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Main Committee

Members of the Main Committee of ICAEW Chartered Accountants South East


Neil Coupe

Neil CoupeNeil trained with Deloitte in Manchester and worked for various UK PLCs before becoming a Director of the UK-based subsidiary of a German Mittelstand company that supplies equipment to the construction sector.

Neil has enjoyed judging and mentoring in the regional heats of the BASE competition. Neil is President of a grassroots football club and is also Deputy Chair of Trustees at the Reading Football Club Community Trust.


Deputy President

Farhan Syed

Farhan Syed

Farhan is an Insolvency Practitioner and a Partner in Jeremy Knight & Co. He started his career in insolvency in 2001 with a London firm and in 2003, moved to Jeremy Knight & Co. He became a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner in 2007 and achieved a Master’s degree in the field of insolvency in 2011. His assignments vary from reconstructions of large corporate entities to the wind down of small owner-managed solvent and insolvent businesses.

Farhan joined the South East main committee in June 2020 and currently chairs the Brighton Practice Members’ Breakfast events.



Alexandra Durrant

AD PhotoAlexandra trained with a top ten London practice and is an ICAEW Chartered Accountant who runs her own practice in East Grinstead, West Sussex.

The practice, established in 1993, provides audit, tax and accounting services to clients, including payroll services and advice. Whilst a partner with Moore Stephens in London, Alexandra was responsible for payroll operations, advising clients on PAYE, and National Insurance legislation and procedures as well as carrying out PAYE and National Insurance audit health checks for businesses. Alexandra is an experienced professional speaker. She writes and lectures on payroll, PAYE, National Insurance, and benefits in kind and expenses. Her clients include AAT, the South Eastern, Southern, Thames Valley and Croydon Societies of Chartered Accountants and a variety of employers and accountancy practices.

Vice President

Position vacant.

Committee Members

Chrissie Bacon

Chrissie BaconChrissie is a Director of Bennewith 2018 Ltd.  Chartered Accountancy is her second career after being an Advanced Skills Teacher for 20 years in Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties.  Chrissie found being a mature student quite a challenge with five children at home but enjoyed the experience.  She now works alongside students in the area maintaining her love of coaching and mentoring.  She is the President of the South East Chartered Accountants Student Society (SECASS) as well as Director of a MAT (Multi Academy Trust).

Chrissie is a Trustee of several charities and an affiliate of STEP .  She is completing an advanced Diploma in STEP to be better able to support Trusts and Estates and charity clients.

In her family time, Chrissie enjoys cooking, taking part in water activities, walking, skiing as well as being dragged along to any event the children are interested in.

Tony Bennewith

Tony BennewithTony joined the Guildford and District Town Group Committee in 1981 of which he is still a member. He was Chairman twice in the days when the group had an annual dinner. He has been a member of the ICAEW Chartered Accountants South East main committee since 1991 and was president twice in 2002/03 and 2012/13. He has continued to meet up with other District Society presidents twice yearly ever since. When regionalisation commenced, he became chairman of SESCA Enterprises Limited and has continued to chair lectures and conferences ever since. Tony is a member of the ICAEW Practice Committee which works on behalf of all ICAEW members in practice. Tony hopes to continue to serve members going forward.


Julie Brown

Julie Brown

Julie joined the South East main committee in May 2017. With a career spanning both the private and public sector, Julie is a Senior Executive with extensive experience in industry, local and central government, and public sector bodies. As an ICAEW Chartered Accountant Julie has carried a portfolio of both financial and broader leadership responsibilities including strategic planning, risk management and resource management, including technology. As a public servant currently working in children’s services, Julie is committed to the equality of access to great services, both through her formal professional roles and also volunteering in activities that share skills, knowledge and opportunities between pupils and adult professionals. These include Inspiring the Future events and mentoring in the Institute’s BASE heats.


Heather Cheesman

Heather CheesemanHeather became a fully qualified accountant in 2003. She then joined a small accountancy practice in Guildford starting as a manager and later became a partner. In 2010 Heather joined the firm Spofforth Chartered Accountants in Chichester. She then set her own firm Chichester Accounting in 2012.

Heather has been serving as an ICAEW Council member since 2009, and between 2014 and 2016 she became the President of ICAEW Chartered Accountants South East (formaly known as SESCA).


Chloe Dray

Chloe DrayChloe is a Deputy Financial Controller for Vercity Social Infrastructure (UK) Limited. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Kreston Reeves in December 2018 before moving to Vercity in August 2019 where she has recently qualified as a Chartered Tax Advisor. Chloe joined the South East main committee in June 2021 once she became aware of the great work the committee does after attending an ICAEW South East Annual Dinner for her exam successes.



Samantha Mason

Samantha MasonSam works at Kreston Reeves following her graduation from UKC with a degree in Law. She qualified as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in 2012. Sam now works from the Discovery Park office, servicing a variety of clients with a diverse range of needs and has particular industry expertise in life science companies, professional firms and corporates below the audit threshold. Sam enjoys working closely with business to help them grow and achieve their goals. Sam is also a member of the business start-up team, providing specialist support for new business ventures.

Sam is actively involved with orchestrating and promoting SESCA events, which include practical skills and CPD courses as well as social events and networking opportunities.

In her spare time, Sam enjoys spending time with her family and friends, walking her naughty dog and attempting to cook tasty and healthy recipes.

Susan Smith

Susan Smith is Associate Dean (Education and Students) at the University of Sussex Business School. She is a Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance. She was President of ICAEW South East from 2016-2018 and is an elected Council member for the area. She serves on a number of ICAEW committees including the ICAEW Charitable Trusts.




Clive Stevens

Clive Stevens

Clive is Immediate Past President of ICAEW Chartered Accountants South East. He qualified as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in 1980 and became a partner in Kreston Reeves in 1989. He was subsequently appointed managing partner in 1995 and has only recently stepped down as the firm’s chairman.

Clive has moved from public practice into business and is now the Chairman and joint owner at The Frameworks, a brand and creative consultancy based in London.

Clive's outside interests include Chairman of Trustee at Turner Contemporary, the contemporary art gallery situated in Margate, Vice Chairman at Locate in Kent Ltd, the County's inward investment organisation, and Kent ambassador and a Deputy Lieutenant for the County. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and the Royal Society of Arts.

Clive was elected onto the ICAEW Council in 2013 and has served on the General Practitioners Board. He currently chairs the Members and Commercial Board.

William Telford

Biography to follow.