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Officers West Midlands

Clare McCormick IRRV MBA


Associate, Cushman & Wakefield


Work:  0121 697 7394

Mob:   07894 813847

Clare joined the rating team at Cushman & Wakefield in 2014 as a Senior Business Rates Manager. Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, Clare spent 18 years working for a number of local authorities in Northamptonshire dealing with all aspects of revenues, including non-domestic rates and council tax, providing an insight to local authority policies and procedures and the challenges faced by both local authorities and ratepayers.

Currently responsible for the Business Rates Finance Team in the Birmingham office as well as the account management of key investor and occupier clients, historic rates audit service, advising and implement mitigation strategies, and identifying and developing new business opportunities.

Consistently one of the department's highest fee earners generating income through audit, mitigation, discretionary relief applications and identifying CCA opportunities.

Successfully led Cushman & Wakefield’s submission and presentation in winning the 2019 IRRV Excellence in Non-Domestic Rates.

Andrew Ludwig BA (Hons) FIRRV AIoL




Home: 01384 294993

Mob:    07733 470640

Andrew’s first job in local government was working in Leicester City Council’s benefits office in 1983. He studied modern history at Keble College, Oxford between 1983 and 1986, and after a brief sojourn in Hertfordshire he and his partner (now wife) Catherine moved to the Black Country so she could take up a trainee accountant post at Dudley MBC. Found a temporary job in revenues to ease her move, he ended up staying a further 14 years, working his way from the rates office through a variety of roles, including research officer, council tax project co-ordinator and committals team leader.

In 2002 he moved to Birmingham City Council as a court officer, representing the council in liability order and committal proceedings in the magistrates’ court and at the valuation tribunal. In 2007 he broadened his experience and understanding by becoming involved in developing the use of bankruptcy and charging order as alternatives to committal as enforcement tools.

In April 2011 he became part of the Revenues Client Team at Birmingham, carrying out the retained functions of representing the council in committal proceedings and tribunal cases while expanding his role into the assessment of applications for rate reliefs, drafting and reviewing procedures, researching and providing briefing notes on a broad range of issues, and dealing with complex complaints, MP/councillor enquiries and information requests. Following his appointment as team manager in 2015 his main focus became monitoring the contract with Service Birmingham, the council’s joint venture with Capita. The operation was brought back in-house in February 2017, and Andrew was a Section Manager working on a number of projects to improve the service from 2017 to 2021.

From May 2021 to December 2022 he was Income Team Manager at Solihull MBC, where he led the team responsible for the billing, collection and recovery of council tax, business rates, sundry debt and overpaid housing benefit.

He retired from full-time local government work in January 2023 and is currently taking a break before considering future roles.

A member of the West Midlands Executive Committee in the early 2000s, he rejoined in 2009 and has served as Secretary from 2010 to date, except during his Presidential year in 2014-15. He is also Secretary of the Association Representatives group, and a member of the Local Taxation & Revenues Faculty Board.

Immediate Past President

Immediate Past President

Client Success Director, DWF


Mob:  07514 921628


Neil is a Corporate Member of the IRRV based on his extensive work in the public sector, particularly in local government revenues, recoveries, litigation and enforcement. He works for DWF Group plc, a leading global provider of integrated legal and business services where he works with the Lender Services and Recoveries teams in the UK.

A debt litigation and enforcement specialist who has been involved in the management and development of legal debt recovery operations for several leading legal businesses in a career spanning 35 years. Neil’s previous roles include being Head of Client Development and Communications at Court Enforcement Services, Client Development Director at DWF, Head of High Court Client Services at Marston Holdings and he has also worked for HMCTS.

Neil is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) and a member of CICM’s Executive Board and Advisory Council. He is also Vice Chair of the Civil Court Users Association (CCUA). He has been recommended for Debt Recovery in the Legal 500 across several regions and has experience across all sectors.



Treasurer and IRRV National Council Member
Allan Traynor FCCA IRRV (Hons)

Treasurer and IRRV National Council Member

IRRV National Council Member
IRRV Honorary Treasurer


Phone:  01905 821599

Allan started as a trainee accountant with Fife County Council. On qualifying in 1975 he worked in internal audit, moving on to become Chief Internal Auditor for Fife Regional Council before becoming Principal Revenue Accountant in 1984 and Deputy Director of Finance in 1996. Following the reorganisation of local government, he became Revenue Services Manager for the newly-created Fife Council, where he was responsible not only for revenues and benefits but also accounts payable, treasury management and pension fund investment.

Allan retired from local government in October 2008 after 39 years of service and is now based in the Midlands, providing consultancy services.

His main hobbies are football (which he still plays regularly) and golf (which he plays quite badly). His local football team is Raith Rovers (who?) and he is an avid fan of Plymouth Argyle (why?), and will take every opportunity to speak at events which may coincide with an Argyle away game as travelling to home games is a bit problematic.

Allan was national President in 2006/07, a past President of the Scottish Association, and the immediate past President of the West Midlands Association. He is a former chair of the Scottish Revenues and Benefits Forum and advisor to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) on revenues and benefits matters. He is a tutor for distance learning and a regular speaker at conferences and seminars as well as a contributor to Insight.

Executive Committee Member
Bob Trahern IRRV (Hons)

Executive Committee Member

Past National IRRV President
Independent Revenues and Benefits Consultant



Mob:    07970 248235

Bob retired in 2021 after a 38-year career in revenues and benefits. He left local government in 2019, his last role being Deputy Chief Executive at North Warwickshire BC where he worked for over 20 years and had responsibility for a range of functions including Revenues and Benefits. In this role, he also served a local government advisor to MHCLG. He previously worked at Coventry City Council, Nuneaton & Bedworth BC and Rugby BC as well as working for four years in the private sector where he ended his career as Business Development Director at Marston Holdings.

Bob has been actively involved in the IRRV since qualifying in 1995. For many years, he tutored on all parts of the IRRV professional examination courses on day release, block release and the Institute's national revision courses as well as being an examiner for 8 years and a frequent speaker at seminars, branch meetings and conference during this time.

He also served on the Institute's National Council from 2000 to 2022 and as IRRV National President in 2007/08, having been President of the West Midlands Association in 1999/00. 

Bob continues to be involved in the IRRV in one of his passions - golf - as organiser of pre-conference and the National Associations golf event as well as being chairman of the awar- winning food hub he founded from the back of his car in 2013 which is now one of the largest independent food banks nationally and takes up a lot of his time. He also likes to travel which is a passion he retired to have more time to do.

Having a wealth of experience, Bob does continue to provide consultancy support and training to Revenues and Benefits colleagues on an ad hoc project basis in areas where he was an early champion in terms of shared services and financial and social inclusion and its impact on effective service delivery, and can be contacted using the details shown above.


Executive Committee Member
Rebecca Dyche

Executive Committee Member

Benefits Apprentice
South Staffordshire Council



Mob:    07946 8299042

After working as a key worker during COVID-19, Rebecca felt it was the right time to change careers and joined the Benefits team at South Staffordshire Council as an apprentice in 2021. She is currently in her second year, preparing for the end point assessment. She hopes to continue working for South Staffordshire after completing the IRRV course so she can put into practice what she has learned. She has already learned a lot about the welfare industry and hopes to continue studying for her degree. After finishing her studies, she hopes to work as a benefit clerk for the Tribunal Service.



Catherine Ludwig MA (Oxon) IPFA