The firm took its present shape with the merger of 3 firms in 1986:
JB Lever & Co with offices in Burnley and Manchester
Mann Judd Downey in Burnley
Bowman Dawes in Manchester
Through these constituent firms Cassons’ history can be traced back to early in the 20th century.
The newly merged firm became known as JB Lever & Co. In 1987 JB Lever & Co formed an association with Casson Beckman, a major firm of London accountants. In the mid-1990s Casson Beckman took over Halpern & Woolf, a national network of accounting firms. The merged network practised as Casson Beckman. The three Halpern & Woolf offices in the North West did not join the new network. Instead, in 1995, J B Lever & Co became the North West arm of Casson Beckman, adopting Casson Beckman as its new name. The network was a loose structure and all the member firms remained legally separate.
Cassons Beckman, London, took over control of an insolvency firm, which became Casson Beckman & Partners. The Manchester office of that firm moved into the same building as our Manchester office. We had a working relationship with that firm, but we always remained separate firms.
In 1997 The London office of Casson Beckman merged with a larger national firm. We recognised that our strength lay with our client base of owner-managed businesses and professional firms and we chose to remain an independent regional firm. The national network broke up.
Some of the other Casson Beckman offices retained that name. The insolvency firm Casson Beckman & Partners became an independent firm, still separate from us, but still in the same building. It set up Casson Beckman Corporate Finance, but later closed that operation. (In 2002 Casson Beckman & Partners went out of business.)
In 1999 we changed our name from Casson Beckman to Cassons, balancing continuity with a statement of our individual identity as an independent North West firm.
In 2004 we joined BKR International as an independent member firm, giving our clients access to business, financial and tax advice around the world.
Until 2006 the firm operated out of two offices: Ashworth House on Manchester Road in Burnley and Bow Chambers on Tib Lane in Manchester. In the summer of 2006 we relocated our Burnley office and several of our Manchester staff to our new Lancashire office on the A56.
Operationally we had separate managing partners for Burnley and Manchester. With the advent of the new Lancashire office we changed in 2007 to having one managing partner who is Les Nutter. He had previously been managing partner of the Manchester office and Ashley Hayman continues as senior partner.
In 2008 we moved out of Bow Chambers and into Rational House, 64 Bridge Street, Manchester. We are in a very central location, ideal for the financial institutions, law courts and restaurants.
We have many clients whom we have continued to advise through the generations, who have grown and developed with us because, above all, our ethos has not changed.