Next Generation Partners

Rising Stars

Agriculture and estates in North West

Brabners LLP

A firm with roots dating back to 1815, Brabners LLP serves as a go-to for complex and sophisticated agricultural matters, leveraging both the team’s experience and the extensive resources from the firm’s wider services to provide clients with comprehensive counsel. Team head Rupert Jackson handles issues such as land rights, property and estate transactions and boundary disputes, as well as offering advice to longstanding clients regarding asset planning and environmental concerns. Charles Hansford has experience helping clients with issues concerning sporting and fell rights, and also delivers trusted counsel to individuals and companies engaged in mineral and mining matters. Fern Bullock is also highly active in the practice, focusing on large development ventures, including renewable energy and telecommunication projects.

Practice head(s):

Rupert Jackson

Other key lawyers:

Charles Hansford; Fern Bullock


‘Good team with wide range of expertise’

‘Rupert Jackson – Available & approachable and brings in the relevant expertise to complement his skills’

‘Diverse. Many years of experience. Reliable. Cost effective. Loyal.’

Key clients

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

Many private individuals and companies

Work highlights

  • Acting for landowner on the sale of a key strategic site, currently used for business and agricultural purposes, for residential development of c.450 dwellings.
  • Acting on behalf of Landed Estate in respect of the ongoing phased residential development of a site in Lincolnshire.
  • Acting on behalf of a Landed Estate in respect of a complex development of three parcels of land in Sheffield, in conjunction with the Council and developer.

Butcher & Barlow LLP

Butcher & Barlow LLP’s agriculture and estates team has been highly active on a range of issues over the past twelve months, including HS2 development projects, farming diversification endeavors and increased mineral operations in the wake of a buoyant housing market. Team head Mike Bracegirdle has expertise in landed estates and provides trusted counsel to clients looking for advice on property transactions, succession planning, and Agricultural Holdings Act and Farming Business Tenancy issues. Graham Gigg continues to act on matters including the sale of land and the negotiation of promotion agreements, while Rebecca Jepson provides a depth of experience relating to agricultural property and property law issues. John Hyatt handles a steady stream of matters pertaining to land transactions.

Practice head(s):

Mike Bracegirdle

Other key lawyers:

Graham Gigg; John Hyatt; Rebecca Jepson


‘Mike Bracegirdle and his team all seem to have a good understanding of agriculture matter and are very good at understanding a farm map and are easy to work with.’

‘Mike Bracegirdle and the team have all done work for me, which I have been very satisfied with. Mike Bracegirdle has been expertly involved in setting up deeds of trust, deed of variation and a partnership agreement.’

‘I feel that Butcher & Barlow LLP work as a very strong and cohesive team. My experience is that the team has specialist partners in various areas who work together to provide the best quality service they can to their clients.’

Key clients

Booth Charities

IOW View Ltd

William Beech Skip Hire Ltd

Andy Moroney (Civils) Ltd

Wright Farming

Work highlights

  • Acted on a sale for £2.6m plus overage of 5.5 acres of agricultural land for employment use/ commercial development.
  • Acted on the purchase of agricultural land with a value of £850,000 funded by refinancing of existing land.
  • Acted in connection with the compulsory sale of a diversified farm and farming enterprise to HS2 for £2.8m

Myerson Solicitors LLP

Myerson Solicitors LLP leverages its large and experienced private client team to provide individuals with a full service regarding agricultural and rural estate work. The team deal with multifaceted issues that require due diligence, legal compliance, tax mitigation, transactions and agreements, and also possess the ability to ‘handle huge pieces of litigation’. The department has been particularly involved in agricultural-related will disputes and succession planning, including acting as trustees for estates. The three team heads, Clara Staunton, Andrew Brown, and Mark Gillies, represent the three significant areas of work surrounding their agricultural portfolios, wills and trusts, corporate and commercial, and commercial property. Simon Cieluch has been involved in the administration of estates and agricultural disputes.

Practice head(s):

Clara Staunton; Andrew Brown; Mark Gillies

Other key lawyers:

Simon Cieluch


‘There is a real depth of expertise in the team. they handle huge pieces of litigation for high-net-worth individuals and have the capacity to do so.’

‘The team is always approachable and willing to carry out meetings with clients on-site to ensure they fully understand what is being asked of them.’

‘They understand the issues quickly and provide active advice.’

‘Myerson delivers the feel of a city firm yet is suburban based. They have a strong and growing team that we feel able to recommend to clients.’

Key clients

O’Gara Developments

Green Valley Leisure Resorts Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for an estate with regard to a sale of agricultural land by long lease for redevelopment.
  • Acting for an estate which involved a family farming partnership and complex tax issues.
  • Acting for a claim against an estate containing extensive agricultural property.

Napthens LLP

Napthens LLP’s dedicated rural and agricultural team continue to be an active presence in the market, providing bespoke and custom-drafted agreements and licenses for farmers and their ever-growing diversification of assets. Andrew Holden heads the department and is a go-to for agricultural property transactions, as well as partnership agreements and tenancy matters. Melissa Haigh’s farming background allows her to clearly identify solutions to her clients’ property issues through the team’s Farm Future Service and has notable expertise in succession planning. Diane France, who also has a farming background, has been active in AHA disputes and FBT’s, and regularly takes the lead on matters regarding land and property transactions. James Stocker supports Holden on rural property sales and the distribution of assets.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Holden

Other key lawyers:

Melissa Haigh; Diane France; James Stocker


‘Proactive in involving other members of the team to ensure that the client has a ‘one stop shop’ for their legal needs. Examples include partnership changes and also updating of wills all undertaken at the same meeting.’

‘Knowledge of the sector and the individual’s farms. All the people we deal with are from farming backgrounds, so whilst they have the technical knowledge, they too can empathise with the current issues of the business.’

‘The team at Napthens are true specialists in rural property. Therefore, they have an innate understanding of this type of property, and for the needs of landowner clients. This, and their first-class legal knowledge, allow them to find solutions where other less specialist solicitors just find problems.’

Key clients

Oxbury Bank

Virgin Money



Work highlights

Aaron & Partners LLP

Aaron & Partners LLP has established experience in agricultural transactions and tenancies involving not only rural dwellings and farms, but also ecclesiastical property, caravan parks and fair ground land. The team also have broader expertise pertaining energy developments, utility projects, mineral leases, and sporting rights. Joseph Fletcher-Hunt fronts the department and primarily focuses on property transactions and land registration matters, including surrounding issues such as tenancies, easements and manorial rights. Co-head Simon Ellis provides trusted counsel to clients looking to pioneer diversification projects and has an extensive understanding of maximising land use, estate management and succession planning. Brent Williams, who joined from Knights in 2022, has niche expertise in legal issues concerning horseracing and breeding, while Ben Brassington leverages his legal experience in family work to provide clients with a comprehensive service.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Fletcher-Hunt; Simon Ellis

Other key lawyers:

Brent Williams; Ben Brassington


‘The legal advice was provided in a commercial, pragmatic and practical way having fully explored my current and future plans for the land that was purchased. The strategy to be followed was detailed up front with each contentious point discussed with the partner directly with advice given on each option available.’

‘Aaron & Partners ensured the process of selling the farm ran smoothly, keeping me informed of developments and dealing with all outside agents. They were helpful, approachable and made the whole process as easy as possible for me.’

‘Selling a farm 300 miles away, as executor, was a daunting prospect but Joseph Fletcher-Hunt was excellent at talking everything through with me. He took time to explain all the paperwork, helping to complete all the answers required.’

‘Stand out features are: No delegation to juniors as far as client contact goes. Knowledgeable, pragmatic and experienced lawyers. Personable, friendly even and flexible and prompt. Joseph Fletcher-Hunt provides an appropriate level of seniority to my work which ensures it gets completed with a balance of time, cost and attention to detail.’

‘Very professional firm with office bases in both Chester and Shrewsbury and they serve a wide area including Cheshire, Shropshire and North Wales. They have strength in depth in all departments and unlike most regional lawyers they have an excellent corporate finance team.’

‘We have worked with Joseph Fletcher-Hunt on several corporate property transactions in last few years and he has helped pull together some complex scenarios with a positive outcome. Very meticulous and always available to chat through issues promptly which is very refreshing.’

‘Throughout the sale of our old house and the purchase of our new one, we dealt with a small team of our Primary Solicitor, Joseph Fletcher-Hunt. They answered the queries we had quickly, accurately and calmly. They made the process a lot easier than it we suspected it might be.’

‘At our initial meeting, Joseph Fletcher-Hunt he was both friendly and obviously knowledgeable in his field of expertise. Throughout the process he was available when needed and even when he was away from the office, through paternity leave, he was in touch with both ourselves and his office.’

Key clients

Dŵr Cymru Cyfyngedig (Welsh Water)

The Church Commissioners for England

Chester Diocesan Board of Finance

Mostyn Estates

Malpas Tractors (Wrexham) Limited

Barclays Bank PLC

Work highlights


DTM Legal LLP’s agricultural and rural estate activity spans across North Wales, Cheshire, the Wirral and Merseyside. The team advises longstanding clients on estate management issues, including sales, purchases, leases, document drafting, and boundary and restrictive covenant disputes. The department also demonstrates notable expertise in advising on rural infrastructure projects, representing both utility companies and individuals on energy developments and telecommunication apparatus. Anna Duffy leads the group from Liverpool and utilises her extensive background in property litigation to aid clients in settling disputes. Chester-based Paul Makinson focuses on farm and agricultural land purchases, including the drafting of tenancy agreements and licenses, while Helen Nash is a key contact for energy and utility work, mostly notably onshore gas exploration issues. Stephen Lunt handles the practice’s telecommunication matters, include the negotiation of leases and proposed site transactions.

Practice head(s):

Anna Duffy

Other key lawyers:

Paul Makinson; Helen Nash; Stephen Lunt


‘Prompt response to initial enquiry and ongoing work. Depth of knowledge for specified case with associated referrals when required. Competitive pricing for completed work.’

‘Stephen Lunt of DTM Legal has been working on two cases for me, showing attention to detail, persistence, timeliness with reasonable associated cost.’


Work highlights

Oglethorpe Sturton & Gillibrand

Oglethorpe Sturton & Gillibrand’s agricultural and estates team demonstrate notable expertise in the transaction of rural land and property, including advising on surrounding issues such as access rights, private water supplies and drainage. Head of agricultural property John Myers is involved in the refinancing of rural businesses and has experience in reviewing land and forestry with the aim of furthering client projects including mineral operations, renewable energy projects and battery storage developments. Head of agricultural private client work Clare Love focuses on estate and trust administration, while Michael Rutter, who has a background in dairy farming, is active in commercial property matters.

Practice head(s):

John Myers; Clare Love

Other key lawyers:

Michael Rutter


‘Great team to work with. Nothing was ever too much trouble, and they were always at the end of the phone.

‘As someone new to agricultural legal issues, I wasn’t too sure on the process. Michael Rutter explained everything in detail to ensure I was clear.’

‘Positive with approachable, straightforward professional advice.’

Work highlights

Temple Heelis

Temple Heelis’s unique placement in Ambleside allows the team to act on a diverse range of agricultural and rural issues in and around the Lake District. Department head Peter Dodd, who focuses exclusively on this area of legal work, has specific expertise in water-related matters, including septic tanks and private water supplies, drainage issues, and encroachment leases regarding lakes such as Windermere. Alongside the firm’s managing partner James Hamilton, the pair conduct extensive estate work including boathouse issues, land purchases and renovation agreements, wills and trusts creation and succession planning, often in constant communication with various local and national bodies regulating the area. Lucy Benton provides trusted counsel to clients with rural businesses, with a particular specialism in serving the interests of those involved in the hospitality and leisure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Peter Dodd

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Hamilton; Robert Kornas; Lucy Benton


‘The Temple Heelis team are very approachable and go above and beyond the usual conveyancing duties and working hours to get jobs and sales over the line. They are very knowledgeable in terms of agricultural land and property sales and negotiating complex agreements.’

‘Peter Dodd is particularly thorough in his approach but does not allow this to prevent him from negotiating and finding solutions to complex situations. Whilst Peter is your upmost professional he is very approachable and clients often comment on the work and effort he puts in to deliver timely results.’

‘Peter Dodd is always very thorough and diligent. He responds to queries and issues promptly.’

Key clients

Ashdown Jones

H&H Land and Estates

Carter Jonas

Hackney & Leigh

Fine and Country/Matthews Benjamin

Armstead Barnett

Work highlights

  • Acting in the sale of parcels of land from a larger estate, uncovering historic rights and obligations as well as current restrictions which needed to be overcome.
  • Acting in the purchase of a significant property following the sale of family farm, farmhouse and business, addressing the many issues involved in this property.
  • Acting on the purchase of part of a farmland estate in the North Yorkshire National Park with change of use and other issues to be negotiated.