Agriculture & Rural Affairs

 

We’ve been providing legal services and advice to landowners, farmers, farming businesses and tenants in Suffolk and the surrounding counties since 1840.

Therefore, as you can imagine, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience and can provide legal representation and advice relating to agriculture and rural law including:

Land and property

  • Land & property – conveyancing, sales, purchases, mortgages, leases, boundaries, common land, tied accommodation & disputes
  • Planning and development – issues relating to properties & land for acquisition or development.
  • Tax & estates planning – succession planning, transactional tax, inheritance tax, land tax, wills, probate, matrimonial issues & LPA’s.

Environment, farming, food & drink

  • Food and drink regulation – food safety, food labelling, product recall and regulatory enforcement issues.
  • Environmental and regulatory – compliance issues, contaminated land and water.
  • Renewable energy – investment development and financing, including wind, solar & biofuels etc.
  • Commercial – including contractual arrangements and protection of rights.

Other land and agriculture issues we can help with include

  • Dispute resolution – including contracts, land occupation and ownership, partnership and trust disputes and product liability.
  • Business – corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, fundraising and private equity.
  • Finance, restructuring and insolvency
  • All employment law issues
  • Health and safety defences.

Agricultural and Farming Litigation, Arbitration and Mediation

When it comes to the agricultural sector, there are many sources of disputes. Some are in relation to the land itself, others are of a personal nature, like wills, probate, separation or divorce. Even the equipment purchased or sold may lead to litigation where they are not deemed suitable for use. A contract you may have entered into in good faith could also be the cause of problems. Farms often employ staff, this potentially leading to issues relating to employment law.

On the other hand, you may have received professional advice which turns out to be poor, and itself could have landed you with still more problems.

The good news is our specialised experienced team is well versed in matters relating to agricultural settings and can deal with any and all of these issues for you.

Partnerships and Agreements

Agricultural law is a specialised area, and the drafting of farm partnerships and business structures is one area that needs to be carried out with the utmost diligence and attention to detail. As with any business, it is necessary to ensure that it is set up in the most tax efficient manner and that all matters such as wills and trusts are being used correctly.

Where you are considering taking on, or offering a farm business tenancy, we will ensure that this is fair, and sets out the obligations and responsibilities relating to both the tenant and the landlord.  In such agreements, it is vital for each party to understand what they are responsible for, this ensuring that the tenancy runs smoothly.

Buying and Selling Farms

Our experienced agricultural property team provide expert advice in relation to the buying and selling of farms. This includes help on the associated matters that come with any agricultural transaction.

Our team of lawyers will lead you through the entire conveyancing process from start to finish.

There are many issues that you may need to consider before the negotiations commence, and our team will be happy to discuss these with your land agent. By so doing, we will be able to achieve the most advantageous deal for you.

Once the terms of the transaction have been agreed, we will take you through the various stages of the conveyancing process. These start with the investigative stage. All the necessary searches will be carried out and advice provided on any search issues which need attention, whether you are buying or selling.

We will handle all the queries on your behalf, and deal with all the legal aspects. We can also help with any funding matters. Any Stamp Duty requirements will also be dealt with.

All post-completion work will then be tided up, including recording the transaction at the Land Registry.

Other civil matters such, as when land is encumbered by tenancies, or rights of way and easements,  the granting of overage or the discharge of any connected obligations, plus any leases or tenancies will all be dealt with.

Selling Agricultural Land For Development.

Agricultural land is often sold for development or other purposes. The size of the land package involved varies greatly, but no matter how big or small, our farm and estate team can help.

Specialist knowledge is required in many instances, issues to do with of rights of way, easements and the transfer or retention of any entitlement to subsidies being just a few.

Our solicitors are also well versed in dealing with land sales involving their re-use for renewable energy, such as wind farms or solar panels, as well as telecommunication sites and even vehicle charging stations.

 

To talk to one of the team, please call us on 01787 277375 or use the online form.

 

“I would just like to say thank you for all of your work concerning the issue over my fence. Whilst I appreciate that many might say 'that's what you do', I am both amazed and very relieved that it has been resolved in a much shorter time than I really expected.  I would also be most grateful if you would pass my thanks on to Mr Gowling as well, please. I feel sure that it was probably his telephone call that  may have done it.  But I really am most grateful to you both. Thank you.”  Mrs M