Business Advisory Partner


Who I help

Start-ups. Owner-managed businesses. Family businesses. Large corporate entities.

How I help

Advising on business strategy, management accounting and taxation, finding innovative ways to solve clients problems.


Business services. Family businesses.

“I never settle for the first answer.”

Joel Topham is a Business Advisory partner based in our Leeds office, heading up our business services sector and leading the Family Business team in Leeds. Specialising in solicitors accounts, SRA Audits and partnership tax Joel’s role is varied. In any given day he might find himself providing business management advice to clients or mentoring, sharing knowledge or leading training sessions for junior members of the team

Joel works closely with family businesses. Utilising his extensive experience as head of our family business team in Leeds. He helps clients to create plans for growth, assists clients with generating funding and making a succession plan.

First port of call

I love working closely with clients and want them to think of me not only as their most trusted business advisor but also as part of their team. It’s important to me that my clients feel they can pick up the phone and call me, no matter what is going on. I strive to give them peace of mind and in turn build strong and lasting relationships. They know I will provide sound and strategic advice while adding value to their business.

I enjoy problem solving. Being able to help my clients to achieve their goals and get to where they want to be is great. For some that goal might be plotting world domination whereas for others it’s getting home in time to put their kids to bed. The goal and client may change but my drive to achieve it never does. Whatever the goal I help clients get there.

Innovation is key

A lot of people are comfortable being ‘safe’ but that’s not me. I like challenging the status quo. I want to help my clients to innovate and change. I never settle for the first answer. In my experience waiting for the right answer at the right time pays off. That’s something my clients appreciate because I’m always challenging what they do or how they do it.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

There’s something special about working with family businesses. It’s their entrepreneurial spirit coupled with a real passion and desire to succeed. Despite the uncertainty of the last couple of years family businesses have remained a success because of their ability to innovate.

I often ask my family business clients “what’s next”. If they want to continue and they want to have a business that can be passed on from generation to generation, they need to be innovative and thinking of their next steps. I help them to think about new routes to markets, new strategies, or ways they can invest in their business. I get to help them implement a growth plan and achieve their goals.


I love meeting people in person. I’m an advocate for a face-to-face approach. It’s especially important when building relationships with clients. It’s undoubtable that technology helps us. It enables us to be more hands on and I know I wouldn’t be able to do half of the things I do without tech. That’s why I think there should be a perfect balance of in person and virtual. That’s what AAB understands and having the option of both is something we utilise well as a firm.

Dynamic and agile advice

The legal sector is always changing, it is constantly evolving. Clients in this space need dynamic and agile advice for changing regulations and business practices. Although it can be difficult, it is so rewarding when we get it right. We are constantly learning and trying to get ahead of the curve. For example, I sit on the ICAEW Solicitors panel, which advises the accounting industry on best practice within the Legal Sector as well as providing thought leadership on various areas. We also consult with the SRA on shaping best practice around financial compliance and risk management. This means we are at the forefront of changes and can prepare our clients well in advance.

Unrivalled opportunities

AAB is at a point where there are unrivalled opportunities and as time goes on opportunities are only going to grow. We’re moving into new territories and have carved out a path for us to make a big impact in markets. It’s such an exciting time and with our innovative and diverse team this is only the beginning.

Sharing knowledge

It’s important to me that I spend time sharing knowledge with junior members of the team. That’s invaluable to me because I want to see people succeed. Being able to have a hand in the development of someone’s career and seeing them progress through the company is great. Nothing is more important than our people and ensuring that they have opportunities to grow and excel is something that I am passionate about.

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  1. Blog29th Apr 2024

    Joel Topham, Head of Professional Practices and author of blog about navigating the complexities of the legal sector

    The Legal Sector: How Can You Navigate Its Complexities?

    In the rapidly evolving landscape of the legal sector, law firms are constantly having to stay ahead of the curve and find ways to navigate the challenges they face.   So, what are the major challenges being faced by the sector…

    By Joel Topham

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