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The Bar

Why PKW Accounting

Bar Specialists – Previously being a tax manager of the market leader and recommended services partner of the Bar, the head of our Bar department has valuable experience and knowledge not only of the specialist issues regarding Barristers but also of providing the highest level of service. PKW Accounting uses this experience as a benchmark for the service it provides.

High Level of Service – at PKW Accounting an experienced Chartered Accountant will deal with you affairs from start to finish. There are no junior members of staff completing the bulk of your affairs. Ensuring that your accounts and tax return are fully compliant with the latest regulations and completed consistently to the highest of standards.

Very Competitive Rates – receive the highest level of service without the accompanying fees. Contact us today to discuss our rates.

Minimal inconvenience to yourself – we understand you are busy and tax can be seen as a burden. So why not let us concentrate on your tax affairs so you can concentrate on what you do best. We aim to make things as easy as possible for you. From obtaining information directly from your clerks (permission required) to meeting you at chambers at a time that suits you.


Our aim is to provide you with a high level of service, tailored to your needs, but most importantly at your convenience for a reasonable price. Having previously been an employee of the recommended service partner of the Bar, the head of Bar department has extensive experience.

We at PKW Accounting understand the trials and tribulations of working within the judicial system. This is why we aim to take the stress and hassle away from you when dealing with your accounts and taxation affairs. We pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service at minimum inconvenience to yourself all within a reasonable price.

We can provide assistance and advice with the following:

• Self-Assesment Tax Returns

• Tax Planning for Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax

• Tax advice for investments and pensions

• Payroll Services


I was previously with a large, well-known firm. I switched to PKW Accounting in early 2015, when I heard that Peter was setting up his own firm. I am absolutely thrilled with the service provided and have recommended Peter to all of my colleagues.

He is extremely helpful, as well as being exceptionally efficient and well-organised. He always keeps me in the loop but never inundates me with queries or requests for information: it is the perfect level of involvement and I trust him completely to get on with things, which he always does in good time (no matter how late the information from me sometimes arrive!).

He is also exceptionally good value for money: he has saved me very considerable sums in tax and his rates, when compared to other firms, are extremely competitive. I would not hesitate to recommend him.

Ms Ciara Fairley
Falcon Court Chambers

'Peter Ward provides an excellent, efficient and cost effective service for barristers. I would recommend him without reservation.'

Mr Kester Lees
Falcon Court Chambers

I find Peter to be approachable, knowledgeable, and responsive. He is always available to answer questions, and provides clear and reasoned advice within a short time. Peter was my accountant when he was part of a larger firm, and I was impressed with the quality of service then. That quality of service has improved since Peter set up PKW Accounting, and I now enjoy a better service at considerably lower cost. I have already recommended him to colleagues in chambers, and will continue to do so in the future.

Mr Christopher Hall
11 South Square

"Peter knows exactly what a barrister wants from an accountant. He works efficiently in conjunction with chambers in order to provide a low hassle, high quality service at a very reasonable rate."

Mr Michael Attenborough
5 Paper Buildings

"Peter has dealt with my accounts now for the past 5 years and I am very happy with the service he provides. He deals with matters quickly and efficiently, is reliable and gives timely reminders when information is required. On tax matters his advice is clear and no-nonsense, which is much appreciated! I have no hesitation in recommending him."

Mr James Thompson
Keating Chambers

"PKW Accounting gives an excellent level of service; taking care of all my accounting needs, keeping me informed of developments which may affect me, and always being on hand to answer any queries great or small. Moreover, the level of service comes at a very competitive price.”

Mr James Marsland
5 Paper Buildings

“As a busy barrister I depend greatly on the advice of my accountant. When Chambers recommended Peter to me I was reluctant to change my accountant who had advised me for 15 years. I am so glad that I instructed Peter. He always deals with any query promptly by email and is at hand to give advice. I am impressed with the barrister updates he provides me with. He recently advised me on my wife’s Child Benefit claim and saved me a lot of money.”

Mr John Wyn Williams
Exchange Chambers

“I had used the services of my previous accountant for over 10 years. I thought I had been getting good value for money. I was then recommended to Peter and I have now used him for three years. He provides me with first-rate service and is considerably better value than my previous accountant. I recently remortgaged and Peter helped me with much of the documentation required. I can’t recommend him highly enough.” 

Mr Andrew Jebb
Exchange Chambers

New to The Bar?

We at PKW Accounting are aware of the pressures and uncertainty of becoming a Barrister. From the uncertainty regarding what is required with regards to becoming self-employed to the financial pressures of your first few years in practice.

That is why we have tailored our service to reflect your needs:

Free initial meeting – shortly after you start your second six one of our team will visit you at chambers where they will help you with registration, talk you through the requirements of being self-employed and provide you with help and advice with regards to recordkeeping and bookkeeping.

Free initial preparation and submission of tax return – depending on your individual circumstances, it may be that you are required to submit a tax return the January after you begin your second six. Once registered PKW Accounting will prepare and submit your tax return for free and if you are lucky enough you may also be entitled to a tax refund.

First year’s accounts and tax return – As well as preparing and submitting your first set of accounts and tax return we will also provide you with effective tax planning advice with regards to the most beneficial accounting year-end for your individual circumstance. This not only ensures you are operating in the most tax efficient manner but can also have a big impact on your cash flow and your initial tax liabilities. All for a fee of £150

Second year’s accounts and tax return – for a fee of £350

If you would like to arrange a free initial meeting then please click here

Pupil Barrister Testimonials

“I am just starting out in practice, and am very grateful to have been directed to Peter. He has taken time to answer all of my questions, and sends just the right number of reminders when I need to complete something. Peter has provided an incredibly helpful and personal service, and ensures a quick response time even in busy periods. I feel relieved to have found a reliable and professional accountant this early on in practice. “

Ms Jessica Elliott
One Crown Office Row


As with Barristers, our aim is to provide you with a high level of service, tailored to your needs, but most importantly at your convenience for a reasonable price. We can provide as much advice and support as you require. Whether it be improvements to book keeping procedures and accounting functions, or expert advice on issues specific to Barristers Chambers.

Please find below some of the services we can provide:

• Pupillage Talks - we can visit Pupil Barristers at Chambers and provide then with and provide Pupils with all the information then need as well as insight into the requirements of being self-employed.

• Book Keeping - you may deside that you would like to outsource your book keeping function

• Accounts and Corporation Tax Returns for Trade Protection associations and Service Companies

• VAT returns - produce and sumbit VAT Returns on Chambers behalf

• Payroll

Chambers Testimonials

“Peter provides a valued service to Chambers. He is knowledgable, responds quickly to all requests and is great to do business with.”

Mr Tom Handley
Chambers Director, Exchange Chambers

Barristers and Incorporation

On 5th January 2015 the BSB began accepting applications for Barristers to operate as alternative business structures.  

Then on 8th July 2015, after years of consultation regarding Barristers and Incorporation, George Osbourne announced major changes to the taxation of dividends that drastically reduce the benefit, from a purely tax perspective, of incorporating. These changes would come in to force from April 2016. 

At that point those considering incorporating, mainly due to the tax advantages, opted to remain as a self-employed individual. Most of the tax advantages would no longer be available. But, the more stringent record keeping requirements, red tape, compliance and larger admin burden of incorporating would remain. 

However, depending on personal circumstances, there are still occasions where trading as a limited company may prove beneficial. Please find below a few examples of those circumstances: 

    • Lay Person – you are able to set-up a limited company whereby some shares are held by a lay        person (non-earning spouse). Allowing some of the limited companies distributable profits to be        paid to the lay person in the form of dividends.

    • Avoiding higher rate tax brackets – as a self-employed individual you are taxed on all earning        within the tax year. But operating as a limited company you are taxed on the income you receive        from the company. Therefore, if your income crossed tax brackets you can opt to avoid the        higher rate tax bracket.
        o E.g. profit in year 1 = £110,000, in year 2 = £90,000. Income between £100,000 and £123,700         has an effective tax rate of 60%. Operating as a limited company you could choose to have a         personal income in years 1 and 2 of £100,000. Avoiding the 60% effective tax rate.

    • Approaching retirement – depending on your personal circumstances you can operate a limited        company and leave excess profit in the company, as mentioned above you are only personally        taxed on the income received from the company. Upon retirement you can then use excess        profits to subsidise pension income, making use of any basic rate band available.

Other points to consider: 

    • Pension contributions – as a self-employed individual you receive tax relief on pension        contributions at your effective tax rate. Operating through a limited company you obtain relief on        the higher of your relevant earnings or the basic amount of £3,600. Dividends are not classed as        relevant earnings.  

    • Corporation tax rates – set to reduce to 17% by 2020.

    • Cash Basis for Sole Traders only not limited companies

If you require further information then please use our enquiry form (insert link) for one of the following: 

    • A free consultation regarding how incorporation will affect your individual affairs

    •  A free seminar at chamber for a group of members regarding incorporation.

    •  A PDF copy of our incorporation pack

IACEW Registered

PKW Accounting Ltd
Company Reg No. 08648961
Registered in the U.K
St. Helens | Merseyside


Peter Ward
Managing Director PKW Accounting Ltd
BA (Hons) ACA