PKF Smith Cooper’s Catherine Desmond accepts seat on the CLA’s National Tax Committee

Catherine Desmond

The Head of Private Client Services and Landed Estates at PKF Smith Cooper, Catherine Desmond has welcomed the chance to play a role in shaping rural tax policy by joining the Country Land and Business Association’s (CLA) Tax Committee.

The news follows the announcement of several internal promotions at at PKF Smith Cooper.

A membership organisation dedicated to upholding and highlighting the needs of land, property, and business owners in rural locations across England and Wales, the CLA is a highly regarded organisation in the sector.

The CLA – originally called the Country Landowners’ Association – was founded in 1907 and, remarkably, celebrated its centenary in 2007.

Since its inception, the CLA has lobbied to protect members’ interests at local and national levels. It estimates that almost 50% of rural land in England and Wales – equating to 10 million acres – is either owned or managed by their approximately 33,000-strong membership, of which farmers and landed estates form a significant portion. This renders the longstanding organisation of profound importance in the formulation of legislation surrounding land ownership and management in rural locations.

Catherine comments: “Many of my clients are also involved with the CLA and both contribute to, and benefit from, the work that they do.

“I am delighted to be able to play my part and look forward to hearing views from clients and contacts on the impacts taxation policy has on the rural economy that can be taken forward to the Committee.

“I also sit on the local Derbyshire Committee and am happy to hear of rural issues other than taxation that others would like aired in that forum”.

Prior to beginning her tax career, Catherine completed a law degree, moving on to qualify as a Chartered Tax Advisor specialising in private wealth and landed estates. She has gained an expert reputation for land and business succession planning, property taxes, and capital taxes, and looks after a number of Landed Estates across the Midlands and North-West.

Catherine said the following about her recent appointment: “This is a fantastic opportunity to utilise the expertise I’ve gathered over the years, whilst also gaining valuable insights from others on the Tax Committee.

“I’m thrilled to be associated with such a distinguished organisation, particularly as they are dedicated to advocating for rural communities and landowners.

“I look forward to the continued development of my relationship with the CLA and getting started.”

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