Next Generation Partners

Rising Stars

Agriculture and estates in East Midlands

HCR Hewitsons

HCR Hewitsons is frequently instructed by farmers and rural landowners on a range of large and complex transactions involving the buying and selling of farms or significant portions of land. Additionally, the firm handles significant agricultural litigation matters. Gareth Williams handles complex transactions for farmers and agricultural businesses. Denise Wilkinson handles complex property and family issues in the rural sector for both small farmers and major institutions. Newly-promoted partner Stephanie Dennis specialises in agricultural and and rural estate matters, while James Frankland acts on a range of property transactions and management issues.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Williams; Denise Wilkinson

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Dennis; James Frankland; Rachel Smith


‘A very strong team with knowledge and understanding of development work for private landowners and Estates.’

‘Thorough and able to provide good advice to landowning clients.’

‘We have appreciated the breadth of expertise and experience across the practice and have made use of elements across the board from Agriculture and Estates to Intellectual Property and beyond.’

‘Follow through – good at making sure that even if we let things drop, they don’t.’

‘The team is proactive, rather than reactive. Has a fantastic support network to accommodate any specialisms needed across the team, collaborating with difficult/complicated matters, meaning you are always getting the right, and best advice. They provide seamless cover for any out of office requirements and their communication skills are exemplary, meaning you always know where you are with a transactions/job.’

‘Rachel Smith is fantastic. Whenever Rachel is involved in a transaction I know we are in safe hands. She is proactive with great communication skills. Never afraid to pick up the phone to discuss complicated matters, in such a simple way they even for uneducated people like myself to understand.’

‘Stephanie Dennis is quick, approachable and gets things done. Always keeps us updated and gives clear common sense advice.’

‘Stephanie Dennis is who we use for all our farm / property / private client work. A well deserved promotion this year and I’m pleased she is staying in place post HCR takeover / merger. Highly recommend Stephanie.’

Key clients

Merton College

Compton Estates (Lord Northampton and the Castle Ashby Trust)

Arbury Estate

Roythornes Solicitors

The agriculture team at Roythornes Solicitors works for farm businesses and estates across England on a range of matters, with a particular expertise in Agricultural Holdings Act tenancies. Tim Russ specialises in disputes surrounding agricultural law, food law, private client and property, while Claire Hindmarsh advises clients on all aspects of rural property. Edd Johnson leads the natural resources team, while Tim Galloway focuses on estate planning with a particular focus on business succession and trust restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Tim Russ

Other key lawyers:

Claire Hindmarsh; Edd Johnson; Tim Galloway; Paul Thompson; Simeon Disley; Ben Taylor


‘Excellent track record and expertise in various areas. Extremely responsive. Very friendly and professional at all times.’

‘Edd Johnson – excellent and well experienced solicitor. always very responsive, friendly and professional. Always get deals done.’

‘The Roythornes agricultural team is market-leading in its strength and depth of expertise. It is unquestionably one of the top few firms for work in this area – both agricultural property law and relates areas – and has excellent industry connections.’

‘Tim Russ is a leading expert in agricultural property litigation, including such highly technical areas as proprietary estoppel, succession claims and partnership disputes.’

‘Tim Russ has an encyclopaedic knowledge of agricultural law and works at pace with great efficiency and pragmatism.’

‘Ben Taylor is extremely helpful and always up for a challenge.’

‘Its a good quality that the leading Partners are involving the next generation (para legal) in high level meetings/ cases and advancing their experience in readiness to take Roythornes on for years to come.’

‘The practice genuinely understand agriculture and make an effort to become part of our team. No other professionals, including accountants, have ever made such efforts with us and this is greatly valued. We also have continuity of people as there does not seem to be a high turnover of staff, which makes our life easier.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a landowning family in relation to a 500MW solar development and energy storage park involving over 1,600 acres of land.
  • Representing a father against his son in connection with the family farm which is worth in the region of £3 million.
  • Acting for landowner trustees in a joint disposal transaction with a neighbouring landowner (separately represented), selling approximately 1100 acres of agricultural land to a national housebuilder for residential development for a total sale price of over £60m.

Wilkin Chapman LLP

Wilkin Chapman LLP‘s agriculture team is active across the entire spectrum of the sector, regularly acting for internal drainage boards and NFU members on complex disputes and transactions and agricultural tenancies. The team is led by Catherine Harris, who specialises in acting for estates and internal drainage boards on complex transactional work and farming subsidies. Flora Bennett is an expert in handling complex property transactions, while Roly Freeman specialises in land sales and purchases. Sophie Barwood is another key name, specialising in complex transactions and agricultural tenancies.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Harris

Other key lawyers:

Flora Bennett; Roly Freeman; Sophie Barwood; Caitlin MacNamara


‘Catherine Harris deals with all my agricultural work and is very efficient and level headed.’

‘Catherine Harris is our usual first contact & she will decide if the legal actions to be taken can be done by a junior ( at a lot less cost ) or more complex to be dealt with by herself. Catherine is outstanding when working on your behalf from start to finish.’

‘Roly Freeman is extremely knowledgeable and gives confidence with his in depth preparation and attention to detail, as does Caitlin MacNamara. Both are extremely friendly and approachable and will explain matters in a way that is easy to understand for those not used to legal jargon. Nothing is too much trouble as far as they are concerned and their reassurance is valued.’

Work highlights

  • Acted in the sale of a farm comprising 300 acres of arable land, a farmhouse and buildings in North Nottinghamshire subject to overage provisions
  • Acting for a tenant in response to the service of a Landlord’s notice to quit served under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986.
  • Acted in the grant of an option for lease to a solar developer for a combined solar and battery storage project over a significant area of agricultural land.

Browne Jacobson LLP

The estates and rural team at Browne Jacobson LLP advises a range of public and private clients on complex agricultural matters surrounding strategic land projects, farm sales and purchases, diversification schemes and agricultural tenancies. Robert Wofinden specialises in property development and strategic land transactions, while Lucy Worwood focuses onshore and offshore trust-related matters. Wenna Thompson handles all aspects of private client work with a particular focus on succession planning. Imogen Holmes is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Robert Wofinden; Lucy Worwood

Other key lawyers:

Wenna Thompson; Imogen Holmes


‘Wenna Thompson, Lucy Worwood and Imogen Holmes have a wealth of experience, are very approachable and provide excellent client service.’

‘Extremely professional and responsive service from Imogen Holmes regarding complex deed of variation of will and ancillary advice.’

‘Imogen Holmes exceptional in her field. A pleasure to deal with. Responsive and approachable.’

Key clients

Canal and River Trust

Coal Authority

Covanta Energy Limited

Ceredigion County Council

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

Aggregate Industries UK Limited

The National Trust

Environment Agency

Natural England

Homes England

Peak District National Park Authority

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

Natural Resources Body for Wales

British Trust for Ornithology

Welsh Government

Northern Ireland Ombudsman

Belvoir Estate

Marine Management Organisation [Environment]

Flint Bishop LLP

The agriculture and estates team at Flint Bishop LLP advises on all forms of contentious and non-contentious agricultural and rural affairs matters on behalf of significant county landowners and other major clients. Team head Paul Sabin specialises in complex agricultural property transactions, including freehold acquisitions and disposals of farms. Claire Rudkin leads the wills, probate, tax and trusts team with a particularly strong track record in inheritance tax and succession planning matters for agricultural clients. William Harper frequently advises on complex estates matters, while Sundeep Sandhu  is experienced in a range of contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Paul Sabin

Other key lawyers:

Claire Rudkin; William Harper; Sundeep Sandhu

Work highlights

  • Acting in the administration of an estate which includes an active farming business comprising of farmland and buildings worth £1.3 million and other related farming assets worth approximately £500,000.
  • Acting for the owners of a substantial farming estate worth £2.5m+ in a dispute raised by one of the owners’ sons.
  • Acting on behalf of the Executors in the administration of an estate worth circa £1.7m that includes an interest in a farm, various parcels of land and a farming partnership together with savings and investments, some of which qualified for Business Property Relief due to their nature.

Josiah Hincks Solicitors

Josiah Hincks Solicitors assists clients with a broad range of farming law and agricultural matters, particularly those relating to milk contracts, land transactions, footpath disputes and livestock and poultry claims. Fly-grazing and agricultural tenancy disputes are also focus areas for the firm. Andrew Eagle leads the team with a particular expertise in agricultural land transactions and renewable energy projects. Meanwhile Ruth Jewell handles contentious land matters while also leading the firm’s dispute resolution team.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Eagle

Other key lawyers:

Ruth Jewell

Key clients

W Handy & Son

A H Chantrell & Sons (Farmers) Ltd

G R Hallifield Farmers Ltd

NFU Panel Appointment

Welland Waste Management Ltd

Berryfield Farms Ltd

Work highlights

  • Represented a local farming business in the UK’s largest known instance of Fly-Grazing, negotiating the safe removal and collection of over 50 horses.
  • Advised a local farming business on an option agreement over 73 acres of land with a total value to the client in excess of £27,000,000.
  • Advised a vetinary pharmaceuticals business in relation to a Promotion Agreement for a substantial area of Farming land.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

The agriculture and rural affairs team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP is experienced across the full spectrum of the sector, with a strong track record in farm transactions, renewable energy schemes, agricultural tenancies and a variety of contentious matters. Peter Snodgrass leads the team, specialising in agricultural tenancies and farm partnerships in addition to general property work. Amy Cowdell specialises in agricultural property law, while Suzanne Leggott leads the firm’s national private client team.

Practice head(s):

Amy Cowdell

Other key lawyers:

Peter Snodgrass; Suzanne Leggott


‘Shakespeare Martineau are dynamic and proactive, they respond swiftly to all matters and are quick to deploy the relevant expert from within their business to best suit the instruction.’

‘Amy Cowdell provides an excellent level of service to both clients and all professional contacts associated with the transaction / project. She is always on the front foot and responds swiftly to all matters to move things forward to completion in the most efficient way.’

‘The Agriculture team at Shakespeare Martineau are able to fully support all types of issues affecting a range a stakeholders in the sector. They are able to deliver sound and clear advice in a manner tailored to the Client type; whether that be farmers, landowners, estate owners or tenants’

‘Peter Snodgrass has been proactive in dealing with complex matters, utilising an extensive team of experts to deliver first class advice.’

‘Peter Snodgrass is very sound on agricultural professional inc AHA, FBT and family succession.’

‘Proactive problem solving combined with an efficient no nonsense attitude, my go to people. Clients like them too.’

Key clients

Drummond Trust