Our history

Joining forces: a brief history of Rickard Luckin

On 1st October 2016, Rickard Luckin was created from a merger of two prominent Essex-based chartered accountants, Rickard Keen and Bird Luckin.

Whilst on the surface this was a simple and successful merger between two local companies, Rickard Luckin also represents a veritable powerhouse of dedicated knowledge and experience that combined, spans over two centuries of professional history.

Bird Luckin began life as Luckin and Sheldrake, established in Chelmsford during 1880 as one of the oldest provincial accountancy firms and establishing a solid reputation for professionalism as the decades passed into the twentieth century.

Meanwhile, Bird and Partners began life in the 1930s with an accountancy practice in Brentwood that provided audit, accountancy, taxation and financial management services to the local business community.

Bird, Luckin and Sheldrake was formed from a merger between the two well-established companies in 1976, with many offices located throughout Essex.  A second merger in 1990 created Bird Luckin, an influential practice led by twelve directors and dedicated to providing a high-quality, personal service to new business ventures as well as long-established companies.


Luckin & Sheldrake founded


Merger resulting in Bird Luckin and Sheldrake


Merger changed the name to Bird Luckin

Initially separate entities known as Hartley Keen and Rickard Porter, both established since 1925 and growing to distinction in the Southend-on-Sea area, the two reputable firms merged to become Rickard Keen in 1980.

A member of the MGI worldwide network, Rickard Keen prided itself on providing a value-added, prompt, efficient and personal service to its expanding client base, an attitude that saw the firm rapidly grow and develop through the years that passed.  Smaller local practices were absorbed in later years, and the firm established a successful training office at which the majority of its qualified staff honed their professional skills.

A second Rickard Keen office was opened in Basildon during 2005, and in 2010 the firm was awarded the prestigious ICAEW Inaugural Essex Firm of the Year.

At the time of the merger Rickard Keen counted six partners and 41 staff.


Hartley Keen and Rickard Porter both founded


Merger resulting in Rickard Keen

Rickard Luckin

With no job losses occurring from the 2016 merger, today Rickard Luckin is proud to build upon the combined knowledge and experience gained from its combined, distinguished history, continuing to offer a complete range of accountancy, tax and business services from its three well-situated offices in Southend-on-Sea, Basildon and Chelmsford.

From the beginning, it was clear that Rickard Keen and Bird Luckin shared the same passion for providing a personal and professional service, a point that was made clear by Ian Plunkett, former managing director with Bird Luckin as the merger was announced:

“We are always looking for ways to improve our service to our customers, which is why it was so important to find a firm that shares our personal service ethos,” Mr. Plunkett explained.

Alan Worsdale, former managing director of Rickard Keen, also added:

“The new firm will give a greater breadth and depth of experience to our customers, but building close relationships is what the enlarged firm will maintain at its core. The merged firm will consolidate our presence in the county and give greater breadth and depth of experience.”

As we approached the first anniversary of our merger and continued to build on our success, we put in place our future leadership structure in line with planned milestones.  Our client base is growing, and relationships are strengthening as we continue to enhance our service offering – equally our team is being strengthened both in terms of numbers and experience levels.

These are transformative times for Rickard Luckin.  Since our merger was announced in 2015, we have undertaken a programme of office refurbishment that began with our Basildon office and is currently continuing in Southend.

Janis Osborne was delighted to take on the role of Managing Director in 2016: “As a firm, Rickard Luckin is unique.  Passionate, personal and professional,   our values clearly differentiate us in a competitive business world, something that is frequently commented upon during my regular conversations with colleagues, clients and contacts.

Intrinsic to our transformation, therefore, is ensuring our values are clearly visible – which in contemporary open-plan offices with client and colleague interactions frequently on display, they have to be!”