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Students Awarded Savills and Saffery Champness Tax and Estate Planning Prize

Posted 11 January 2008

Winner Craig Brough and  Matthew Burton of Saffery Champness

Two Harper Adams University College students have been commended by the global real estate services provider Savills and leading accountancy firm Saffery Champness for their outstanding performances in Tax and Estate Planning.

From six finalists, Craig Brough of Dalston, Carlisle was selected as the Savills and Saffery Champness Tax and Estate Planning Prize winner and James Alderson of Askrigg, Leyburn was named runner-up at a presentation at the University College in Shropshire.

Both Craig and James are in their final year at Harper Adams studying for a BSc (Hons) degree in Rural Enterprise and Land Management.  Both young men intend to pursue careers as rural chartered surveyors when they graduate in 2008 and both are likely to be in demand given the knowledge they have demonstrated by winning this prestigious prize.

Brian Gargett of Savills, himself a chartered surveyor, commended all six finalists on the quality of their presentation at interview.  The interview was based on an estate and tax planning project based on the fictional Dawson Park Estate.  Mary Dawson, the elderly matriarch, had died recently leaving eldest son Peter Dawson – himself in poor health – in control and facing a large tax bill and some major estate management issues.  The task facing the students was to advise the family on the way forward.

Matthew Burton, a chartered surveyor and accountant with Saffery Champness led a feedback session with the final year students outlining how in practice he and his colleagues would approach a professional assignment like this.

Students praised the value of the project for its realism and challenge.  As Brian and Matthew commented, many of them will be faced with very similar challenges when they graduate and join professional firms with responsibility for client advice.

Both Savills and Saffery Champness have close links with Harper Adams University College and each year makes the awards with the objective of encouraging the most gifted students in to the property profession. During the recent visit to the University College in Shropshire, members of Savills and Saffery Champness provided constructive careers advice to the students including an insight in to available opportunities within the sector.

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