Agriculture and estates in South East

Birkett Long LLP

Birkett Long LLP operates from three bases across Essex; Colchester-based practice leader Caroline Dowding is well-regarded for her ‘understanding of farming families and their unique problems’. The team includes ‘savvy and highly experienced’ commercial real estate specialist David Rayner, who leads the firm’s environment and energy group from the Chelmsford office. Colchester-based senior associate Emma Coke specialises in agricultural transactions; she is a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Dowding

Other key lawyers:

David Rayner; Emma Coke


‘Caroline Dowding has a very good understanding of farming families and their unique problems. She is empathetic, genuinely helpful and easy to understand, and nearly always answers the same day!’

‘David Rayner was very good to work with. He was patient and explained things we did not understand. He was receptive to ideas and good to brainstorm with. He interacted well with our land agent and the solicitor for the other party. Professional with a sense of humour to take the edge off a prolonged and difficult and complex negotiation.’

‘David Rayner is an excellent lawyer and practitioner – savvy and highly experienced.’

‘They are proactive, engaging and enthusiastc’

‘David Rayner is extremely knowledgeable on his subject.’

‘Strong knowledge of the client and the sector it operates. Strong networks in the regional business and local government community.’

‘Able to provide clear and timely advice relevant to to the issues they are advising on.’

Boodle Hatfield LLP

Boodle Hatfield LLP‘s Oxford-based practice is led by Natasha Hassall, who works alongside Eleanor Sepanski on complex tax, trusts and estate planning, supported by senior associate Sally Harlow. The team also draws on support from property and corporate experts in the firm’s London office to provide a rounded service to its prestigious client roster, which features more than 80 landed estates, including some of the largest in the country. Other key areas of focus include diversification, devolution and development, as well as complex rural conveyancing.

Practice head(s):

Natasha Hassall

Other key lawyers:

Eleanor Sepanski; Sally Harlow

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP‘s landed estates and heritage property team is spread across the firm’s bases in Cheltenham, Guildford and London. The team is led by ‘bright, practical and no-nonsense’ Guildford office head Duncan Elson, who formerly led the firm’s dispute resolution division for many years, and Cheltenham-based Henry Fea. Other key names include residential property head William Marriott, real estate disputes head David Haines, who has ‘impressive knowledge and the confidence to think outside of the box’ and family specialist Shona Alexander.

Practice head(s):

Henry Fea; Duncan Elson

Other key lawyers:

David Haines; William Marriott; Shona Alexander


‘Charles Russell Speechlys has an excellent reputation in agriculture and estates.’

‘Duncan Elson has an impressive client base and works very hard for clients. Duncan advances his clients’ cases well and sees solutions pragmatically.’

‘Duncan Elson is second to none. Bright, practical and no-nonsense. Gets the job done.’

‘Very strong agricultural knowledge of litigation practice, giving great confidence to those working with them. Efficient back-up team able to deliver documents in short timescale necessary to place emphasis on completion on the opposing side thereby keeping up the momentum’

‘David Haines – impressive knowledge and confidence and willingness to think outside of the box to obtain the higher ground.’

‘Efficient, astute, and good strength in depth.’

‘David Haines has comprehensive legal knowledge and is tactically very astute. He is a pleasure to work with.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for the beneficiary to a well-known landed estate on disputes with his family, wider estate management and complex tax planning.


Cripps‘s Tunbridge Wells-based practice is led by the ‘tenacious and dedicated’ Sally Firby, who specialises in high value residential property work, regularly dealing with sales of country houses and farms. She is supported by experienced senior associate Kit MordauntKate Arnold leads the private wealth team, while Paul Fairbairn deals primarily with succession and tax planning. Property specialist Rebecca Hughes was recently promoted to the partnership, while Victoria Fairley joined from RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP.

Practice head(s):

Sally Firby

Other key lawyers:

Kit Mordaunt; Kate Arnold; Paul Fairbairn; Rebecca Hughes


‘Sally Firby is a tenacious and dedicated solicitor, I know our clients are in safe hands when she’s handling their transactions. Her expertise and insight when dealing with high-value residential property sales and purchases is second to none.’

‘The team, headed by Sally Firby, are first and foremost very professional but what makes them excel is their availability, communication, forward thinking and efficiency. They are always a pleasure to work with.’

‘Sally Firby has been an industry leader for many years and she isn’t letting up. Constantly in demand, she is an excellent property lawyer.’

Key clients

Chapel Down

Evremond Estates Ltd

Mably Dairies Ltd

Rauceby Farms

Wayfarer Wines LLP

Work highlights

  • Acted for existing clients on the purchase of a stud farm which had been in the seller’s ownership for about 100 years.
  • Advised a father and son in farming partnership on succession and Inheritance Tax planning.
  • Acting for a high net worth individual on the first registration and subsequent sale of a large estate in the Lake District.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP advises on a range of matters relating to agricultural tax, property, disputes and corporate issues, and is praised for its ‘industry knowledge and accessibility‘. Oxford property head Iain Davis leads the agricultural team; he works with Sarah Duffy – ‘a clear “go to” for rural sales’ – and Balvinder Jaj, whose work focuses on acquisitions, disposals, and land development, while managing associate Laura Czapski also has a real estate focus.

Practice head(s):

Iain Davis

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Duffy; Balvinder Jaj; Laura Czapski; Katherine Burge; Rosalyn Shephard; Claire Bellis


‘They were very good and clear at communicating with us. Always kind, courteous and understanding. Their use of technology is superb, never had a problem at all.’

‘Managing associate Katherine Burge handled the final stages of the property transaction once the litigious stages were resolved. She also took the care to ensure that any remaining contractual wording that would remain post ownership transfer was clear before finalisation to avoid any future problems.’

‘Strength in depth in a wide variety of issues with partners and senior associates that communicate effectively.’

‘Iain Davis – Exceptional expertise for the drafting and negotiation of complex strategic promotion and collaboration agreements. Operates in a very calm fashion, enabling him to placate excitable opposition. I do not hesitate in recommending him to act on behalf of landowners.’

‘Approachable yet high-quality delivery every time. Good industry knowledge and accessibility.’

‘Sarah Duffy – a clear ‘go to’ for rural sales. Always on the short list due to her pragmatic and approachable nature, problem solving and clear delivery of the facts when needed.’

‘The team I have worked with at Freeths in the last year are Rosalyn Shephard and Clare Bellis. To me they stand out because they are both good with the factual and legal details, and also seeing the bigger picture, and understanding the tactics of litigation. They have an excellent knowledge of Agricultural Tenancies law, and how it applies in practice.’

‘Freeths has a strong team with great strength in depth. The communication from a client persepective is as good as I have ever known.’

Key clients

Robert Paul Camping

DCL Gibbs Children’s Trust

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell has a network of bases across the South East, with offices in Southampton, Chichester, Reading, Newbury and Gatwick, which operate as part of an integrated national practice. Rural business and estates head James Pavey divides his time between Gatwick and London; his focus is on contentious matters. Reading and Newbury managing partner Sarah Phillips provides specific expertise with regards to tax and succession planning, while Nicola Gooch offers planning advice from the Gatwick base. Andrew Parry retired in May 2021 and was replaced in August 2021 by Thomas Wainman from Wrigleys Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):

James Pavey

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Phillips; Nicola Gooch; Charlotte West-Withers


‘This practice has continued to give us good service. As the team has evolved, new lawyers have been brought in to maintain the excellent service we have received in the past.’

‘Their communication is excellent and have a team working on each matter so all information isn’t held with one individual. Their electronic signing function has assisted finalise leases more quickly.’

‘Charlotte West-Withers has been very dutiful throughout all her instructions. At one point she had four or five leases on the go and kept everything moving quickly. Her advice is always considered and practical.’

Key clients

Cedardrive Ltd

Langtons Farm Partnership

Bowen & Others v Isle of Wight Council

Work highlights

    Moore Barlow

    Moore Barlow offers a broad range of real estate, development and asset management advice to agriculture and estates clients across the South East. Southampton-based rural services head Sarah Jordan is a property specialist, while Lymington-based private wealth head Philip Whitcomb specialises in succession planning, asset protection, wills, tax and farming partnerships. Managing partner Edward Whittington is a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association – other key names include property specialists Julian Parkes and senior associate Kerry Dovey.

    Practice head(s):

    Sarah Jordan; Philip Whitcomb

    Other key lawyers:

    Edward Whittington; Julian Parkes; Kerry Dovey


    ‘A specialist partner-led firm, which has a strong department focusing on rural and agricultural property.’

    ‘Partners are strong communicators with well-informed, decisive yet practical advice.’

    ‘A strong, responsive and empathetic team with a good understanding of their client’s business.’

    ‘They strive to create a personal relationship with a detailed understanding of their client’s business.’

    ‘Diverse team. Well established. Works very well with other departments in practice.’

    Key clients

    Cowdray Estate

    The Grange Estate Hampshire

    Work highlights

    • Cowdray Estate – Rural Asset Management legal support
    • The Grange Estate Hampshire – Rural Asset Management support

    Tees Law

    Tees Law's 30-strong agriculture and land team is spread across six offices in Bishop’s Stortford, Chelmsford, Brentwood, Royston, Saffron Walden and Cambridge. Bishop’s Stortford-based David Miller leads the commercial offering, focusing on property matters, while the private client arm is headed up by Royston-based wills, trusts, tax and probate specialist Letty Glaister, alongside ‘meticulous, friendly and approachable’ litigator Caroline Metcalf in Bishop’s Stortford. Senior associate Ian Johnston, who leads the Chelmsford private client team, is another key name.

    Practice head(s):

    David Miller; Letitia Glaister

    Other key lawyers:

    Caroline Metcalf; Ian Johnston


    ‘The partner I dealt with, Caroline Metcalf, was very much involved in all aspects of the advice, showed a great deal of knowledge and had the experience required.’

    ‘Excellent knowledge in all fields, diversity within the practice to enable specialist attention to different aspects. Throughout Covid, Teams meetings have been used, with a follow-up record. This has been easy and successful for me as a client.’

    ‘Caroline Metcalf has been exceptional in her work for us. She is meticulous yet friendly and approachable. She responds virtually immediately to any correspondence or telephone communication. Caroline’s attention to detail is first class and she has experts in other fields available to provide additional detail when required.’

    ‘Tees understand the client, reviewing in detail and making objective proposals to each matters in hand.’

    ‘They take time to understand the business and stakeholders within. Offering differing levels of solutions and appropriate levels of communication.’

    ‘Genuine understanding of agriculture and rural issues’

    ‘Tees partners are motivated by their wish to serve clients rather than the size of their wallets. I would single out David Miller and Letty Glaister as epitomising this ethos’

    Key clients

    Lightsource BP

    Work highlights

    • Advising a global market leader in the development, acquisition and long-term management of large-scale solar projects and smart energy solutions.

    Birketts LLP

    Birketts LLP advises private families, landowners, and farmers, and is praised for its wide ranging knowledge of agriculture and estates legal matters, as well as its ‘high levels of professionalism and firm customer focus’. Practice head Chris Coupland is based in Norwich; Chelmsford-based Annabelle Rout was promoted to partner in June 2021.

    Practice head(s):

    Chris Coupland

    Other key lawyers:

    Annabelle Rout; Adam Burden; Simon Green; Samantha Barnes


    ‘This practice is particularly responsive and efficient.’

    ‘Samantha Barnes – sensible, pragmatic approach and speedy. Always called back promptly which is useful in a fast paced situation.’

    ‘The practice demonstrates a wide ranging knowledge of agriculture and estates legal matters, including some of the more obscure points relating to; tenancy arrangements, livestock and insurance related risk exposures.’

    ‘Adam Burden has been my main point of contact. He has consistently managed our commercial relationship to a very high standard, including rapid response to questions raised and a comprehensive knowledge of the case itself and the matters in hand.’

    ‘Very knowledgeable. they appear to be committed throughout the organization to high levels of professionalism and a firm customer focus. Billing was efficient and accurate and payment facilitated easily through an automated process.’

    ‘Simon Green is my main contact. He is professional, very courteous and helpful. He demonstrates a very good knowledge of the law in his particular field I would highly recommend his services to any one buying country or agricultural property. His written reports were clear, covering the issues fully, but concise and easily understood.’


    The ‘incredibly professional and effective team‘ at Brachers is known for its long history of representing local farming communities, handling complex disputes, private wealth matters and development opportunities for landowners, operating out of offices in Maidstone and Canterbury. In Maidstone, Sarah Gaines is head of property, while other key names include Christopher Eriksson-Lee, who is praised for his ‘excellent tax and inheritance knowledge’ and litigator Deborah Cain.

    Practice head(s):

    Sarah Gaines

    Other key lawyers:

    Christopher Eriksson-Lee; Deborah Cain; Sarah Mannooch


    ‘Brachers have a long history in agriculture and estates work and understand the industry extremely well. They have good expertise in IHT planning, property issues and trusts etc, which other firms struggle with. They work well in a multi-disciplinary team, with accountants and land agents.’

    ‘The team are knowledgeable and responsive and have access to other teams outside of their team to provide comprehensive advice where the job diverse and requires different specialties and knowledge in order to bring jobs to a timely and beneficial conclusion.’

    ‘Sarah Gaines – broad and detailed property knowledge and very responsive. Chris Eriksson-Lee – excellent tax and inheritance knowledge.’

    ‘An incredibly professional and effective team, providing transparency and communication with clients and mutual professionals throughout.’

    ‘Sarah Gaines is generous with her time, knowledgeable and above all else, incredibly reliable, making her entirely trustworthy.’

    Key clients

    East Malling Trust

    Kent County Agricultural Society

    Alan Firmin Limited

    Kent Farmers Benevolent Society

    Plumpton College

    Furley Page Solicitors

    Furley Page Solicitors' Canterbury-based practice is now led by Sarah Webster, who joined from Brachers  in June 2022, following the departure of Ethan Desai to Wright Hassall LLP in Warwick. The team works with local landowning families and farmers in East Kent, with a strong focus on property matters. Other key names include Darren Philpot, who made partner in 2021 and was promoted to head of residential property in 2022.

    Practice head(s):

    Sarah Webster

    Other key lawyers:

    Darren Philpot


    ‘Theirs is a strong team with full competences in agricultural and commercial property’

    Key clients

    Blackbird Farming

    Edward Vinson Ltd

    Wakeley Brothers (Rainham, Kent) Limited

    St Nicholas Court Farms Limited

    G H Dean & Co Limited

    QH Estates Limited

    Handelsbanken plc

    FGS Agri Limited

    Work highlights

    • Represented the acquisition of a substantial Grade II listed period barn offered for residential development, couple with a pre-emption agreement for the adjacent farmhouse.
    • Represented the acquisition of two adjacent lots totalling 145 acres in total from two separate, but connected, sellers. The transaction included the acquisition and transfer of some £7,000 worth of Entitlements.
    • Represented the acquisition of an unregistered farmhouse and associated farm buildings and yard by way of a transfer of part for the farming business and balance for the house coupled with rectifying rights of access issues with third parties.

    Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP

    The team at Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP , which comprises ‘excellent communicators without ego’, is led by Sevenoaks-based managing partner Richard Cripps, who has a strong track record of commercial property work. The team also includes experienced practitioners in the firm’s other offices in Uckfield and Ashford. Typical work handled includes property sales, estate management and development work; the firm also handles private client matters for high-net-worth individuals.

    Practice head(s):

    Richard Cripps

    Other key lawyers:

    David Ashton; Oliver Bussell


    ‘We have found Richard Cripps to be especially good. Calm and reassuring, extremely proactive and engaging.’

    ‘David Ashton was our principal contact – an excellent man; he knows all the right answers and protected our interest throughout the sale.’

    ‘Oliver Bussell has dealt with our ongoing issue, going above and beyond to achieve a satisfactory outcome.’

    ‘I had the need for a specialist firm to deal with my land sale issues. Rix & Kay were recommended to me by another agent that I’ve had previous business with, the solicitor and clerk that dealt with my affairs were very personable and patient with me as I have little to no knowledge of law.’

    ‘Always had good honest answers to all our queries, everything dealt with in a calm professional manner.’

    ‘I would be very happy to engage Oliver Bussell’s services again for property and lease issues.’

    ‘A terrific team – excellent communicators without an ego!’

    Key clients

    The Goods Shed Ltd

    Work highlights

    • Advised the Goods Shed, the operator of a high quality farmers market in Canterbury, on the purchase of 100 acres of agriculture land which will be the subject of a sustainable farming project.

    Thompson Smith and Puxon

    Thompson Smith and Puxon handles estate and succession planning, agricultural acquisitions and disposals for clients across the South East. The Colchester-based practice is led by Stephen Firmin, who is a property specialist and a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association. Kerry Addison handles development and planning and is praised for her ‘deep agricultural knowledge’. Wills and estates team leader Fiona Ashworth is decribed as ‘a force of nature’.

    Practice head(s):

    Stephen Firmin

    Other key lawyers:

    Kerry Addison; Fiona Ashworth


    ‘We found the team at TSP very knowledgeable on all aspects of our purchase and provided sound advice where needed. Combined with always making themselves available nothing seemed a chore to them.’

    ‘Our contact Kerry Addison was a pleasure to deal with, very efficient and made the whole process very smooth from start to finish.’

    ‘Deep knowledge of the agriculture and estates sector. Particular expertise in development and promotional agreements. Estate and inheritance tax planning a speciality.’

    ‘Kerry Addison and Stephen Firmin are both ‘stand out’ partners. Detailed advice given and very much available to discuss the most technical points in understandable legalese.’

    ‘TSP have a very strong technical team which is well established in the market place and know their clients very well. The strength and depth of their knowledge is exceptional. Staff are available to provide guidance and support and collaborative working.’

    ‘Fiona Ashworth has exceptional knowledge in the field and understands her clients needs. She works collaboratively to reach a sensible position for clients.’

    ‘TSP have built up a very strong agricultural and estates practice with some excellent lawyers.’

    ‘Fiona Ashworth remains a force of nature, co-ordinating the delivery of high quality advice. Stephen Firmin is able to deliver complex advice on property matters and partnership structures, distilled into a comprehensible pragmatic and sensible style for clients. Kerry Addison’s deep agricultural knowledge is at once apparent and reassuring.’

    Thrings LLP

    The practice at Thrings LLP is now led from Bath by Duncan Sigournay, who has specific expertise with regards to agricultural property, tenancies and conveyancing. Mark Charter works with farmers, estate owners and wide landowners on a broad range of matters; the two partners work alongside senior associate Jonathan Thompson , who can draw on a range of experience from working at other respected firms, as well as his time as owner of a small landholding utilised in a sheep farming operation.

    Practice head(s):

    Duncan Sigournay

    Other key lawyers:

    Jonathan Thompson; Mark Charter; Josephine Taylor


    ‘The team at Thrings has a depth of knowledge in the estate, rural and property sectors and have developed an understanding of the estate business and priorities and have played a key part in strategic planning working alongside the estate accountants. The partners collaborate across property and trust matters to ensure that they deliver the best possible advice.’

    ‘The partners involved across the account are responsive and interested in the work in which they are involved and value the relationship and the instructions they have with us.’

    ‘In depth knowledge of complex contracts at a level not easily found outside of London practices. Good attention to detail, happy to discuss issues and take on board clients’ opinions.’

    ‘Mark Charter – easy to work with, excellent knowledge of complex contracts.’

    ‘Appreciation of client commercial as well as legal needs.’

    ‘Strong, coherent, and close working relationships within their office being able to draw on all their specialisations.’

    ‘Josephine Taylor is easy to work with, has good attention to detail, is very conscientious, and replies to queries quickly.’

    ‘Working with Mark Charter is very reassuring, as he has knowledge of a very good breadth and depth of agricultural and estate matters, and it is easy to discuss and debate with him a range of options to specific problems. He is also very practical and understands issues and circumstances of a situation very quickly and is very calm and measured in the way which he presents advice.’

    Key clients

    National Farmers Union (NFU)

    Country Land and Business Association (CLA)

    The Badminton Estate

    Denhay Farms Ltd

    Countryside Education Trust

    EU Plants Ltd

    Wiltshire and Berkshire Canal Trust

    DJ Houghton Catching Services Ltd


    Work highlights

    • Advised 34 landowners in relation to options for easements and leases for the new Fawley to Heathrow oil pipeline.

    Warners Solicitors

    Warners Solicitors advises on a range of non-contentious and contentious matters, including buying and selling farms, landlord and tenant work on rural property and criminal and regulatory work. The team, which works across two bases in Sevenoaks and Tonbridge, is led by Steve Colville, who has 40 years’ experience in commercial property work. He is supported by Michael McNally, who has a wide-ranging rural practice, with work encompassing hunts, shoots and racecourses.

    Practice head(s):

    Steve Colville

    Other key lawyers:

    Michael McNally

    Adams & Remers

    The team at Adams & Remers includes senior partner and property head Robin IllingworthJames Turner is head of rural land and development. The firm has longstanding relationships with owners of more than half of the land in East Sussex, and advises those clients on a range of matters including tax, land and property disputes, and corporate, commercial and employment matters. The firm has notable expertise in viticulture and listed property.

    Practice head(s):

    James Turner

    Other key lawyers:

    Robin Illingworth; David Barrett


    ‘Very efficient and very good cross-spectrum skillset.’

    ‘Attention to detail and good timely communications.’

    ‘David Barrett’s expertise and experience in dealing with disputes has enabled me to provide appropriate expert support so that his clients can resolve their disputes accordingly. I have enjoyed working with him and I have not hesitated to refer clients and contacts to him and would continue to do so.’

    Field Seymour Parkes LLP

    Field Seymour Parkes LLP‘s Reading based team deals with wide range of legal issues facing rural clients, including sales and acquisitions, diversification, land development and succession planning, as well as tax and estate planning, wills and asset protection. Agriculture and rural land head Hazel Eccles was promoted to partner in April 2022; she works with experienced real estate specialist James Burgess and legal director Kelsie Essenhigh.

    Practice head(s):

    Hazel Eccles

    Other key lawyers:

    James Burgess; Kelsie Essenhigh


    ‘Modern, corporate approach but with friendly and personable delivery.’

    Hazel Eccles – great understanding of what clients want and need and how to delivery the relevant solution in a practical and timely manner.’

    ‘Excellent interpretation and analysis of the matter and advice. The solicitors that I deal with are very personable and good to work with.’

    ‘Kelsie Essenhigh – super operator, concise and to the point. Advises clients in a no fuss way that everyone benefits from.’

    ‘Excellent working relationship, knowledgeable, friendly, engaging and very helpful.’

    ‘Kelsie Essenhigh and Hazel Eccles, who I work with regularly, are exceptional.’

    Longmores Solicitors LLP

    Longmores Solicitors LLP has a strong pedigree in advising private clients on agricultural and rural matters, drawing on close relationships with rural agents and accountants across the south east. The firm takes a multidisciplinary approach to the practice, with Victoria Sandberg heading the rural team, Richard Horwood leading private client, and Rachael Spalton taking the lead for commercial property. Together, Sandberg and Spalton are active for rural property work.

    Practice head(s):

    Victoria Sandberg

    Other key lawyers:

    Richard Horwood


    ‘The Longmores team gives great confidence. The staff that we have encountered are, without exception, polite, efficient and helpful. There is a cordial atmosphere and the practise works as a team enabling appropriate allocation of work to specific areas of expertise. Longmores has a good understanding of the local business environment facing agriculture and estates and therefore has been very well placed to fulfil our requirements for all necessary legal advice. The process of quotation and billing is prompt, transparent and rigorous so we know in advance the sort of expense their work will be.’

    ‘The partners of Longmores who we have employed to carry out our agricultural and estate work in the last few years are very easy to work with and very conscientious. They are keen to keep on top of the fast changing scene that faces farming and rural estates at the moment, and as a result are well informed of the numerous complexities. Our experience of using Longmores for land sales and purchases is that they do an extremely thorough job, are very prompt in their responses and constantly push forward diligently on our behalf. They liaise excellently with us and our land agent meaning communication is very good throughout which led to the process being as smooth as possible. I highly recommend them.’

    ‘Excellent attention to detail and a knowledgeable and patient team. Always willing to explain the legal context surrounding issues in a way that is friendly, approachable and most importantly, understandable.’

    ‘Victoria Sandberg is a joy to work with. Her advice is measured and practical, and she really takes time to understand the clients’ objectives, so that her advice is not just centred on the legal standpoint, but on what is right for the property/client/situation.’

    ‘Victoria Sandberg has real practical experience in advising rural owners of land. She is approachable, provides quick responses and works with our clients and us to ensure work is undertaken to the highest standards and in the timescales agreed.’

    Work highlights

    • Acting on behalf of a private landowner on his purchase of farm land, including advising our client in relation to existing overage provisions affecting the land and the termination of a Farm Business Tenancy before completion.
    • Acting on behalf of the Executors of David Cresswell (deceased) on the sale of land that is partly registered and partly unregistered. The sale also involves separate deeds of overage in relation to different parts of the land being sold.
    • Acting for a farming client in relation to a promotion agreement of land for potential residential development.  Also advising in relation to succession rights under an Agricultural Holdings Act Tenancy and subsequent negotiation of a Farm Business Tenancy.

    Spratt Endicott

    The team at Spratt Endicott have ‘good local knowledge, yet are big enough to have specialists in many spheres’, and as such are set up to advise on succession planning, contentious probate and the structuring and restructuring of farming companies. The team is led by Banbury-based director Guy Stephenson, who joined from Lee Bolton Monier-Williams to become head of rural and residential property, bringing his experience in property litigation. He works alongside property-focused senior associate Jennie Loynes and managing director Andrew Woods, who heads up the commercial property team.

    Practice head(s):

    Guy Stephenson

    Other key lawyers:

    Jennie Loynes; Andrew Woods


    ‘We regard Spratt Endicott as working partners in our business, they provide trusted advice and guidance together with the surety of knowing they’ll deliver what they say they will. Direct access to senior lawyers and responsiveness is key for us. Spratt Endicott are our go to firm.’

    ‘Guy Stephenson and Jennie Loynes are both very approachable, happy to provide early guidance and advice. They set timescales and work to them, allowing us to concentrate on our business knowing we’re in good hands.’

    ‘Available, helpful and know their subject.’

    ‘Jennie Loynes handled the sale of our rural property and managed the whole process very well. There were some particular challenging issues which had to be dealt with from the purchaser side, which Jennie handled very well and kept her nerve when I had lost mine.’

    ‘Locally based firm with good local knowledge, yet big enough to have specialists in many spheres.’

    Thomson Snell & Passmore

    Thomson Snell & Passmore‘s agriculture and rural affairs team is team is led by Tunbridge Wells-based consultant Sue Lister; she is praised for her ‘wealth of knowledge and charming demeanour’. Work includes estate administration, diversification, land purchases and relevant disputes; the team is described as ‘always approachable but highly professional.’

    Practice head(s):

    Sue Lister

    Other key lawyers:

    Penelope Edgar; Helen Stewart


    ‘For a small business, worried about affordability of fees, they provide a high level of expertise at a reasonable price. Response times were good even during one of the busiest periods during the pandemic and much better than other practices we have dealt with. In terms of diversity, all I can say is that two of the three partners I dealt with were women and all of the supporting roles (paralegals) were women too.’

    ‘It is difficult to stand out in conveyancing, but during a complex sale, Sue Lister provided excellent advice about handling the purchaser’s expectations and assessing their likelihood of completing which lead us to alter our approach and bring about a successful sale.’

    ‘Charming and friendly always approachable but highly professional, active members of farming/rural based charities. Good solid firm.’

    ‘Sue Lister has a wealth of knowledge, is highly professional but still charming.’

    ‘We have used Thomson Snell & Passmore for many years now and have complete confidence in their professional services. They have dealt with a wide variety of projects for us in a timely and proficient manner.’

    ‘Penelope Edgar is personable, professional and dedicated. She is also very empathetic – our last transaction was quite traumatic but Penelope did all she could to support the family and retain control of the complicated legal process. Penelope has always been approachable, reliable and knowledgeable. I would not hesitate to contact her for advice and would be delighted to know that she will be working on our future transactions.’

    ‘Penny Edgar has a nice manner and is very personable. Penny listens to my viewpoint rather than trying to impose her will. I feel that the invoices are fair because Penny and her team get on with the job in hand rather than dragging it out!’