The firm traces its roots back to 1788 and celebrated its bicentenary in 1988. The origins of the current firm are set out below. Based on this history, Chantrey Vellacott DFK is regarded by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales as one of the five oldest firms in the country.
• 1861 - William Fleet Smart founded the current practice.
• 1916 - the firm was named WM F Smart Son & Bloor when Herbert Thomas Bloor was admitted to the partnership.
• 1970 - due to their building falling into disrepair the firm moved to Africa House, Kingsway, where they became subtenants of a seven partner firm, Chantrey Button & Co.
• 1972 - WM F Smart Son & Bloor merged with Chantrey Button & Co. to become a ten partner firm under the name Chantrey Button. Chantrey Button had offices in London, Watford and Croydon.
• 1978 – during the period between 1963 and 1978 a firm called Wright King & Co were involved in taking over five other firms. Wright King & Co merged with Wood & Co, becoming Wood King & Co, a ten partner firm; they had offices in Victoria and Surbiton.
• 1984 - Chantrey Button merged with Wood King & Co to become the twenty partner firm - Chantrey Wood King.
• 1988 - Hill Vellacott, ‘believed to be the only firm that could trace its ancestry back 200 years’, merged with Chantrey Wood King in 1988 and both firms moved into Russell Square House as the firm of Chantrey Vellacott. Hill Vellacott had offices in London, Birmingham, Canterbury, Croydon and a presence in Northampton and Leicester.
• 1993 - a two office firm called Longcrofts merged with Chantrey Vellacott. They had offices in London and Sutton, Surrey. The Sutton office and Croydon offices combines.
• 1996 - Nash Broad Wessen, a 15 partner firm based mainly in London, merged with Chantrey Vellacott and moved all their partners and staff into Chantrey Vellacott offices.
• 1998 – Chantrey Vellacott became Chantrey Vellacott DFK. Chantrey Vellacott had been a leading member of DFK International for many years and this change to our name highlighted our commitment to meeting our clients’ needs in the global market place.
• 2005 – Chantrey Vellacott DFK changed its legal status to become a Limited Liability Partnership
There have been a number of other mergers that have contributed to the firm’s current portfolio of clients and people. These include:
• Geoffrey Lawrence & Co - Croydon
• John Harris & Co - Northampton
• Witcher & Sharpe - Reading
• Lever Brothers - London
There have been two mergers with specialist insolvency practices. A business recovery practice from Morley & Scott joined the firm in 2000 and another, RZQ, joined in 2004.
More recently, we have had mergers with Hard Dowdy (London) in 2008, Butt Cozens (Colchester) in 2009, Heathcote & Coleman (Birmingham) in 2009, Rogers Evans (Southampton) in 2010, and Target (Reading) in 2012.