Agriculture & Estates

We act for a broad range of rural clients from owner occupier farming families to estate owners and corporate/institutional investors. The diverse nature of our client base means that we have a broad range of experience and local intelligence which is of great benefit to our clients.

Rural businesses face commercial pressures and regulatory issues that are unique to this industry and consequently this requires tailored legal and commercial advice. Consisting of one partner and three assistant solicitors our Agriculture & Estates team is established and well placed to advise on agricultural issues in the South West. Our agriculture team are all members of the Agricultural Law Association and Country Landowners Association. Our lead lawyer Christopher Stephens is also a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association.

Since 2005 the industry has seen wide ranging changes to the subsidy systems which support farming and we are able to guide transactional clients through the implications of CAP reform with a focus on maintaining acceptable levels of risk involved for contracting parties.

What we do:

  • Sales and purchases of land, woodland, farms and estates.
  • Sales and purchases of sporting estates and rights.
  • Rights of way, wayleaves and public access.
  • Utilities, easements and wayleaves
  • Partnership issues.
  • Auction sales
  • Registration of land third party interests at Land Registry
  • Mineral extraction and exploitation of mineral rights.
  • Wind farm, solar, hydro and biogas schemes.
  • Agricultural tenancies, tenancy disputes and Agricultural Holdings Act (1986) succession issues
  • Common land, manorial issues and rights of reverter.
  • Wealth protection and impact on business structures from divorce
  • Environmental and waste management matters.
  • Contentious issues, litigation, arbitration and tribunals.
  • Planning & Listed Buildings.
  • Trusts and succession planning.
  • Agricultural dispute resolution.
  • Business re-structuring advice.
  • Agricultural subsidies (Single Payment Scheme / Basic Payment Scheme).
  • Rural commercial tenancies.
  • Telecommunications leases.
  • Succession planning.
  • Strategic planning and development advice.
  • Agricultural joint ventures / partnerships / contract farming arrangements.
  • Estate and land management issues including advice on Environmental Stewardship Agreements or Countryside Stewardship Agreements (Entry, Higher or Organic Level)

We recognise that prompt action and quick response times are important to our clients, particularly in an industry which is burdened by complex legislation which is unique to farming. Our lawyers aim to be accessible to our clients and all maintain direct dial telephone numbers. You will be assigned a principal point of contact, usually a partner, whose role will be to manage the relationship.

Ultimately we aim to protect our clients from unnecessary risk and offer complex legal solutions and pragmatic commercial advice to resolve client issues posed to us.