Latest News

VAT and Financial Services – Orca Law, sponsored by BLT

21st June 2017 – London EC3

For more details, and to register, go to

Following last year’s successful conference, BLT is delighted to be sponsoring this event.

Brexit, the OTS VAT simplification review, Making Tax Digital, updated holding company guidance, VWFS, Associated Newspapers Ltd, DNB Banka, Aviva, Sveda … there is a great deal happening in the Financial Services VAT world.  At a time when there is so much uncertainty we all need to know something about it, even if we don’t do FS work every day.

Drawing on the knowledge and practical experience of a range of expert speakers, this conference will cover current and future developments in insurance and financial services VAT, all at a fraction of the price of competing events.

BLT newsletter subscribers, can claim a 20% discount. To take advantage of this price, go to, and simply write BLT20 in the ‘notes’ box on the booking form.  

While visiting the website, you can also register interest in Orca Law’s VAT and Property conference in November.  This will ensure that you receive details while places are still available.

2017 marks BLT’s 30th year in business!

We’ll be no doubt getting out the party hats and partaking of the occasional glass or three of champagne throughout the coming year, but it’s worth pausing for a little nostalgic reflection on the past three decades – such longevity isn’t exactly the norm in the world of recruitment!

When we were founded by Mssrs Beament, Leslie and Thomas all those years ago, the aim was to provide ‘inch-wide, mile-deep’ specialist knowledge of the recruitment markets we operated in; we wanted to be the recruiter of choice in our specialist markets, and we wanted to be known as good people to do good business with. Those values remain to this day and we find the BLT of today remaining at the top of the game in all matters related to Indirect Tax & Management Consultancy recruitment.

2017 will be remembered for shock results (cf. the Brexit referendum here in the UK, the surprise Trump presidency etc etc) which has resulted in a general sense of uncertainty in many quarters. However: looking back to when BLT was founded back in August 1987, a few months later ‘Black Monday’ on Wall Street happened – £50 billion wiped of the value of shares on the London stock exchange. Whilst we’re sure there was no link (or was there?!), we’re well used here to expecting the unexpected. Having lived through a number of recessions as well as taking advantage of those market upturns as and when they happen, there’s not much that fazes us round here at BLT!

A quick glance at the well thumbed ‘placement book’ from ’87 sitting proudly on a shelf at BLT towers (and held together by yellowing Sellotape), sees appointments in Tax and Consulting on salaries between £11,000 and £24,000 – these days recent BLT appointments have ranged between £25,000 and £200,000! The other thing that immediately strikes you is the range of accountancy firms recruiting: Arthur Andersen, Arthur Young, Binder Hamlyn, Coopers & Lybrand, Ernst & Whinney, Grant Thornton, Hays Allen, Moore Stephens, Pannell Kerr Forster, Peat Marwick McLintock, Price Waterhouse, Spicer & Oppenheim and Touche Ross all took staff on from BLT in those early months – what it must have been for a candidate to have so much range of choice! Lovely to see that all those early clients back then are still our clients of today (albeit in rather changed forms post a zillion mergers/acquisitions!). On the corporate front, British Gas and Prudential hold the honour of our first ‘in-house’ placements – these days our work is split much more evenly between corporate in-house appointments and the professional services firms, with key recent clients including the likes of Amazon, Bloomberg, BP, Burberry, GSK, Legal & General, Liberty Global, Samsung, Thomson Reuters etc etc.

Our work has taken us beyond the UK borders too – we’ve worked in Australia, Bahrain, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Guinea, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Malaysia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and the USA.

So what else has changed in the world of recruitment since?

In the last three decades, BLT have gone through 3 offices, the retirement of the three founders and employed a mere 75 recruiters and 22 support staff. Looking at the current BLT gang, the average length of tenure here at BLT is just over 12 years – unheard of in the world of recruitment!

Some highlights from the Management Consultancy team: the first recruitment firm to specialise in the recruitment of Management Consultants; consistent winners of team and individual awards in the annual Top Consultant Recruiter awards; assisting the Big 4 to build specialist consulting practices, partnering with boutique and niche consulting firms to establish their brand; introducing fast stream Public Sector individuals to the growing Public Sector consultancy market in the 80/90s; recruiting individuals from all walks of life into strategy consultancy; supporting a range of corporates as they look to build their own in-house consulting capability; extending our reach to the international market.

And from the Indirect Tax team: Identifying Indirect Tax as a niche field in its own right separate to the rest of the tax profession; helping those early Indirect Tax pioneers move into the private sector in the late 80’s; establishing in-house Indirect Tax functions in the 90’s and working with the large accountancy firms on setting up the graduate training programmes at the end of that decade; working in Australia on GST implementation at the turn of the Millennium; giant growth of the Indirect Tax profession in the 00’s and adapting to the increased scrutiny on Indirect Tax compliance post Enron and Sarbanes Oxley; technology advancements in the last decade and currently Middle East VAT implementation and being poised for the growth of the Customs & International Trade market in the run up to Brexit.

We’ve worked hard to remain consistently relevant in a rapidly evolving recruitment landscape, one such example being the addition of our new Executive Coaching Division.

I’ve just typed in ‘longevity’ into an online thesaurus, and it came up with some dubious results such as ‘old age’, ‘lifetime’, ‘endurance’ and even ‘dotage’, so I won’t be using THAT online tool any more. Typing in ‘constancy’ comes up with more cheerful synonyms: ‘dependability’, ‘trustworthiness’, ‘loyalty’, ‘tenacity’, ‘determination’, ‘integrity’…all these sum up what BLT has been all about, we feel.

We’d like to say a big thank you to all those we have worked with over the years, whether as clients, candidates or former colleagues. What great fun we’ve had on the recruitment rollercoaster, and we look forward to keeping our recruitment offering as fresh, relevant and agile as it was back in the day.


30th Anniversary

Mike Beament: 1954 – 2017

We’re very sad to announce that Mike Beament, one of the founder members of BLT, passed away yesterday peacefully after a short illness.

Mike and his co-founders established BLT in 1987 as a recruitment company built on a strong ethics, unrivalled knowledge of the niche areas in which we operate and a certain amount of individuality in the way which we do business – values which remain strong to this day. Mike was particularly instrumental in creating a ‘family feel’ to the BLT culture – put simply, it was great fun working with and for him.

All Mike’s colleagues past and present will remember Mike for his tremendous warmth, wit and integrity and we are thinking of his family and friends at this sad time.

Orca Laws VAT & Property Conference

BLT’s Indirect Tax team are delighted to be sponsoring Orca Laws VAT & property conference for the 3rd consecutive year. Inimitable VAT & property guru Martin Scammell has once again attracted a wide audience to this great event which has now become a firm favourite in the calendar.  BLT’s Liz Watt and Guy Barrand are enjoying catching up with so many familiar faces!



International Women’s Day

Liz attended a dinner hosted by Women in Recruitment to celebrate ‘International Women’s Day’


International Womens Day

BLT’s Indirect Tax Market Report 2016….

…is now published! As well as detailed information about salary bandings and benefits for Indirect Tax professionals in the UK and internationally, the Report also includes information on current trends and challenges facing the Indirect Tax professionals in the future.

  • What type of organisation pays the biggest bonuses?
  • Have there been more in-house appointments this last year?
  • What proportion of Indirect Tax professionals in the UK have no professional qualification?
  • Who’s been appointing most women over the last year?
  • What type of organisation has most people working part-time?
  • What proportion of UK Indirect Tax professionals joined the discipline as a graduate entrant?
  • From where have the bulk of UK Big 4 appointments been made?

Answers to all these questions (and more) are featured in the Report. To request your free copy, drop us an email to

A thought provoking FS debate

BLT were delighted to be asked to participate in Deloitte’s EMEA Financial Services and Insurance Indirect Tax Conference on the 2nd October. We were invited to join the panel session closing the conference, the subject matter being: Specific Challenges Facing In-house Indirect Tax Teams. As one of the key challenges facing such teams is the attraction and retention of staff, we were happy to provide our input. Liz Watt represented BLT and with 27 years of recruiting indirect tax professionals under her belt, she had plenty of experience to bring to bear on this discussion. Other members of the panel were leaders of Indirect Tax teams in both the Banking and Insurance sectors, as well as Deloitte Partners with a particular interest in People issues.

A lively and thought provoking discussion ensued, covering a wide range of issues, including the type of attributes required for high performance within the industry;  the impact of technology on the type of candidates sought;  how the requirements of an FSI tax team have changed over the years;  the training, background and experience required in those looking to work in an in-house role;  how the sector can attract more talent and what the future holds for Indirect Tax teams in the finance and insurance sectors.  So some weighty issues that have an impact on all those present.  The discussion emphasized the fundamental importance of paying close attention to the rapid pace of change in the sector and ensuring that hiring decisions are made in the context of these changes.

If any of these issues resonate with you or your business, whether FS or non FS ,  and you would like to discuss further, please don’t hesitate to call Liz Watt at BLT on 020 7405 3404

Copyright 2020 Beament Leslie Thomas - All Rights Reserved. ·     

Like our website? Share with your network via:  

Central Court, 25 Southampton Buildings, London, WC2A 1AL
Blog Relations Programme by Carve Consulting