an apprentice working in our Accounts Department. Jack will be completing a combined Level 2 and 3 AAT apprenticeship.

Payroll Services Team

Zoe Tapson - Payroll

Zoe Tapson

Head of Payroll

Zoe joined us in December 2015 to head our payroll department. Zoe has had a varied career working primarily in secretarial and bookkeeping roles. For the last 5 years Zoe has worked in practice, responsible for managing the payroll department. She is a Xero Certified Payroll Advisor.


Administration Services Team

Julie Edwards Reception

Julie Edwards


Julie Edwards is most likely to be the first person you talk to as she is our receptionist. She also acts as PA to Mark and is responsible for company secretarial matters.

Julie joined Friend & Grant in 2004. She really enjoys meeting the clients and getting to know them.

Paige McNair Marketing

Paige McNair


Paige joined Friend & Grant in October 2016 as an apprentice working in an administrative and communications role. Paige has completed her Level 3 Business & Administration qualification, and completed her apprenticeship coming in the top 3 out of 100 students.

Paige is also responsible for the firm’s social media and assists with the marketing. You’ll meet Paige when you visit the office.

Karen Seymour-Jones Customer Services

Karen Seymour-Jones BSc (Hons)

Customer Services Officer

Karen joined the firm in November 2016 as our customer services officer, acting as a liaison with all of our clients.

Karen has a first-class honours degree in Psychology. She previously worked as a legal PA for law firms in London, Sydney and Auckland.

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