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As well as the technical expertise and understanding Mellor provides, he hopes to be as honest and upfront as possible, recognising the conduit role advisers have in transferring tax legislation to clients. ‘I try hard to avoid jargon,’ he says. ‘We are dealing with complicated things. Clients have really got to understand what we are suggesting, getting to grips with it rather than just being accepting of the advice. That’s the way to happy clients — the other aspect is making sure we can understand what clients are looking for.’ He says openness also applies when dealing with HMRC, helping to maintain the integrity of a reputation that has kept clients for 25 years, and that is still attracting new ones. increasing complexity of compliance and the need to ‘know your client’. ‘When you get an overseas client, you need to have proof of address and make sure they are who they say they are. It’s becoming quite tricky. I tend to go there and see with my own eyes.’ Born and raised in Mombasa, Shah moved to the UK as a teenager. He joined Shulman & Partners in 1969, made partner at 23, and six years later founded JM Shah & Company, which was bought by Price Bailey in 2011.

David Mellor