The history of UHY Hacker Young

Here is a short summary of our long history.

Click on the relevant era in order to find out more about the history of the UHY Hacker Young group.
1920s – the early years

Johnny Rubens and Mark Hacker were both sons of Jewish tradesmen and had been friends since their schooldays. In 1924 they each qualified as an accountant; Johnny as a chartered accountant and Mark as a certified accountant.

In 1925 they rented an office in 123-124 Chancery Lane, London WC2 and founded Hacker Rubens & Co.

From the start, their aim was to help people with financial problems to get back on their feet. For the sum of 3.0s.0d. they wrote up incomplete records and audited them for friends and contacts within the Jewish community. It was natural that they also specialised in insolvency matters.

Within three years they had outgrown their office space, so moved to 23 Surrey Street, WC2.

1930s & 40s – a merger and moves

The firm merged with Horner, St Clair and Gotelee in 1930 and moved again; to 329 High Holborn, London WC1. Services offered now included tax advice and compliance; of increasing importance to the growing client base.

During the war, and as result of bomb damage, they moved to temporary accommodation in Upper Regent Street, and then in 1947 to 18 Maddox Street, where they stayed until the early 1960s.

1950s & 60s – a change of faces

Johnny had built up a strong client base in the property sector, and although officially retired in the mid 1960s, he continued to work with the firm until the late 1960s.  Mark Hacker also retired in 1960. By then, following the merger with Stuart Young & Co in 1961, the firm was being run by Michael Phillips and Stuart Young and changed its name to Hacker, Rubens, Phillips & Young. Paul Susskind was a partner at Stuart Young & Co and joined Hacker, Rubens, Phillips & Young with Stuart.

Michael Phillips had trained with the firm, qualifying in 1954. Stuart was the brother of David Young, now Lord Young of Graffham, and son of a Jewish flour merchant. He was very active in the Jewish community and became chairman of the Central Council of Jewish Social Services. In 1983 he was appointed chairman of the BBC.

In 1962 the firm moved again, first to 76 Brook Street, and then six years later, to the newly built St Alphage House, just off Moorgate. By that time the firm comprised 7 partners and 15 professional staff.

From that time, the firm has offered a broad range of services for owners of family businesses, including bookkeeping and auditing, tax compliance and advice, corporate recovery and company secretarial services.

Offices were opened in Manchester and Nottingham in the mid 1960s to facilitate audits for the Great Universal Stores Group, one of the firm’s largest clients. This was the start of a national network of associated firms, the Hacker Young Group.

1970s – a new name

In 1968, the partnership took on a new partner, Frank Stansil. Stuart Young, Frank and Paul Susskind then continued to run the practice together.

In 1970 the firm merged again, this time with Summers Greenbury. Stuart Young was senior partner of the expanded firm, employing 45 professionals in audit, tax and insolvency, and 12 support staff.

The firm changed its name to Hacker Young in 1973.

 1980s – national & international associations

A merger, with Farr Rose & Gay, a London firm originally founded in 1854, was agreed in 1980, bringing an additional three partners and eight staff.

By the mid 1980s the Hacker Young Group had three offices, 23 partners and over 130 staff and annual fees of £4.3m. Services offered to clients now included such specialisms as management consultancy, litigation support and arbitration work and computer consultancy.

Following Stuart Young’s sudden death in 1986, Frank Stansil, insolvency partner, took over as senior partner, having been managing partner for three years previously. Edward Greenbury became managing partner. Frank also held a number of external directorships and still acts as deputy chairman of King’s NHS Healthcare Trust and Chairman of the King’s Appeal.

That same year saw the founding of Urbach Hacker Young International, by Hacker Young in the UK and Urbach Kahn & Werlin, a US firm based in New York state. The two firms had worked together under a reciprocal agreement – this was the opportunity to include others in a truly international network. Early members included firms from Holland, Germany and Singapore. UHY is now an international network of over 45 independent member firms worldwide with an annual fees of over $140 million.

A year later came further expansion of the Hacker Young Group in the UK. JC Allen & Co, founded in 1923 and run by Joel Barnett, who then became the Rt Hon Lord Barnett, in Manchester, and Charmak & Co in Brighton both became members of the Hacker Young Group. They have both since merged with other firms and grown substantially.

In the late 1980’s the firm had eight offices; London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Brighton, Leicester, Loughborough, Manchester and Bristol.

1990 to 2000 – continued growth

Our national network was further expanded by a practice based in Chester and Wrexham joining the Group in 1992. As Haswell Brothers & Co it was first established in 1857 and as such is one of the oldest firms of chartered accountants in the country.

Ladislav Hornan became the London office managing partner in 1995. He had joined the insolvency department in 1974 and become a partner in 1980. Born in Prague, he is active in promoting UK-Czech business and trade.

We merged with five partners from Leigh Carr, a West End firm dating from the 1950s, in May 1998. With three additional partners, we then had a total of 26 partners and over 150 staff within Hacker Young’s London and Nottingham offices and UK fees of over £15 million, placing Hacker Young within the top 25 firms of chartered accountants in the UK.

Since 2000 – group expansion and international recognition

Since the start of the new millennium, the Group grew substantially, with three new member firms joining the Group, extending the geographical coverage and providing additional depth of expertise.

Two firms joined as associate members. First was Calvert Smith & Co in October 2000. A four partner firm in York, it was established over 30 years ago and has a strong professional reputation among clients and contacts. Then in May 2002 Torgersens joined us.  Based in Sunderland and Newcastle, five partners and their staff have developed particular expertise in advising clients on funding applications.

We were also pleased to welcome Birmingham based Winross as a full member in January 2001. Two partners and a dozen staff provide a wide ranging financial consultancy and advisory service to public bodies such as NHS trusts, and local government as well as more conventional accounting services for local businesses.

2004 – A new name!

In May 2004, as a result of a strategic review of the Group, we adopted a new corporate identity, linking all member firms visually to each other and to our international network UHY. This new look demonstrates our commitment to working more closely together across the UK, while harnessing the strengths offered by our international network, UHY.

All the members of the Hacker Young Group now prefix their names with UHY, the name of our international network. Thus member firms will be known as:

  • UHY Hacker Young – London, Nottingham, Manchester, Brighton & Hove, Birmingham, Chester
  • UHY Hacker Young Fitch - Belfast
  • UHY Calvert Smith – York
UHY Hacker Young hits the Top 20

In July 2005, the UHY Hacker Young Group reached position 20 in the Accountancy Age and Accountancy magazine league tables. With a fee income now in excess of £26m, over 400 staff and more than 60 partners the Group has grown from strength to strength to reach this impressive position.

2006 – expansion into Scotland

In April 2006, we were pleased to welcome Scottish Firm, Campbell Dallas, the third largest independent firm of Chartered Accountants in Scotland, to the UHY Hacker Young Group.

Campbell Dallas comprises 14 partners with offices in Aberdeen, Bearsden (near Glasgow), Paisley, Stirling and Perth and acts for a wide range of clients in all areas of their business, from compliance through to business consultancy and support.

2007 – a new Sheffield office

In February 2007, the UHY Hacker Young Group boosted its coverage in the UK to 16 offices with the addition of a Sheffield-based firm, UHY Wingfield Slater.

UHY Wingfield Slater is a four partner firm, which was formed a century ago in Sheffield city centre. The firm provides accountancy and business development services to small and medium sized owner managed businesses throughout South Yorkshire.

2009 – expansion into South Wales

In April 2009, the Group welcomed a leading Welsh accountancy firm to the fold. UHY Peacheys is a three partner firm, with offices in Newport and Abergavenny, taking the Group total to 18 offices across the UK. The long established firm is a vibrant practice with impressive growth rates in recent years. Their clients range from private clients through to companies with turnovers of up to £70m. The firm offers a broad range of personal and business accounting services including specialist advice in finance and audit, business planning, financial modelling, due diligence reporting and strategic planning.

2010 – UK expansion into Kent & international growth

In May 2010, UHY Hacker Young was pleased to welcome a new four-partner firm to the group based in Sittingbourne, Kent, taking the group total to 19 offices across the UK. The partnership office traces its history back 150 years, having previously traded as Spain Brothers Sittingbourne.

The firm offers a wide range of accountancy and business development services, and provides special audit services to owner-managed businesses, UK subsidiaries of overseas groups, pension schemes, solicitors and charities.

2011 – a new office in the South West

In April 2011, the Group opened a new office in Bristol, extending our national coverage to the South West of England and taking our total number of offices to 19 across the UK.   For more information on our Bristol office, their services, staff and partners, please visit the Bristol offices pages.

2012 – expansion into Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Winchester

In April 2012, we were pleased to welcome UHY WKH Partnership, a three-office firm in Letchworth Garden City, Royston and and Cambridge, and a new office in Winchester, which will take on the UHY Hacker Young name, to the UHY Hacker Young Group. This saw the Group expand to 23 offices across the UK and brought an additional 40 staff and nine partners to the UHY Hacker Young Group.

2013 – Abergavenny and Cambridge rebrand to UHY Hacker Young

In February 2013, our South Wales based Abergavenny office, formerly UHY Peacheys, rebranded to UHY Hacker Young at the same time as making an office move to bigger premises – two doors down the road! With further expansion set to follow and their office in Bristol operating under the UHY Hacker Young brand, it seemed the natural next step to rebrand in-line with the UK Group name. The Cambridge office also moved site and with this move adopted the UHY Hacker Young brand.

2014 – Four UK offices rebrand to UHY Hacker Young

As of 1 January 2014, our offices in Letchworth and Royston, formerly UHY WKH Partnership, and the Newport office, formerly UHY Peacheys, rebranded to UHY Hacker Young. It has always been the Group’s strategy to encourage all new member firms to, at some stage in their development, adopt the UHY Hacker Young brand. This supports our brand message that we are a cohesive network of independent firms. The success of the UHY Hacker Young name for the Cambridge office in 2013 led to the decision of adopting this name in the remaining Letchworth and Royston offices to bring them further in-line with the rest of the UK Group. In the similar vein, our South Wales firm, UHY Peacheys, opened a new office in Bristol in 2011 under the UHY Hacker Young brand and rebranded their Abergavenny office in 2012, so it seemed the natural step for the remaining office in Newport to follow suit. As of 1 March, the Sheffield office, formerly UHY Wingfield Slater who have been members since 2007, also rebranded to the UHY Hacker Young brand. The partners in Sheffield saw this as a step to further support their continued development of international opportunities through promotion of our UHY International membership.

2014 – A new office in the North East

In September 2014,  the Group opened a new office in Newcastle upon Tyne, extending our national coverage to the North East of England and taking our total number of offices to 24 across the UK.

2015 - UHY Hacker Young hits the Top 15

In February 2015, the UHY Hacker Young Group reached position 15 in the Accountancy magazine league table. With a fee income now in excess of £50m, over 490 staff and more than 100 partners the Group has grown from strength to strength to reach this notable position.

2015 – expansion in the South-East

In June 2015,  the Group opened two new offices in Ashford and Broadstairs to enhance our coverage across Kent, taking our total number of offices to 26 across the UK. Please click on the following links for more information on our Ashford and Broadstairs offices.

2016 – a merger in Sheffield

In April 2016, our Sheffield office merged with the Sheffield office of fellow national accountancy firm Haines Watts. Sharing a focus on small and medium sized clients, the merger, which saw Haines Watts staff and partners join us at our offices under the UHY Hacker Young brand, made sense on both sides and will allow us to offer a wider range of expertise and skills.

2017 – Brighton and Hove local merger

In April 2017, our Brighton and Hove office merged with local accountancy firm John A. Tuffin & Co LLP in April. Sharing the same values and commitment to best practice, the merger, which saw the partners and staff at John A. Tuffin join us at our offices in Hove, was an easy transition and will offer great opportunities and an enhanced service for all clients.

2018 – UHY East merger

In September 2018,  our Cambridge, Letchworth and Royston offices merged with accountancy firm The Young Company, based in Huntingdon, extending our national coverage to the East of England and taking our total number of offices to 23 across the UK. For more information on our Huntingdon office, their services, staff and partners, please click here.

2019 – UHY Calvert Smith merger

In April 2019,  our York office merged with accountancy firm Hare & Co, extending our expertise in the York area.  The merged practice is set to be relocated into one office and will comprise of 34 staff, including six partners. For more information on the merger, please click here.

2021 - further expansion in the South

In April 2021, we were pleased to welcome Thames Valley based firm, Ross Brooke, into our UK network. The firm rebranded to UHY Ross Brooke on joining, and added four new office locations in Newbury, Abingdon, Hungerford and Swindon to our UK coverage. This takes our Top 20 network to 23 offices, 100 partners and more than 600 professional staff across the UK.

2023 - expansion into West Yorkshire

In 2023, UHY welcomed Leeds-based accountancy firm BPR Heaton to the UK Group, now rebranded as UHY BPR Heaton. This expanded our network in the West Yorkshire region of England, taking our total number of offices to 24. The firm brings with it five partners and 35 team members.