Home  →  Team   →   DAMIAN SHIRLEY

What do you do?

I am a Tax Partner here at Cooper Parry.  I lead our Indirect Tax Business and I focus on the delivery of Value Added Tax advice, SDLT and Customs Duty advice.

Why do you do it?

I hugely enjoy my role, I’m a bit of a geek to be honest. You need a broad understanding of an underlying business, its trading patterns, the regulatory and financial environment that it trades in and so on.  Pulling all that apart, deciphering the tax position, and putting it all back together – that is what I get out of bed for. If you loved Meccano, Airfix and Lego as a kid, I can bet you’d love my job!

What kind of projects have you been involved in?

My projects are hugely varied.  They span a broad number of sectors and issues.

I support clients in mitigating the cost of major property development projects – such as sports arenas, university campuses, hotels and casinos as examples.  I advise on building design and space allocation, which can unlock a wide number of indirect tax reliefs, often making a project financially viable. Visiting those buildings a few years later, knowing you played a part in making the project a reality, is hugely rewarding.

I help to implement domestic and global supply chain projects for clients in many sectors. Brexit of course has a massive impact on our work, and VAT and Customs Duty are front page news.  Helping clients to grow into international markets, and removing the complexity around all that, really makes you feel like you are part of the clients’ journey and growth.

Technology too is huge for many of our clients in terms of increasing market share and access.  I help to design digital channels to market for clients in various sectors. Believe it or not, VAT plays a massive part in how goods and services are marketed, designed and delivered in some sectors. It’s a real buzz to support clients as their businesses evolve in line with technology.

What’s on top of your bucket list?

I want to make a difference. I want to look back on my career journey with great pride, remembering the impact and support I offered clients, the regions I worked in, and the support I offered great colleagues…  I absolutely love the thought of building a legacy, constantly learning, and nourishing the careers of bright minds along the way. My overarching ambition is to have the chance in years to come to hand on the baton, look back, and think to myself… “I built that”.

damians@cooperparry.com

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