Who we are

Our team

 

Director – Claire Aston

Claire Aston is a tax policy specialist and Chartered Tax Adviser, with a focus on the energy sector. In the years before joining TaxWatch she worked in tax practice and for a business group. She was Head of Tax for the Falkland Islands Government 2016-2018, where she reformed the oil taxation regime and ran the Tax Office there.

Tax Crime Fellow – Dr Pete Sproat

Pete Sproat has an extensive background in researching and teaching financial crime, policing, and politics, at a number of UK universities. Pete has published numerous academic articles on topics such as anti-money laundering, asset recovery and the policing of fraud and organised crime.

Researcher – Sarah Walton

Sarah Walton worked for HMRC as a fully qualified tax inspector for many years. Sarah is experienced in conducting civil investigations into complex cases of tax fraud and avoidance involving all types of taxes and taxpayers.

Executive Director – George Turner

George Turner was the founding Executive Director of Tax Watch since its launch in October 2018. In mid 2022 George was critically injured in a cycling accident and is currently away from work on the long road to recovery.

 

Our directors

 

Richard Brooks

Richard Brooks is an award winning investigative journalist with Private Eye magazine and a former tax inspector. He chairs TaxWatch’s editorial committee.

Richard is the author of “The Great British Tax Robbery: How Britain became a Tax Haven for Fat Cats and Big Business” (Oneworld, 2013). His latest book – Bean Counters (Atlantic, 2018) is an expose of the accountancy profession, including its instrumental role in tax avoidance.

Julian Richer

Julian Richer is a highly respected entrepreneur and philanthropist. The founder of Richer Sounds, the UK’s largest Hi-Fi retailer, Julian opened his first shop aged just 19.
The company has paid the real living wage to all employees since 2014, and gives 15% of its operating profit to charity every year. Richer Sounds has also been awarded a fair tax mark accreditation.

Julian’s latest book – the Ethical Capitalist: How to Make Business Work for a Better Society – was published in 2018.

James Timpson

James Timpson is the CEO of Timpson’s the UK’s largest retail service provider, with 2000 shops across the country. James, who is chair of the Prison Reform Trust, was responsible for Timpson’s pioneering work with former inmates, helping them to gain meaningful employment on release from prison. Today, 10% of colleagues at Timpson were recruited directly from prison. Timpson’s is also a fair tax mark accredited business.

Damien Morrison

Damien Morrison is a partner in Morrison and Associates Solicitors and has specialised in criminal law. He regularly practises as a Higher Court Advocate.

Damien is the Company Secretary of TaxWatch.

Ana Caistor Arendar

Ana is Head of Inequality Campaigns and Policy at Oxfam GB. She previously worked as Oxfam’s Campaigns, Policy and Communications Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean based in Mexico and Bolivia, and as Oxfam’s Campaigns and Policy Manager in Haiti, where she worked on the humanitarian responses following the 2010 earthquake and the cholera outbreak later that year.

Jennifer Herrera

Jennifer Herrera is the CEO of the Good Business Foundation which runs an accreditation to recognise responsible business, called the Good Business Charter. She is also Executive Director of Acts 435, a charity established to encourage small donations online to people in need.

Jennifer is a chartered accountant and a trustee of ASB Help, a charity supporting victims of anti-social behaviour and Love 146, a charity supporting trafficked children.

 

Editorial Committee

 

Richard Brooks

See Our Directors above

Felicity Lawrence

Felicity Lawrence is an investigative journalist and special correspondent with the Guardian. She has done pioneering work on corporate tax avoidance, responsible for some of the first work on the issue in a mainstream newspaper ten years ago.

She has written ground-breaking investigations on the food supply, migration, and government outsourcing and is author of the Sunday Times bestseller: Not On The Label: What Really Goes Into The Food On Your Plate.

Simon Bowers

Simon Bowers is Investigations Editor at Finance Uncovered, a journalism non-profit that trains, supports and collaborates with reporters working on financial investigations around the world. Previously, he spent four years as European Coordinator at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a non-profit group that organises global collaborative journalism projects.

Before joining ICIJ, Simon spent 19 years at The Guardian, where he was a senior reporter working on tax and financial investigations. Simon’s reporting has featured in the New York Times, Australian Financial Review, Le Monde, Süddeutsche Zeitung, OCCRP, El Confidencial, British Medical Journal, Irish Times, The Guardian, BBC, Re:Baltica, Knack, De Tijd and Aftenposten.

He has appeared in, or contributed to, documentaries for Vice News, BBC Panorama, YLE, and Reveal News. He has also given a TEDx talk on a collaborative investigation into Nike’s pan-European tax avoidance activities. He has been part of collaborative reporting teams that have won several awards, including three George Polk awards for Financial Journalism (Panama Papers, Paradise Papers, LuxLeaks) and a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting (Panama Papers).