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  1. Agriculture and estates
  2. Leading individuals

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Boodle Hatfield LLP provides ‘clear and comprehensive advice’ to more than 80 landed estates, including Grosvenor and the Bedford Estate. Fiona Graham stands out for her ‘initiative, efficiency, promptness and practical, lucid and succinct advice’. Natasha Hassall is also recommended.

At Cripps LLP, practice head Sally Firby led advice to Evremond Estate on the purchase of land to be used for the production of sparkling wine. Peter Scott is ‘very good for CGT and trust advice’.

Freeths’ ‘diligent and experienced’ team is noted for its ‘well-rounded, client-focused advice’. Agricultural property specialist Iain Davis leads the six-partner team and stands out for his knowledge of housing developments. Also recommended are the ‘extremely user-friendlySamantha Leigh and Jane Maitland, who is a key name for succession planning. Clients include the Carington Estate and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

Key names in Irwin Mitchell’s ‘excellent’ team (which incorporates Thomas Eggar LLP’s practice following the merger of both firms) include James Pavey, who is valued for his ‘extraordinary attention to detail and thoroughness’; and Richard Venables Kyrke and Iain MacLeod. Highlights included advising on the sale of the Norris Castle Estate on the Isle of Wight.

Steve Colville’s practice at Warners Solicitors was bolstered in 2015 by the return of tax planning expert Philip Raggett from asb law LLP. Also recommended are litigator Michael McNally and criminal and regulatory specialist Tim Ryan.

Birketts LLP’s team is praised for its ‘practical and theoretical knowledge’ and it has notable property and private client expertise. Key names include senior associate Laura Pooley and associate Annabelle Rout, who are ‘responsive’.

Mark Charter leads the team at Blake Morgan LLP, which has been kept busy handling property purchases and sales, and refinancing.

Brachers is praised for its ‘excellent understanding, interpretation and application of the law’. Sarah Webster and Sarah Gainesrespond to matters promptly and thoroughly’. The ‘experiencedChristopher Eriksson-Lee joined the firm in 2015 from Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP.

At Furley Page Solicitors, practice head Christopher Wacher advised a farming business on installing a solar array scheme.

At Knights, Matthew Knight stands out for his ‘excellent bedside manner combined with a tenacity in negotiating favourable settlements for his clients’. Clients include the Game Farmers’ Association and the NFU.

Spratt Endicott is ‘excellent in all departments’ and ‘good value for money’. Christopher Goldingham, David Endicott and Howard Meakin are notable names.

Whitehead Monckton’s ‘formidable team’ is jointly headed by Stephen Beck and Robert Coombe.

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Legal Developments in South East 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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