Merger sees return to South Quay

East Anglian accountancy firm Lovewell Blake has boosted its presence on the east coast after a merger with a Great Yarmouth-based firm.

M Hoose & Coy's merger with Lovewell Blake will see the firm once again have an office in South Quay, where it had a base since it was founded in 1858 until 1983.

It the second east coast firm within a year to merge with Lovewell Blake, following the merger of Hartley & Co in Lowestoft.

The move also marks further expansion this year for Lovewell Blake, which announced in January the opening of a joint office with solicitors Rudlings Wakelam at Long Melford to serve west Suffolk clients.

'We are delighted that M Hoose & Coy are joining our firm,' said Russell Leggett, senior partner of Lovewell Blake.

'They have a strong practice in the town and a reputation built over many decades.

'The merger is a significant addition to our firm as we develop our business for the future.'

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He also welcomed the firm's principal Tim Thomas and his team.

M Hoose & Coy, which has been in business at Yarmouth since the 1930s, made national headlines in the 1980s when it won a Court of Appeal case against the Inland Revenue over the rights of workers on oilrigs to claim tax deductions similar to those on ships.

It was founded as H S Alexander and then acquired during the second world war by Mildred Hoose who had trained there — becoming one of the few female chartered accountants at the time.

Mr Thomas and Mrs Hoose's daughter Elizabeth met while both were working in Luxembourg and after they were married they later returned to work in the Yarmouth firm. He took over the practice after Mrs Hoose retired.

The firm has seven staff and its principal, with a number of offshore clients and also farmers.

Lovewell Blake has 55 staff and four partners at its Yarmouth office. It also has offices in Norwich, Lowestoft, Thetford, Halesworth, Aylsham and North Walsham.