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  1. Agriculture and estates
  2. Leading individuals
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Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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    • Mark Jackson - Cartmell Shepherd

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Working in close conjunction with the firm’s private client and litigation teams, Cartmell Shepherd has a strong profile for transactional work and tenancy matters, most notably those governed by the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986, and ‘inspires confidence with its knowledge and friendly manner’. The ‘very efficient and thoughtful’ team also receives praise for its ‘fantastic level of service’. Director and team head Jonathan Carroll is praised for his ‘no-nonsense approach and fantastic knowledge of agricultural law’; he advised the Archer family on the acquisition of two separate agricultural holdings in Cheshire for £3m, and assisted a client with the purchase of agricultural land which included advising on tax planning arrangements. On the contentious front, Carroll and ‘thorough’ associate Mark Jackson, who is also a ‘good communicator’, advised a client on a contentious succession application. Associate Katherine Pretswell-Walker regularly handles matters relating to mineral and sporting rights, overage and claw-back agreements and renewable energy. Clients include HSBC Bank and various farming families and agriculture businesses.

The ‘professional’ team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP ‘provides an excellent level of service’ to an impressive client roster that includes various private estate owners and other landowning organisations as well as public authorities and historic property management and conservation bodies such as The National Trust, English Heritage and Church Commissioners. Recent work includes advising various clients on property transactions, agricultural tenancy issues and mineral and wind farm option leases. Simon Kirkup heads the team and has ‘substantial experience and expertise as well as good client-handling skills’. Legal director Andrew Farquharson is also recommended.

Praised for its ‘instant replies’ and ‘excellent level of service’, Burnetts covers a broad spread of agriculture sector work and is particularly well equipped to guide clients through sales and purchases of farms alongside refinance, agricultural tenancy and planning matters. ‘Approachable and level-headed’ team head Richard Miller, who stands out for his ‘strong commercial focus and excellent client-handling skills’, assisted Warrendale Farms with the purchase of RG & H Shepherd and Priory Pullets, including handling all aspects of agricultural and commercial property due diligence. Miller also continues to advise HSBC Bank on a number of refinancing matters in the agricultural sector, including the re-mortgage of an existing holding to fund the purchase of a farm. ‘Professional and personable’ senior associate Diane Barnes has ‘extensive and detailed knowledge’ and ‘provides sound and timely advice’. Associate Megan Richardson is also recommended.

Hay & Kilner is highly active in commercial and corporate agricultural sector work, regularly advising on the sale and purchase of farms and partnership agreements. The team is also experienced in matters relating to succession, mineral rights and land development. Team head Alison Hall advised a client on the potential restructuring of a farming partnership prior to its sale, and continues to advise a client on its rights to the estate of a deceased farmer. Hall also acted for the administrators in the administration of an agricultural estate, which involved agricultural property relief and business property relief matters, and acted for the widow and son of a deceased farmer in contentious probate matters concerning the ownership of assets. Other key individuals include senior associate John Luke, commercial property expert Richard Freeman-Wallace and Lucy Gray.

Latimer Hinks Solicitors provides a broad range of services with a specialism in non-contentious work spanning sales and purchases of agricultural property and succession planning matters, including wills, trusts and inheritance tax, alongside renewable energy project work and mineral-related options and leases. Nicola Neilson is regularly called upon to advise on renewable energy transactions in addition to handling matters pertaining to leases of agricultural property. Anne Elliott’s and Elizabeth Armstrong’s strength lies in assisting landowning clients including farmers and individuals with succession and inheritance tax planning, while Armstrong’s expertise also spans the administration of estates and trusts where agricultural land is involved. Neil Stevenson has notable experience in agricultural property and renewable energy work, which includes development and acquisition funding matters. Adam Wood is another key individual.

Assisting clients with transactions and planning matters constitutes a key portion of Ward Hadaway’s workload. The ‘recommended’ team is led by Neil Robson, who is best known for his experience in advising various estates clients on land use and planning matters; he continues to advise the Northumberland National Park Authority on various issues pertaining to The Sill, a landscape discovery centre situated on the Roman Wall in a world heritage site in Northumberland. This instruction includes transactional advice and assistance with the planning application for the centre. Other key individuals include transactional property expert Alex Cox, rural property and mineral reserves specialist Stefan Bainbridge and main contact for trust and asset protection issues Andrew Facer.

Gibson & Co assists landed families and estates, high-net-worth individuals and family businesses with the acquisition and sale of farms and estates - an area of particular expertise for Harry Chrisp - in addition to handling a range of succession planning matters. In recent work, Chrisp advised a client on the sale of a historic landed estate. David Bawn has notable expertise in capital tax planning and the administration of high-value estates but also deals with agricultural property issues, while team head and senior partner Tony Gibson is best known for his experience in trusts and probate work. Derwent Gibson  and Michael Macgregor are also key members of the practice.

In an illustration of Jacksons Law's strength in disputes, Toby Joel acted for a landowner in a number of disputes with a neighbouring landowner pertaining to pheasant shooting activities, and represented a different landowner in a claim against the local authority following the client suffering crop losses after repeated flooding due to damaged and inadequate drainage on public land. On the non-contentious side, the team handles various agricultural tenancy and agricultural property matters including the sale and acquisition of farms. Recently, the practice advised a partnership on acquiring the freehold interest in approximately 50 acres of land. Adrienne Patterson heads the team, which includes key individuals Simon Catterall and Inderjit Gill.

Sintons LLP acts for a broad client base - including estates, landowners, farming enterprises, private clients, banks and investors - on the acquisition and disposal of farming ventures, agricultural holdings and development projects, as well as the registration of mines and minerals portfolios. ‘Approachable and knowledgeable’ team head Tom Wills has ‘the ability to tackle complex deals’; he acted for new client Dinning Farms in a farm swap, and advised a different client on the refinancing of 360 acres of land in County Durham, which included a grade II listed farmhouse, three holiday cottages, a range of agricultural buildings and a medieval settlement. Paul Liddle assisted The Banks Group with a number of agricultural matters including opencast coal and wind farm developments. Alan Dawson is another key member of the team and has a focus on tax planning and trust work.

Acting for various farming and landowning clients, BHP Law routinely advises on agricultural transactions alongside lease, tenancy and property development matters. Helen Biglin has particular expertise in agricultural trust and estate planning issues including inheritance tax, while Peter Blackett is the key contact for agricultural property tenancies and leases, the agricultural development of wind farms and the purchase and sale of farms. Associate Mark Clayton is another name to note.

The ‘very experienced and helpful’ team at Iain Nicholson & Co provides a ‘good, prompt and personal service’ and is considered as ‘a very good choice for small businesses’. In recent work, the recommended Peter Dakin advised a client on the purchase of agricultural land for development, and assisted a different client with the purchase of land with equestrian use. The ‘highly experienced’ Iain Nicholson is ‘very dedicated and genuinely interested in helping his clients’, who also appreciate his ‘patience and clear explanations’.

At Tilly Bailey & Irvine, the team led by Helen Dexter provides farmers, landowners, investors and property developers with succession planning advice and assistance with the sale and purchase of land and farms, agricultural tenancies and the sale and purchase of mineral and sporting rights. Dexter continues to administer the estates of several deceased landowning farmers, and associate Andrew Beattie assisted J.O. Brewis & Sons with the sale of a mixed farming estate.

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