Commercial Property Advice: Jonathan Cook

Oliver Bussell
Commercial Property
Tunbridge Wells


Jonathan Cook recently purchased the existing TaxAssist Accountants franchise in Ashford, Kent, and was supported during the process by the Corporate & Commercial and Commercial Property teams at CooperBurnett LLP.

Established in 1995, TaxAssist Accountants specialises in supporting independent businesses and works with in excess of 80,000 clients across more than 400 locations.

Here we ask Jonathan more about the support he received from TeamCB:


“I’ve always been a numbers person and studied statistics at university. Then I ended up in the City, working for a number of well-known financial institutions. In 2011, I left that life and helped establish a US business which placed overseas students into US colleges and high schools. I looked after the finance and operations side of the business from the UK. For me, the wheels came off during the pandemic and, while the business is still operational in the US, I stepped aside. I then realised I needed to do something else and that was potentially running my own business.”

“In the meantime, I was chatting to my accountant at TaxAssist in Crowborough. TaxAssist is a franchise operation and he suggested that I look into opportunities with them. I said I wasn’t an accountant and he explained it was more about running a business and that I could employ accountants.”

“I looked into it and considered opening up a new branch for TaxAssist. However, I wasn’t sure I wanted to build something new from a standing start. In the meantime, an opportunity arose to buy the existing franchise in Ashford. They already had a client base and I recognised there was an opportunity to further grow and develop the business as well.”


“I called up the corporate team at the local law firm that I’d dealt with previously for our house sale. They didn’t think it was the deal for them but suggested I talk to Victoria Sampson at CooperBurnett. I did some research and realised that I already knew [Commercial Property Partner] Oliver Bussell – as we’d got ‘thrown together’ a few years earlier in an NCT class! That gave me some confidence, so I picked up the phone to Victoria.”

“That conversation made me realise that Victoria was a commercially-minded person and I was also confident we’d get on. I was on a course in Norwich at the time and made a passing reference to Alan Partridge, which she picked up on… and replied in a similar vein, so I knew I’d enjoy working with her. Victoria said ‘we can do it’ and off we went.”

“I really like to keep things local when it comes to business connections. As I said, my accountant was in Crowborough and the fact that CooperBurnett is based in Tunbridge Wells appealed to me. While I’ve moved away fairly recently, I’d spent 25 years in the town.”


“When I received anything from either Victoria or Oliver, it was very easy to comprehend.  I’ve never been good at understanding ‘legal language’ and they were both straightforward and concise in their communications, whether in writing or by phone. They clearly explained my options and the associated pitfalls and advantages associated with them.”

“I liked the fact that if it was all getting a bit heavy in terms of emails, they’d pick up the phone or I could easily do the same. Both Victoria and Oliver were very thorough and helpful and would take the time to chat through the next step on the phone. I felt they were always proactive and I was confident they were chasing on my behalf when that needed doing. Also, it was clear both teams at CooperBurnett were communicating with each other.”

“Probably the most surprising thing has been the amount of detail involved in particularly the property side of the deal (as I was taking over the building, as well as purchasing the business). I was keen to get the deal done but I also wanted to get it right and this meant I needed to understand the risk associated with any decision I made. Particularly in terms of the property transaction, I was very much guided by Oliver, who helped me to focus on the legal risk. I guess it wasn’t the most straightforward deal, as there was the vendor, the franchise business and a landlord, who was based overseas, to deal with.”


“It’s early days but I’m focused on re-engaging with our clients in Ashford and building the business.”


“I’d 100% recommend CooperBurnett and would use them again tomorrow. They were friendly and approachable and made it clear what I needed to focus on.”

“In fact, now I’m in an environment where I’m working with business owners who could potentially be on the acquisition trail themselves or looking to dispose of a business, then I’d certainly point them in the direction of CooperBurnett.”

To discover more about becoming a CooperBurnett client, call us on: 01892 515022.

Contact Us

Get In Touch

Have you got a question or need some advice? If you require any more information about our services, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team.

We will keep your details safe and secure. Unless we are required to do so by law, or where third party suppliers are updating or carrying out maintenance on our IT systems, or they are providing you with legal services, we will not pass your information to anyone else. For further information on how your data is used and stored: privacy policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
We use basic cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to visit this site you agree to our use of cookies. More info