5 Minutes With… Claire Smailes, Senior Corporate Tax Manager

We want you to get to know our team members in our ‘5 Minutes With…’ blog series!

In the next episode of the series, get to know our Senior Corporate Tax Manager, Claire Smailes. Claire tells us what she enjoys most about her role at MHA Tait Walker, her favourite things about the North East, and her ideal way to spend a Saturday morning…

What is your role and how long have you been part of the MHA Tait Walker team?

I’ve been at MHA Tait Walker for almost six years and I am a Senior Manager in our Tax department. I work with large Owner Managed businesses, assisting with their compliance requirements as well as leading project work. I also manage the wider corporate tax team to ensure that everything is running smoothly. I have been spending a lot of time recently looking at how we use technology to improve what we can offer to our clients.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

My favourite thing about my role is that it is so varied; no two days are ever the same. I often help businesses through unfamiliar processes, such as sales or reorganisations. It is so rewarding when I can help make this easier for them, and help them to achieve their objectives.

What is your favourite thing about the North East?

Without a doubt: the beaches! Other than during a brief stint in Durham when I was at university, I have always lived in South Tyneside. I can’t imagine not living within walking distance of the beach.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to be busy and so I tend to spend my spare time with my friends and family. This is the main thing that I have missed during lockdown but we have found new ways of keeping in touch – video conferencing has helped keep me sane! I am also an avid reader, and enjoy crime fiction most of all, specifically those set around the North East.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

For most of my school years I wanted to be a Physics teacher. After completing my degree in Physics & Astronomy I started to study for my PGCE, but I gradually realised that teaching wasn’t for me. I recently found my careers selection pack from school, and one of the recommended career choices was accountant; so not far from where I ended up!

What is your favourite way to spend a Saturday morning?

My ideal Saturday morning would involve a walk along South Shields sea front with my husband followed by a pub lunch at my local. Ideally this would be followed by catching up with my friends; either for a night in with a movie, or a night out on the town! More recently, this has been replaced with a video calling or going for a socially distanced walk.

Other episode in this series

5 Minutes with… Lucy Nevens, AAT Apprentice
5 Minutes With… Hollie Thompson, Tax Manager
5 Minutes With… Lucy Elliott, Corporate Finance Associate Director
5 Minutes With… Steve Plaskitt, Corporate Finance Partner