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Montagu Evans boosts Scottish business rates position hiring GVA James Barr Head of Rating in Scotland

Business rates expert Ken McCormack joins Montagu Evans’ Glasgow office as Partner, leading the firm’s Scottish rating work.

Ken joins the firm after 28 years with GVA James Barr. He became a Director of James Barr in 1997 and Head of Rating in 2000. When James Barr was acquired by GVA in 2013, Ken became Senior Director and Head of Rating in Scotland. 

He currently chairs the RICS Rating and Local Taxation Group in Scotland. He is also a Member of the UK-wide RICS Rating and Local Taxation Policy Panel, and a Committee Member and past (2014) President of Rating Surveyors Association (RSA) – the first (and only) Scot to hold that position in its 108 year history. 

As a leading figure in the rating industry, Ken has recently provided a written submission and oral evidence to the Barclay Review on business rates in Scotland and is regularly asked by business organisations to provide advice on issues around rating and local taxation. 

Ken advises many leading companies across Scotland on rates, many specialising in whisky, renewables, dockyards, pharmaceuticals and telecoms sectors, as well as the retail, offices and industrial sectors more generally.  He has advised the Scottish Government on the assessment of the Scottish Parliament and also worked with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Diageo plc, Pernod Ricard-Chivas Brothers, The Edrington Group, William Grant & Sons, Glenmorangie, Babcock Marine, BA Systems, Scottish Power, GlaxoSmithKline, DSM Pharmaceutical Products and Spirit Aerospace, as well as business organisations such as Scotch Whisky Association, CBI and Scottish Renewables.

His former GVA James Barr colleague Steven Dalton has also joined Montagu Evans as a Partner, starting earlier this year. Together they will work closely with the firm’s consultant Tony McRitchie, who specialises in the hotel industry, as well as the wider Montagu Evans Rating team working across the rest of the UK. 

Commenting on the move, Ken McCormack said: “Major companies and specialist sectors that play a vital role in our economy are facing large rate increases, and with the deadline of 30th September looming it is important that appeals are lodged on time.

“After a year’s garden leave I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the Montagu Evans team to help our clients mitigate (or reduce) their rates bills in this way, as well as providing longer term bespoke advice that directly addresses their commercial needs.”  
Mark Higgin, Partner at Montagu Evans and head of its Rating team, said: “In my view, Ken is Scotland’s leading rating expert. He has huge experience in dealing with the complex rating issues faced by businesses and industry organisations across Scotland, many of them FTSE-100 listed, and an impressive track record of helping them successfully navigate through these challenges. 

“Ken’s decision to join Montagu Evans has been a great boost for the team and we’re pleased he’s now been able to take up his position here. We’ve already welcomed Steven Dalton from GVA James Barr and, working together, we will be further expanding the service we offer to new and existing clients in this area.”


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