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United Kingdom > East Anglia > Private client > Agriculture and estates > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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  1. Agriculture and estates
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

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Ashtons Legal’s team of ‘respected lawyers’ includes Simon Cunningham, who advised Push Energy on a lease for a project in Essex, which involved complex leasing arrangements and estates matters; farming expert Jonathan Long; and 25-year veteran in agricultural law Jeanette Dennis.

Birketts LLP’s team ‘operates at a very high standard’. ‘Proactive, accurate’ department head Jack Royallgets all queries sorted before other lawyers even get out of bed’. ‘Considerate and technically excellent’ estate planner Neil Sparrow advised a Norfolk estate on tenancy issues. Agriculture specialist Chris Coupland and property lawyers Rachel McKillop-Wilkin and James Dinwiddy are also recommended.

Standout figures at NFU panel firm Hewitsons include Denise Wilkinson (who ‘thrives on complicated and challenging work’), Charles Hewitson and newly promoted partner Charles Stevens, who is known for handling complex transactions for a nationwide client base. Wilkinson advised the RSPB on a contract to manage the ancient oak trees of Sherwood Forest.

Howes Percival LLP stands out for its ‘exceptional service and clear advice on agricultural and tax issues’. Catherine Scott and Stuart Maggsshow detailed knowledge and are determined to see transactions through’. Richard Lovett and consultant Jeremy Heal are also recommended. Clients include The Cholmondeley Estates and The Holkham Estate.

A top firm’ for private client matters, Mills & Reeve LLP’s agriculture and estates team includes ‘knowledgeable, efficient’ head of agribusiness Michael Aubrey, agricultural property and renewable energy specialist Amanda Tagg, Tim Ryan (who ‘always has the angles covered’), and associates Dawn Chapman and Louisa Butcher, who ‘give sound advice worth taking’. Wellcome Trust is a client.

Taylor Vinters’ ‘first-class’ practice acts for clients including Jockey Club Group and AgReserves Ltd. Adrian Horwood-Smart has ‘a wealth of experience and knowledge’ and Rupert Melville-Ross is singled out for his ‘practical, “can-do” approach’. ‘Calm and responsive’ senior associate Andrew Williamson is also recommended.

Toby Pound’s team at Barker Gotelee provides ‘very good service, good advice and good response times’. ‘Good listener’ and agricultural specialist Andrew Nicholson is highly recommended. Highlights included advising on the sale of 1800 acres at Aldeburgh and Friston.

Greene & Greene has ‘an excellent and dedicated team’ that includes rural property partner Jonathan Mathers (who is ‘first rate, diligent and clear’), corporate partner Neil Walmsley, and Agricultural Law Association member and litigator Andrea Nicholls. Snailwell Stud Company is a key client.

Hunt & Coombs LLP’s ‘highly knowledgeable and experienced’ team features property partner Anna Spriggs, estates specialist Peter Izod, and trusts and tax expert Paddy Appleton, who advised on the £3.5m estate of a deceased farmer.

Property specialist William Riley leads the team at Leathes Prior, which includes Darren Bowen, who advised The Holkham Estate on tenancy matters. The ‘very knowledgeable and personableMike Barlow is recommended for contentious matters. Other clients include the trustees of the Great Hospital.

At Roythornes Solicitors, Newmarket-based consultant Graham Smith is regarded as one of the most experienced practitioners in the field of agricultural law and related tax matters. In Peterborough Jonathan Williams excels in property matters.

Steeles Law’s ‘efficient and proactive’ head of wills, probate and tax, Karen Bacon regularly advises on farming partnership matters and land sales. She acted in the sale of three lots of a family farm.

Key figures at NFU panel firm Tees Law include Catherine Mowat and James Dowson, who advise many clients on rural matters. Dowson acted on the purchase of a 120-acre plot for £1.2m.

Gerry Field at Blocks advised on the sale of a residential farm for £3.1m, and another sale of agricultural land for £1.8m that generated further tax planning matters.

At Buckles Solicitors LLP, property partners Michael Blank, who is a fellow of the Agricultural Law Association, and Michael Rabbett are recommended.

Property specialists Chris Hoxley and Anne Kirby at Butcher Andrews advise local farmers and landowners. Kirby handled options on agricultural land for renewable energy company Genatec. Christopher Mordaunt joined Everys.

Daniel Ball at Fraser Dawbarns is ‘calm and considered in the face of challenging issues’. He handled the £3.7m acquisition of a 210-acre site.

At Spire Solicitors LLP, Carl Heywood represents a number of farming families in Norfolk on property deals and estate planning.

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Legal Developments in East Anglia for Agriculture and estates

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer 

    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.

    - Falcon Chambers

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