The Smith Law & Shepherds IFA team of advisers

Smith Law & Shepherds

Chris Dwyer—Managing Director

Chris is Smith, Law & Shepherds IFA's Managing Director and has been with the company since 2009, Chris has a strong background in business management and is also a level 4 diploma qualified financial adviser. Chris has the overall responsibility for the compliance and governance of the company and is a qualified Pension Transfer Specialist. Away from Financial services Chris is married, has three children, an Everton Season ticket holder, a real ale enthusiast and Caterham Super 7 Driver.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Dan Clough—Operations Director

Dan is Smith, Law & Shepherds IFA's latest appointment to the board as our Operations Director. Dan joined SLS IFA in 2014 and has demonstrated excellent leadership skills and enthusiasm to push the business even further forward. Dan is a qualified Pension Transfer Specialist and working towards Chartered status. Although very active in the support and development of a number of our advisers, Dan still actively looks after his clients and oversees a lot of new business.

Dan is a keen golfer and sportsman in general and enjoys travelling and spending time with his family.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Colette Balcombe—Compliance Manager

Colette joined Smith, Law & Shepherds IFA in 2020 and has instilled a robust and compliant mindset throughout our entire team from day one.  Ensuring our clients receive not only an excellent service, but also high quality, bespoke financial advice is Colette's number one priority.  Colette has over 15 years experience within the financial services industry, initially starting her career as an adviser but has since moved across onto the compliance road and we are delighted to have Colette keeping us on the straight and narrow!

Smith Law & Shepherds

Wesley Lockley—Financial Adviser

After serving seven years in the Royal Air Force Wesley qualified as a Mortgage and Protection adviser in Financial Services and worked as a paraplanner helping to build and maintain relationships with high net worth clients  Following the completion of his Level 4 Diploma, his Paraplanning experience gave Wes the opportunity to move into advising clients in his own right and has now developed his own client bank over the past few years, offering sound financial advice across all areas.  Wes is currently half-way through studying his Investment Management Certificate (IMC) and once completed he will look to study towards obtaining his Chartered Financial Planner status.

In his spare time Wes likes to work-out and spend time with his family.  Wes is also a fan of Single Malt whiskey with MacAllan Sherry cask 12 yr old being his favourite.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Sam Inkson—Mortgage & Protection Adviser

Having worked for many years in a variety of customer service roles, Sam started working in Financial Services with Royal Bank of Scotland. After gaining experience in both Personal & Business banking departments, Sam then stepped into Lending as a Specialist Pre-Sales Mortgage Adviser and gained his Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP) qualifications. Sam joined Smith Law & Shepherds IFA in June 2018 as a Mortgage and Protection Adviser and now delivers bespoke mortgage and financial protection solutions to both his personal and corporate clients and has completed his qualifications in Equity Release (CeRER).  Sam is a father to twins, Luis & Adara, born February 2019. Every other weekend Sam can be found on the Kop hoping Liverpool can add a Premier League to their fine collection of European Cups.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Josh Brooks—Financial Adviser

Josh has over 8 years experience within the financial services industry and is our most recent recruit to our advisory team.  Josh is fully qualified to Diploma Level 4 and plans to study for his chartered status in the coming years.  He can advise on all areas of financial services, with a keen attention to detail.  Josh enjoys his golf at the weekends and loves to travel whenever he can, hoping to cross off many more countries in the coming years.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Matthew Saunders—Financial Adviser

Matthew joined us in 2020 after several years of industry experience as both a senior paraplanner and prior to that, a mortgage & protection adviser.  Matthew is now a fully qualified financial adviser and is working towards Chartered status in the coming years, which will set him apart from the majority of advisers across the country.  Matthew is a keen sports fan and a regular gym go-er.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Francesco Vernava—Financial Adviser

Franco joined the team early in 2020 and is a fully qualified financial adviser, offering advice across all areas.  Covering both Liverpool and Birmingham areas, Franco is steadily building his client bank through regular referrals and word of mouth.  An Italian at heart, Franco enjoys his fine wines and is even venturing into the world of real ales!

Smith Law & Shepherds

Wesley Barnes—Financial Adviser

Wes joined us in 2020 after several years of industry experience as financial adviser and prior to that, a mortgage & protection adviser, he covers both Liverpool and Manchester.  Wes is a fully qualified financial adviser and is now building on his experience by working towards Chartered status. In his spare time Wes enjoys both watching and playing rugby and he enjoys long walks with his dog Blitz.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Tom Smith—Financial Adviser

Tom, has spent most of his working life selling cars and motor related finance products. He has recently decided to re-train and become a Mortgage and Insurance Adviser for Smith, Law & Shepherds IFA Ltd after passing all of his industry exams at the end of 2016/early 2017. Tom plans to carry on studying over the next 24 months to become a fully qualified Independent Financial Adviser and will qualify to advise on Pensions and Investments at that time.  

Tom, enjoys spending time with his Wife Mel and his one year old son George and enjoys having days out walking in the lakes and teaching his son to swim. When time permits Tom enjoys spending time in the garden and is a Real Ale enthusiast.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Andrew McMorran—Financial Adviser

Andrew is a fully qualified Financial Adviser with a wealth of experience in helping customers with their Financial needs. Andrew has been advising customers for over 20 years and prides himself in providing outstanding customer service. He can advise in all areas of financial planning including Investments, Mortgages, Pensions as well as Life & Sickness Protection. Whatever your Financial need Andrew is more than happy to help and will provide an initial consultation Free of charge.

Smith Law & Shepherds

John Turner—Financial Adviser

As a fully qualified independent financial adviser John has been advising clients for over 20 years. He specialises in pensions and investment business from his base in Cheshire with clients spread across the UK. He started his  career at the CIS, where he worked his way up to senior management level.  John prides himself on delivering outstanding levels of customer service and has an excellent reputation in our industry. We were delighted when John and his company ‘Chambers Wealth Management Ltd’ joined our team. John is highly organised and needs to be with his large practice to help support his Wife and four children.  He is dedicated to his work and family and manages an excellent work life balance.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Stephen Rawson—Financial Adviser

Stephen has worked in the financial services industry since 2004, serving clients as an independent financial adviser since 2011. Stephen joined SLS in 2020 through Chambers Wealth Management having worked with John for a number of years with previous firms. The company hopes to continue to grow its loyal customer base and continue to provide sound and reliable financial planning. Stephen prides himself on gaining a thorough understanding of his clients and their needs and in being approachable and clear with the advice he provides. Away from work Stephen spends time keeping fit, spending time with his wife, Annette, and playing golf.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Helen Baister—Financial Adviser

Helen, has had a very long career in the Financial Services, firstly working for two well-known Insurance Companies, before becoming an Independent Financial Adviser over 20 years ago. Helen gives advice in all areas of Financial Planning including: Pensions, Retirement Planning, Investments & Trusts.  Helen also specialises in areas of Long Term Care as well as Inheritance Tax Planning. Helen enjoys spending time with her clients and getting to know them both professionally and personally. Helen believes that building a strong client relationship is the best foundation for providing tailored Financial Advice. Outside of work, Helen is a great animal lover and has four cats, all of whom were either strays or rescue cats. Helen would one day love to retire to the coast and set up an animal sanctuary. Helen's other interests are cooking for and entertaining friends at home and also enjoys getting out to see live music as and when she can.

 Helen works from our Southern Office.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Paul Davey—Financial Adviser

Paul joined the Financial Services Industry in 1979 with the CIS and after 5 years he left to join Prudential where he was soon promoted to a Financial Consultant.  In 1992 Paul was head hunted by Lloyds TSB where he became a Savings & Investment Adviser.   Paul then left to join Standard Life in 1996 where he stayed until the direct sales arm of the business closed.  Paul then joined the Cooperative Bank IFA division where he stayed until he opened his own Company. Paul then decided it was time to move to pastures new and in 2012 he joined Smith Law & Shepherds IFA Ltd.  Paul is Diploma Qualified and can advise on all aspects of Financial Planning, including Mortgages.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Stephen Dwyer—Financial Adviser

Stephen began his career in Financial Services in 1999 with Edward Jones. He moved on to work for major high street banks such as the Birmingham Midshires, Halifax and Santander. Since completing his Diploma (DipPFS) with Royal Bank of Scotland, Stephen decided to further his career and join Smith, Law and Shepherds IFA Ltd in January 2013. Stephen completed his Certificate in Mortgage Advice (Cert CII (MP)) within a month of joining and now advises in all areas of financial planning. Stephen has a wife and 2 children and in his spare time he enjoys playing football, golf, walking and cricket.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Kath Winn—Financial Adviser

Kath has worked within financial services for many years, starting out with NatWest Bank in 1983 and becoming an IFA in 1997 until 2006.  After a spell within the Citizens Advice Bureau, Kath joined Smith, Law & Shepherds IFA in 2019 as an adviser covering the Morecambe Bay area.  She is fully qualified to Diploma Level 4 status and also qualified in Equity Release & Advanced Mortgages.  Kath enjoys building long-term trusted relationships with clients to ensure quality, appropriate advice is given.  Kath has two daughters both at University and enjoys cooking and swimming in her spare time.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Matthew Clements—Mortgage & Protection Adviser

Matthew is the most experienced Mortgage Adviser within Smith, Law & Shepherds IFA submitting over 150 mortgage applications annually for his customers. Matthew became an Appointed Repsresentaive in 2016 now under the trading style of 'Clements & Co' but remains under the Group of Smith, Law & Shepherds IFA Ltd. Starting his career in Financial Services in 2005, Matthew has successfully built a vast customer base in the North West, advising on all aspects of Mortgages, Protection and Equity Release.  Matthew is married, has two children and supports Tottenham Hotspur.

Smith Law & Shepherds

John Carey-Shields—Mortgage & Protection Adviser

John qualified in 2014 as a Mortgage and Protection Adviser and began his career with Smith Law & Shepherds IFA Ltd as a part-time administrator, whilst studying for his qualifications and working his previous full-time job at Santander (formerly Alliance & Leicester) bank where he spent 12 years in various roles.

John’s key quality is his meticulous attention to detail and takes great pride in his work.  He has quickly established himself as a well-respected mortgage specialist within the firm, offering regular support to his fellow advisers and has a strong belief in delivering the highest quality service for his clients.

John is married to Jenni and has two daughters, Freya and Holly.  He is a keen supporter of Everton Football Club and his hobbies include cycling and golf.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Nel Patel—Protection Adviser

Nel started in Financial Services with Cooperative Insurance, as a Sales Representative, Sales Manager and a District Manager in 1991, he then moved to Shepherds Friendly Society as a Financial Adviser in 2004 where he stayed until 2006.  Moving onto Forrester Life as a Financial Adviser in 2006 Nel spent a short time with them until his departure in 2007. Nel joined Lloyds Bank as Financial Adviser in 2007 until joining Smith Law & Shepherds IFA in 2015. Nel is married to Lesley and they have three children Andrew, Hayley and Amelia, His hobbies include Football and Cricket.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Mark Hopkins—Agencies, Finance and Business Support

Mark originally studied as a chef and achieved his NVQ Levels 1,2 &3 qualifications and was North West college Commis Chef of the year as well as Catering Student of the Year at Hugh Baird College. Mark changed occupation completely in 2003 and became a Highways Supervisor, before joining Smith, Law & Shepherds IFA Ltd in April 2016 as a full time Support Administrator to Dan Clough. Mark has recently taken on the role of Agencies, Finance & Business Support, putting his organisational skills to good use.

Mark enjoys spending time with his Wife Helen, daughter Phoebe and his chocolate Labrador, Poppy and has a membership to the National Trust.  Mark has a passion for Liverpool Football Club and is a Real Ale enthusiast.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Rachael Flynn—Administrator

Rachael joined the team in 2020 and provides business support to Wes, Sam, Franco, Matthew and Josh. Rachael is keen to further her career within financial services and is looking to study for her exams in the years to come.  Not only is Rachael a hard working individual for us, she also teaches yoga in her spare time and loves to run!

Cieran Culligan—Paraplanner

Cieran has recently joined the company as a Paraplanner. After completing his degree in Business Management with Accounting & Finance in 2018, he went on to complete his Level 4 Diploma in Financial Advice and is currently working towards Chartered Status.  Cieran provides essential business and research support for our advisory team, working out of our Liverpool head office.  In his spare time, Cieran likes to travel, watch movies and stay active in the gym.

Smith Law & Shepherds

Gaynor Barrett—PA to Helen Baister

Gaynor knows everything there is to know about providing administrative support in the Financial Services industry and now has over 30 years experience in this arena.  Gaynor loves the variety of her work, which includes anything from report writing, managing Helen’s busy schedule as her PA, to liaising with clients and Financial Service providers.

Outside of work, Gaynor is a passionate horse-rider who explores the countryside with her equine companion, Oliver, several times a week.  Gaynor enjoys spending time with her family, and has her sights set on cruising the German waterways and wine country in style with her husband at some point soon.

We're recruiting!

Please contact us if you feel you can contribute to our dynamic team of advisers.

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Smith, Law & Shepherds IFA Ltd.

Head Office                       

Suite 1GG, Burlington House                          

Crosby Road North            

L22 0LG                                             


Tel: 0151 928 6778

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