Barnes Roffe celebrates 125 years of business

June 19, 2024

Barnes Roffe celebrates 125 years of business

This year Barnes Roffe marks its 125th year anniversary. Established in 1899, Barnes Roffe has grown significantly during its history, and continues to grow from strength to strength.

Throughout the last 125 years we’ve maintained our passionate work ethic and community values to ensure our clients receive the best service possible. Starting as a one-man band, Barnes Roffe has now expanded into 5 offices across London, with over 200 team members,  29 partners, and continues to expand from year to year.

A very brief history of Barnes Roffe

125 years ago, William Henry Barnes opened his own office in Copthall Avenue, just down the side streets of Moorgate. The company was named simply ‘William H. Barnes & Co.’ He wanted to provide accountancy services to the business owners of London.

By the 1940’s, the company was sitting at just three people in the firm: William, Samuel Sassienie (the firms first articled clerk), and William’s son Frank Barnes. By some miracle, after heavy bombing during the blitz, the office was the only building still standing in the area closest to St Pauls Cathedral. After the Blitz, the firm recovered quickly and in turn brought on new employees to match its recovery.

Samuel Sassienie set the standards of the company, being the main lead generator in the firm. He possessed incredible people skills, earning very valuable clients, building great relationships, and in turn gaining referrals from very influential people. William may have built the foundations of the firm, but Samuel gave it the bricks and mortar to help it rise from the ashes of WWII  and build it into a strong and well-respected firm with quality clients. .

By the 1970’s, the three original partners of William H. Barnes & Co. had passed away – William Barnes in 1947, Sam Sassienie in 1953 and Frank Barnes in 1965. Neville Sassienie, Sam Sassienie’s son, bought into the firm and continued its legacy. They left the original office in Moorgate for a larger, more metropolitan office in Holborn.

“I had to buy into the business which was strange when my father had done so much of the work in building it up.” – Neville Sassienie.

‘William H. Barnes & Co.’ evolved into Barnes Roffe after a joint working arrangement in 1973. After one of the partners at Roffe Swayne, founded in 1931, left with numerous clients and staff to set up his own firm The remaining partners, Henry Roffe, his son John, Gerald Elliot, and Gerald Bartlett, moved to the same office as Neville Sassienie in Holborn. After two years co-working in the same office space, Roffe Swayne merged its practice with W H Barnes, forming Barnes Roffe.

By the 1990’s, as the company grew larger and larger, the firm moved premises in 1990 to High Road, Leyton,  and opened new offices in Uxbridge and Dartford. In more recent years, our London Bridge and City offices have opened to support clients in central London.

What’s in store for the future?

Barnes Roffe are thrilled to still be thriving and serving our client base after all these years. We pride ourselves on our staff, who care deeply about our clients and strive to give them the best personalised service they can.

As you can see in many of our service pages, we provide more than just a ‘transactional’ or ‘traditional’ accountancy service. Our clients have seen us grow our business alongside them growing theirs. We pride ourselves on our organic growth achieved through having being one of the few firms in the top 50 UK accountancy firms without  us acquiring other firms to grow.–It’s our strong values, connection to people, and the care we give to each and every client we support which makes us succeed.

We plan to celebrate this anniversary in a BIG way so keep your eyes on this space!

Going forward, Barnes Roffe plans on staying true to its roots, whilst remaining dynamic in response to our clients’ needs and remaining a top 50 UK accountancy firm organically. Our priorities are our clients and people, and that focus is what will drive our firm forward.