Goodman Nash

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Goodman Nash's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Goodman Nash is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Director AlanWeston
Goodman Nash are one of the earliest and largest
companies of their type. Through their audit business
rate recovery services, they provide savings to clients
in the commercial property sector. Moreover, by using data
intelligently, they find the clients who are most likely to benefit
from their expertise. To ensure that clients are confident
in purchasing their services, Goodman Nash receive only a
percentage of the savings they achieve. By doing this, both
companies’ incentives align: the more Goodman Nash saves, the
better the financial result for both parties. The success of this
model – despite some of the political challenges faced along the
way – is explained in greater detail by Director Alan Weston.
Fellow director Andrew Wheeler and I founded this company in 1994 in order to assist
clients occupying commercial property in getting their money back. In the early days,
our efforts resulted in a landmark Court of Appeal decision against the Valuation Office
Agency on two test cases. As a result of this, our clients then went on to recover more
than £30 million in business rates overcharges across roughly 18,000 properties.
Very soon after starting the company, we had already made a mark on the industry.
Understanding our clients, delivering results
Fast-forward to today, and we are now recognised as a leading audit business rates
recovery specialist. Our ultimate goal is to save our clients as much money aspossible.
Our services are for all kinds of commercial property occupiers, be they small, medium
»Co-directors: Alan Weston and
Andrew Wheeler
»Founded in 1994
»Located in London, Bristol,
»Services: Property audit
»No. of employees: 55
Goodman Nash
Highlighting best practice
or large enterprises, including those
working in retail, leisure, industrial,
manufacturing and finance sectors. We
are confident enough in our success
that our revenue comes from taking
a percentage of the savings we make
for our clients. Our status as one of
the largest dedicated property audit
companies in the UK means we will do
whatever it takes to discover, recover
and reduce costs.
The area in which we work is primarily
concerned with commercial property,
and we perform our work within
the jurisdictions of England, Wales
and Scotland. At present, we have
55 employees, among whom are
chartered surveyors, ex-local authority
employees and graduates. One of
the keys to our success is our ability
to mine and interrogate data in
order to discover opportunities in the
marketplace. After finding companies
who could benefit from our services,
we approach them with specific details
about how much we can save them by
securing reductions in rateable value
and through corrections of charges
more generally. All of this, of course,
is done responsibly and with due
adherence to the regulation of data.
Our expertise means we can work across
the whole of the UK. Relief entitlement,
which varies considerably from
jurisdiction to jurisdiction, is therefore
something we can deliver on, wherever
our client comes from. Detailed and
intricate knowledge of this policy area
is the result of our many decades’
worth of accumulatedexperience.
Working through
Our ability to navigate in this difficult
terrain is among the best, but there
are hurdles that – although they may
not affect our clients – might affect
our business. I’m speaking here of the
constant political changes in the area of
business rates. In 2018, for example, the
chancellor announced that from April
2019, businesses with a rateable value of
less than £51,000 would have one third
of their rates bill cut. Another example
of sudden change is the postponement
of the revaluation that was due to take
place in 2015. The government also
said recently that revaluations will occur
every three years after 2021.
These changes can present significant
difficulties because we charge on the
Alan and Andrew with
Devizes Museum Director
David Dawson, one of
our more unusual clients
Our expertise
means we can
work across
the whole of
the UK
basis of revaluation periods and on the
assumption of certain policies being
in place. When these change, as they
often do, we might end up getting
less money than we anticipated. Many
of these changes are beneficial to
clients, but it can make planning more
difficult for us. We simply have to
work through it; it’s one of the largest
challenges we face as a company.
What doesn’t benefit our clients,
however, is government incapacity
when it comes to processing
revaluation appeals. The number of
units being assessed is far too high for
the relatively few people there are to
handle these claims. This will be made
even more difficult by the fact that the
Valuation Office Agency might lose 25
per cent of its staff.
Indeed, the government was seriously
considering at one point overhauling
the entire process and making
business owners perform their own
self-assessment – although they
recently decided against this scheme.
Wetherefore have to make sure we
are diligent in our work in order that
there is little room for confusion. To
say that this is an enormous challenge
for everyone in the industry is, as far
as I’m concerned, no exaggeration.
Indeed, a lot of people are saying that
the system isn’t fit for purpose. The
more the government fails to get a
grip on this issue, the more costly it
will be – in terms of both time and
money – forcompanies.
Our role in this, however, is to keep on
delivering for our clients, whatever the
situation in terms of politics. Goodman
Nash, after all, has been delivering
in this sector for roughly a quarter of
a century – in which time we have
accumulated an enormous amount
of experience and resilience. We
have seen many shifts in the political
landscape and have weathered storms
before. Our unique expertise and
strong, data-driven business model will
see us through long into the future.
The government
was seriously
considering at
one point
overhauling the
entire process
and making
business owners
perform their
own self-
The Check, Challenge
Appeal process
(England) – the way

This article was sponsored by Goodman Nash. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster