Chris Lonergan
Partner Development Director

Chris Lonergan

Partner Development Director

 

Chris is responsible for building and managing long-term “win-win-win” relationships with accountants and accountancy firms to jointly help clients take advantage of the services Catax offers as part of their overall client service and business development strategy.

Chris joined Catax in 2020 and in addition to building his own partner portfolio has been responsible for developing our highly flexible partnership programme to suit varying partner needs.

In 1996 Chris left the IT industry to become one of the first sales directors in the UK accountancy sector and subsequently has driven significant organic growth at 3 well-known firms and acted as an external consultant for several other professional services organisations. He has also built and managed several client portfolios from scratch as a fee-earner and launched and integrated new advisory services to improve client engagement and drive income.

Chris originally trained in engineering and holds an MBA qualification from Imperial College. He is committed to helping partners grow and leverages his previous experiences, also including several start-ups, to achieve this.

Outside of work, Chris follows sports and is a keen walker. As a North London exile, though actively trying to secure his Yorkshire passport, he still supports Tottenham Hotspur and Saracens. His children have now all flown the nest and he is waiting for the next generation to arrive.

Nigel Holmes
Head of R&D Technical Operations

Nigel Holmes

Head of R&D Technical Operations

 

Nigel is Head of R&D Technical Operations at Catax and also deals with most of the technical queries received from staff, clients and introducers with regard to R&D tax relief, Patent Box tax relief and Remediation of Contaminated Land tax relief.

Nigel qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1994 and as a Chartered Tax Adviser in 1998, with a focus on helping businesses claim Research & Development tax relief since its introduction in 2000. Nigel joined Catax in April 2017 from a large regional accountancy practice where he was a corporate tax partner.

He was nominee for Tolley’s Taxation, Tax Writer of the Year Award 2017 and posts regularly through his blog, ‘Tax Talk’ to educate and advise anyone thinking of claiming R&D Tax relief, and has articles published in the national tax press. He has lectured widely on Catax’s services at many events including for the ICAEW, the Law Society, the Institute of Financial Accountants and the CIOT.

Given Nigel’s background he can speak “accountancy” to fellow accountants and help explain matters in a language they understand.

Nigel enjoys seeing clients benefit from the tax savings generated and since joining Catax has really understood the merits of using a specialist for complex areas of taxation.

 

In his spare time Nigel enjoys watching Carlisle United, reading, travelling and all things James Bond related!

Samantha Kandola
Head of Capital Allowances Operations

Samantha Kandola

Head of Capital Allowances Operations

 

Samantha, our Head of Capital Allowances Operations, has been with Catax from the beginning. Her expertise in Capital Allowances is second to none; she leads our Capital Allowances team and works closely with our partners to ensure they receive the maximum return on their property investments.

 

After joining Catax fresh out of university, Samantha worked in various roles across the business before heading up the Capital Allowances team in 2018. During her time at Catax, Samantha has worked closely with accountants to maximise capital allowances claims on property acquisitions and building/refurbishment projects. 

 

Samantha is a member of the Association of Taxation Technicians. 

 

Outside of work, Samantha enjoys hiking and is always planning her next holiday. Last year, Samantha combined her two favourite hobbies by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Samantha Knowles
Partnership Engagement Executive

Samantha Knowles

Partnership Engagement Executive

 

Samantha, our Partnership Engagement Executive, supports our accountant network to explore the ways we might collaborate and help add value to the services they’re already providing their clients. She will discuss the many ways Catax might support our partners and build a strategic relationship.

 

Samantha started at Catax in 2019 as an administrator and quickly gained interest in the retentions process resulting in her transfer to a sales-focussed role. Prior to Catax, Samantha attended Leeds University to studying English Language and Linguistics, igniting a passion for spoken and written communication. Incorporating this into her new role, Samantha takes pride in her ability to engage with accountants and explain the ways a strategic relationship can help their businesses. 

 

Samantha has also previously worked in the Charity sector, raising over £19,000 for St. John Ambulance. During her time as a charity fundraiser she found her calling in working with people. She was able to travel around the country and enjoyed the perk of speaking to people from so many different walks of life. 

 

In her spare time, Samantha enjoys spending time with her friends and has a passion for food (both preparing and eating). She likes to make the most of the sunshine with trips to the beach as well as maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Sue Armstrong
Manager

Sue Armstrong

Professional Partner Director

 

Sue has many years of experience in banking and financial services, working for a number of national companies such as Lloyds Bank, Halifax Bank and Zurich. With her background in both financial services and tax, her experience easily lends itself to the services Catax have to offer.

 

Sue has worked with Catax since 2014 and, in her current role as Professional Partner Director, she has been working with our Accountant partners advising on our suite of services. The team is developing long-lasting relationships with our accountant partners to ensure their clients get the best and most appropriate advice on any claims.

 

Sue as 2 grown up daughters and a son plus grandchildren, so family keeps her busy at the weekends where down time allows for a bit of gardening but mostly enjoying holidays in the sun with a glass of wine or two!

Paul O’Kell
Group Channel Partner Director

Paul O’Kell

Group Channel Partner Director

 

Paul O’Kell’s role as Group Channel Partner Director, involves manging relationships with Catax’s key strategic and professional partners. This includes ICAEW, IFA and The Law Society as Catax’s professional partners.

 

Paul joined Catax in 2017 having previously successfully built, managed and developed channel partners and sales teams in Telecoms and IT Services, during which time holding a number of senior positions within blue chip organisations.

 

Outside of work Paul is the proud father to two daughters who are both currently at university. In his spare time Paul is a Manchester United season ticket holder and also a keen golfer.

Karen Taylor
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Karen Taylor

Head of Grants

 

Karen heads up and is responsible for the grant funding division in Catax, helping clients to identify, apply and manage grant funding projects across all sectors and technologies.

Karen joined Catax in 2020 having previously worked for a number of SME’s managing over 15 UK Innovate and EU Horizon 2020 grants from writing the application, project management and also being responsible for delivering work packages around marketing, business development and commercials. Prior to this Karen worked as a business consultant working in the private equity and accountancy sectors working for Hitachi Consulting, Deloitte UK, Grant Thornton and PwC.

Karen started her career as a lecturer at John Moores University lecturing Corporate Social Responsibility following the completion of her degree in Business Studies and Business Administration.

Outside of work, Karen enjoys Cross Fit and plays rugby for Birkenhead Park Panthers (one of the oldest players). If not playing sport then you will find Karen either watching Liverpool FC, online shopping or cooking.