Brabners LLP provides specialist advice to landowners and landed estates in the North West regarding agriculture and estates planning, tax and property litigation, and environmental law. Its expertise extends to mines and minerals, succession issues, landlord and tenant matters, and farming partnerships. Practice head Rupert Jackson is noted for his work on complex rights, renewable options, and high-value residential land transactions. Charles Hansford specialises in farm and land sales, sporting rights and fell rights, amongst others. Property litigation expert Jessica Parry joined from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP and Amanda Bailey joined from DTM Legal LLP in October 2021, while Hannah Carter departed in August 2021.
Agriculture and estates in North West
Other key lawyers:
Charles Hansford; Jessica Perry
‘Charles Hansford has long-term experience and is a trusted professional.’
‘From the outset I have found anyone that I have dealt with extremely helpful and proactive.’
‘The speed of communication, the proactive approach and the willingness to progress matters has been excellent!’
Associated British Foods plc
The Liverpool Roman Archdiocesan Trust
Manchester Ship Canal Company Limited
Peel Holdings plc
SED Recycling Limited (and associated companies)
British Sugar plc
AB Agri Limited
ABF Grain Products Limited
ABF Properties Limited
TJ Morris Limited
CNP Property (Wirral) Limited
Countryroute (A130) plc
With a reach that extends across the North West and North Wales, Butcher & Barlow LLP advises landowners, tenant farmers, and landlords on all agriculture and landowning-related matters. The team has niche expertise advising on mineral leasing, the entry into promotion agreements, and on sales of land and compensation claims with HS2. Practice head Mike Bracegirdle leads on high-value agricultural property transactions and inheritance tax mitigation issues, Graham Gigg is a key contact regarding agricultural property, and Rebecca Jepson deals with granting options and promotion agreements. John Hyatt is also recommended. Tim Bailey joined from Bowcock & Pursaill in September 2021. He focuses on estates and succession planning.
Other key lawyers:
Graham Gigg; Rebecca Jepson; John Hyatt; Tim Bailey
‘One of the partners has a farm that he is also involved in running, so he really does understand agricultural issues.’
‘Really good, well-managed team, whose attention to detail is excellent. Very good client skills and ensure they do their upmost for their clients. very proactive growing team, but have not forgone client service for growth.’
‘Good client service, attention to detail, very proactive and responsive.’
‘Mike Bracegirdle gives a fantastic personal service and is an expert in his field.’
‘The team comprises highly experienced and qualified staff. They provide an efficient and quality service. They are always contactable and responsive. They deal with work in a timely manner and communicate through the whole process.’
‘This team is always available to help when we need it. The agricultural partner is from farming background and this helps tremendously with our issues related to our farming business. I would recommend this firm to other farming associates.’
‘Mike Bracegirdle is extremely knowledgable regarding the agricultural sector. He is always available when we need him and he has been a great support.’
‘Butcher Barlow has a team that works seamlessly to provide an exceptional level of service. The billing is always transparent and fair, there appears to be a good level of diversity in the team. The knowledge within their sector is good, and the advice they give is always relevant, whether you want to hear it or not!’
IOW View Ltd
William Beech Skip Hire Ltd
Stella Smeeton & Phillip Starkey
- Advised private client in connection with the sale of farm and equestrian land to HS2 and a related purchase of a similar property which was in the hands of the Receiver and Tenanted, with a total deal value of over £3m.
- Acted for IOW View Ltd in connection with the sale of a recently purchased farmhouse, division of retained land for onward sale, refinancing of retained land, and the purchase of further farm buildings for future development.
- Acted for a private client in the time-critical and highly contested implementation of the terms of a Settlement Agreement between two partners who had previously operated a farming partnership together, involving finance from a third party lender and the resolution of title issues to enable a certificate of title to be provided.
Based in Cheshire, Myerson Solicitors LLP works with rural businesses and high-net-worth agricultural clients regarding both commercial and residential property matters, including property litigation and contentious construction matters. Mark Gillies provides specialist advice on property investment and asset management, while Clara Staunton manages trusts and advises on the administration of estates. Andrew Brown is a key resource regarding the preparation of constitutional documentation and business structuring. Jane Tenquist focuses on alternative dispute resolution. Real estate litigation specialist and senior associate Karen Taylor joined from Land Law LLP in July 2021.
Clara Staunton; Andrew Brown; Mark Gillies
Other key lawyers:
Jane Tenquist; Karen Taylor
The rural team at Napthens LLP covers the full gamut of farm, land, and estate planning matters. Andrew Holden leads the team and covers land and property sales and surrender of easements, as well as agricultural property transactions. The team has a strong bench of associates: James Stocker is a name of note for his work in land and property sales and purchases, Melissa Haigh focuses particularly on providing succession planning for farming families, and Diane France is a key resource regarding AHA disputes and rural tenancy work.
Other key lawyers:
James Stocker; Melissa Haigh; Diane France
‘The team is flexible in their approach to meetings – willing to visit clients at home rather than expecting clients always to travel to them. Associates willing to involve others to ensure client only needs 1 meeting to discuss all aspects.’
‘The people we have worked with are very knowledgeable about the business sector and apply this consistently well in client meetings. Their simple and to the point explanations help understand what can be a very tricky situation/topic.’
‘The agriculture team at Napthens LLP is a firm 100% dedicated to the industry. Their heavy involvement in the community locally and regionally is second to none. Additionally, the firm works hard to ensure connectivity amongst the professional network ensuring that best practice, knowledge and new ideas are shared in an unbiased way for the benefit of our farming client base. The team itself is diverse, adaptable and I would say highly skilled with dealing with a range of queries in a quick and efficient manner.’
‘The agriculture team at Napthens LLP has proven time and time again its commitment to the industry and its clients through open communication, a positive mindset and trust. They are very open to feedback and encourage it to ensure a strong working relationship between our businesses is maintained at all times. Their knowledge of the industry, the challenges and opportunities have meant we are able to fully trust their professional opinion.’
Oxbury Bank plc
Virgin Bank (previously Yorkshire)
DTM Legal LLP
Led by Anna Duffy, DTM Legal LLP advises landed estates on the sale and purchase of farm and land, as well as estate management and tenancy issues. Stephen Lunt is a key contact regarding the negotiation of promotion agreements, Paul Makinson focuses on the sale and purchase of agricultural land, and Helen Nash deals with complex easements and strategic developments. Senior associate Heather Lally joined from Bowcock Cuerden LLP in August 2021, bringing her experience in succession planning for agricultural families to the table. Property litigation specialist and senior associate James Holton joined from Butcher & Barlow LLP in November 2021. Amanda Bailey departed in October 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Stephen Lunt; Paul Makinson; Helen Nash; Heather Lally; James Holton
‘An exceptional team that reacts proactively.’
E A Reed & Sons (Cheshire)
T W Kinsey (Cheshire)
ADAS (part of RSK Group)
Cheshire Young Farmers
W Fair and Son
- Advised Jones Brothers Butchers and Farmers on succession planning, including the capital gains tax and inheritance tax implications of the prospective sale of land for the development of circa 500 houses.
- Estate and planning for a farming family owning c.1000 acres, including detailed tax advice on succession planning strategies.
Oglethorpe Sturton & Gillibrand
Oglethorpe Sturton & Gillibrand advises on the acquisition and disposal of agricultural land, often acting on matters such as renewable energy projects, rights of common, sporting and fishing rights. John Myers leads the agricultural property team and is a key contact regarding complex agricultural property transactions, while head of the agricultural private client team Clare Love deals with tax and estate planning and trust administration. Alison Kinder focuses on property transactions and landlord and tenant law.
John Myers; Clare Love
Other key lawyers:
‘From our experience of dealing with Oglethorpe, Sturton & Gillibrand a key quality has been the one to one service they have provided. Alongside the rural department the practice as a whole can deal with any legal matter which may arise.’
‘Clare Love is friendly and easy to chat to, with extensive knowledge of agricultural matters in relation to wills and probate. John Myers has exceptional attention to detail.’
‘The practice has a long history in dealing with agriculture & estates. They have always done a good job for us.’
‘Attentive, conscientious team who appears to understand the client’s needs and will do its upmost to achieve this.’
‘John Myers ensures a high level of service and knowledge.’
‘John Myers is an excellent solicitor with a fantastic depth of knowledge. Professional and approachable.’
SAS Daniels LLP advises North West farmers and agri-businesses on structuring, estate administration, partnership agreements, and inheritance and succession planning. In Chester, practice co-head James Goddard deals with a broad range of matters, including easements, farm sales and purchases, and options and promotion agreements, while in Congleton, co-head Helen Gowin is a key contact regarding estate administration. The team is also known for advising on the development of renewable energy farms on agricultural land.
‘The team is well experienced, professional and knowledgeable. They have excellent communications and are easy to get hold of.’
‘James Goddard is reliable, professional and knowledgeable. He always gives sound advice to clients and I would always recommend him to my clients.’
‘They are focused on and experienced in looking after landed estates. They can cover all the legal aspects of dealing with residential, agricultural and commercial property in one practice.’
‘We are confident that when we call James Goddard, he will be able to deal with our queries/issues or at least refer them to another expert within the practice. We trust James to give us a good and fair pice for work done and also to deliver a good service.’
Rainford Hall Estate Limited
- Advised Rainford Hall Estate Limited on the lease of Rainford Hall, part of a Landed Estate.
The Cumbria-based team at Temple Heelis focuses on complex agricultural and rural matters, including the purchase, sale, financing, and restructuring of land. It also is highly experienced in rural litigation concerning boundary disputes and environmental leakage disputes. Niche expertise includes advising hotels, pubs, and B&Bs on agricultural matters involving the Lake District. Agricultural practice head Peter Dodd deals with complex agricultural and rural matters, while James Hamilton often advises farming families, high-net-worth individuals, and Lake District business owners. Yasmin Blamire is a key contact regarding commercial property and agricultural property matters.
Other key lawyers:
James Hamilton; Yasmin Blamire
‘Very personable, each member of the team has their own unique specialties and expertise, which gives a client reassurance and confidence in their abilities for the matter at hand.’
‘Peter Dodd in particular is very committed, with in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of the unique quirks that are found in Lake District properties, eg local occupancy clauses requiring certification to purchase, holiday-let covenants, either prohibiting or limiting, and much more. If I have a question about a local property with any kind of covenant or restriction, I feel 100% confident in asking Peter’s advice and instructing him to act where apppropriate.’
‘Peter Dodd is a local chap who is passionate about his work (and puts the hours in to prove it!)’
‘General allround skill. I have been perfectly happy with the service given.’
‘Peter Dodd has a good profile for this area of work.’