Agriculture and estates in South East

Boodle Hatfield LLP

Boodle Hatfield LLP often works with high-net-worth individuals on asset protection, estate management and tax structuring, in addition to tenancy issues. Natasha Hassall heads the team and assists clients with both onshore and offshore trusts and long-term estate planning. Sally Harlow helms probate matters pertaining to valuable assets, while Eleanor Sepanski is sought out by the firm’s multi-generational clients. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Oxford.

Practice head(s):

Natasha Hassall

Other key lawyers:

Sally Harlow; Eleanor Sepanski


‘Immediately it became apparent that not only are the team extremely competent but that they fully understand the clients’ requirements.’

‘An exceptional firm that makes clients feel genuinely valued and most importantly creates the trust that is so critical in the client/professional relationship.’

‘The  firm can deliver under severe time pressure whilst maintaining such goodwill.’

‘Natasha Hassall is charming, patient and hugely competent. She has been exceptional.’

‘Natasha Hassall is exceptional and one of the top trust lawyers.’

‘Natasha Hassall is pragmatic, thorough, and gives clear advice based on a really good understanding of her client and their needs. She is modest and a great team player, and an excellent private client lawyer.’

Work highlights

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP routinely assists real-estate owning clients with the maintenance, purchases and sales of long-held family assets and property-based businesses. Duncan Elson is a strong choice for landed estate and pension litigation, while William Marriott is particularly proficient in the acquisitions and disposals of domestic property. David Haines is a key port of call for professional negligence claims concerning property. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Guildford.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Elson

Other key lawyers:

William Marriott; David Haines; Alex Munday-Muir; Tom Denham-Smith


‘The team’s technical ability is excellent, we received high quality legal advice which is practical.’

‘Duncan Elson is everything you would want in dealing with estates held in settlements. He is practical whilst being technically excellent.’

Work highlights

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP caters to an array of agricultural law matters, including contentious, environmental, employment and succession planning issues. Iain Davis leads the team and is particularly knowledgeable of the development of greenfield land. Balvinder Jaj is often engaged in mortgaging arrangements and secured lending. Laura Czapski advises clients on the Agricultural Holdings Act. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Oxford.

Practice head(s):

Iain Davis

Other key lawyers:

Balvinder Jaj; Laura Czaspski; Clare Bellis; Katherine Burge; Rosalyn Shephard


‘The team was most attentive with suggestions made and highly skilled at all levels from trainees to partner.’

‘The team were outstanding overall.’

‘When collaboration was needed from other members within the organisation, the work was carried out seamlessly and efficiently.’

Key clients

Trinity College Oxford

Carington Estate

Sir Edward Dashwood

Cornbury Estate

Trustees of the Swanbourne Estate

Clydesdale Bank PLC

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution

Trustees of the Shotover Estate

Tarmac Group of Companies

Chancerygate Group of Companies

Work highlights

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell routinely assists commercial, institutional, and private clients operating in the rural sector. Leeds-based James Laycock co-leads the team alongside James Pavey who splits his time between Gatwick and London and is adept in property transactions. Charlotte West -Withers is located in Gatwick and is seasoned in easement, first registrations and lender refinance work in addition to agricultural tenancies and residential occupations.

Practice head(s):

James Pavey; James Laycock

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte West-Withers; Nicola Gooch, Naomi Neville


‘The team has the support of the larger firm for specific specialist transactions.’

‘Charlotte West-Withers has been great with all of my transactions this year. She gets the best results for me as the client.’

‘Charlotte West-Withers has made every effort to learn our complex family dynamic, she gets things done and is great to work with.’

Key clients

Darwall v Dartmoor National Park Authority

Millwall FC

Andrew Sellick


Work highlights

Moore Barlow

The sizeable practice Moore Barlow acts for equestrian businesses, farmers, in addition to private landowners. Sarah Jordan leads the team from Southampton and is proficient in a breadth of rural property matters including residential property transactions, diversification schemes and renewable energy projects. Kerry Dovey in Lymington caters to high-net-worth individuals and lenders; she is also knowledgeable of agricultural secured lending and strategic refinances.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Jordan

Other key lawyers:

Kerry Dovey


‘Very engaging, forward thinking, friendly and a proactive rural team. One of the best specialist agricultural teams in the South East’

‘The Moore Barlow agriculture and estates team are a proactive group of individuals that come together as a team exceptionally well for the benefit of their clients’ needs and requirements.’

‘I have found Moore Barlow to be professional and incredibly efficient in all my dealings with the team. They are a pleasure to work with and their knowledge and experience is extensive.’

‘What make the team stand out is the efficiency with which they manage a case, communicate with us and get the job done.’

‘Moore Barlow’s agriculture and estates team provide an excellent service as well as good technical advice.’

‘Sarah Jordan has exceptional knowledge of the sector she provides a very efficient service to my clients.’

‘Sarah Jordan has put together an excellent team. Not only do they have good technical knowledge, but they have a good understanding of the agricultural/rural sector.’

Key clients

The Cowdray Estate

The Grange Estate

Work highlights

Tees Law

The ‘highly knowledgable‘ practice at Tees Law is led by Letty Glaister in Royston who is renowned for her expertise in rural succession planning. David Miller splits his time between the firm’s offices and is experienced in energy projects, while Ian Johnston in Chelmsford works in conjunction with the firm’s property team on land and farm sales.

Practice head(s):

Letty Glaister

Other key lawyers:

Ian Johnston; Kay Piper; Daniel Fairs


‘A highly knowledgeable and approachable team who are professional in every sense but retain a personal touch.’

‘They have kept me informed at all stages of the work they have done for me and have exceeded my expectations is many cases.’

‘We have found Tees law to be a reliable practice fully understanding our needs as farmers in a specialised area. Their knowledge of the sector is vital, and they ensure they are fully aware of current legislation and working to advise accordingly.’

‘They ensure that some staff attend specialist sector events to help them keep on top of changing agricultural practice. Any advice is therefore given with complete confidence.’

‘Personalised service, prompt and commercially aware. The legal advice is well referenced to specific outcome & not simply generic.’

‘The Tees Law team have developed a great understanding of matters affecting agricultural businesses and estates.’

‘Kay Piper is an excellent communicator and a tenacious, problem-solving conveyancing solicitor.’

‘The knowledge of Kay Piper is so valuable. The confidence given by her understanding of our sector is invaluable whether in land purchase or other estate issues.’

Key clients

Lightsource BP

Work highlights

  • Advised a farming client with various requirements in relation to farm purchases, land promotion agreements, employment issues and trust matters.
  • Advised a client on succession planning to structure their estates in order to minimise their Inheritance Tax exposure.
  • Advised a global market leader in the development, acquisition and long-term management of large-scale solar projects and smart energy solutions.

Birkett Long LLP

Birkett Long LLP advises families operating in the agricultural sphere with partnership agreements, property sales and purchases, as well as tax planning. Caroline Dowding leads the team and is often engaged in creating trusts to protect assets and handling the deceased’s estates. David Rayner is located in Chelmsford is particularly proficient in construction, development, and energy in addition to environmental matters, while Emma Coke is noted for her two decades of experience in agricultural matters. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Colchester, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Dowding

Other key lawyers:

David Rayner; Emma Coke


‘The agriculture and estates team is readily available, approachable, and knowledgeable. They provide answers to queries promptly and in detail.’

‘An excellent team, always polite and helpful with extremely good understanding of our needs and first-class professional knowledge of the subject being dealt with.’

‘I’ve dealt often with David Rayner who is a pleasure to work with.’

Work highlights

Birketts LLP

With offices spread across Chelmsford, Cambridge, Ipswich, and Norwich, Birketts LLP is well-equipped to handle land acquisitions and renewable energy projects, the practice also works in conjunction with the firm’s tax lawyers on capital taxation and succession planning matters. Co-lead of the team Chris Coupland works from Norwich and advises clients on agricultural banking work, while Annabelle Rout‘s workload includes the granting of easements for access, pipes, and wires across agricultural land. Charlotte Strutt has recently been engaged in solar leases and biodiversity net gain agreements. All of the individuals mentioned are located in Chelmsford, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Chris Coupland; Annabelle Rout

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Strutt; Katie-Gibson Green; Adam Burden; Simon Green; Samantha Barnes


‘I have been impressed with Birketts straight talking and friendly approach to all matters.’

‘Birketts impressed with a pragmatic all-round service and credible alternative to city firms. Genuinely trusted advisers.’

‘Annabelle Rout was very efficient and runs a tight ship.’

Charlotte Strutt – proactive and very pleasant to deal with. Good all rounder.’


Work highlights


Often entrusted by landowners and farmers for land development matters, Brachers routinely assists educational and research institutions operating in the agricultural and rural sector. With over two decades of experience, Sarah Gaines leads the team while Christopher Eriksson-Lee is knowledgable of family trusts and is sought-after for his expertise in reducing exposure to inheritance tax. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Maidstone.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Gaines

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Eriksson-Lee; Lee May

Key clients

East Malling Trust

Kent County Agricultural Society

Alan Firmin Limited

Kent Farmers Benevolent Society

Plumpton College

Oxbury Bank plc

Work highlights


Cripps is led by the ‘passionate, driven and extremely knowledgeableSally Firby who is proficient in matters pertaining to estates, farms and high-value London properties. Kate Arnold is entrusted by clients with structuring their business arrangements and property ownership. Kit Mordaunt splits his time between London and Kent and has over two decades of experience in agricultural property. All of the individuals that have been mentioned in Tunbridge Wells, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Sally Firby

Other key lawyers:

Kate Arnold; Kit Mordaunt


‘I have worked with Sally Firby for many years. She is passionate, driven and extremely knowledgeable in her field.’

‘Sally Firby leaves no stone unturned and has great attention to detail. Sally is always responsive to clients needs and thinks outside the box to come up with sensible and practical solutions.’

Key clients

Chapel Down

Evremond Estates Ltd

Mably Dairies Ltd

Rauceby Farms

Wayfarer Wines LLP

Work highlights

  • Assisted a HNW client purchasing a significant estate comprising of over 20 cottages and over 1000 acres of land spread across a number of farms.
  • Handled the administration of a £20million estate of the deceased where the primary asset was a Lincolnshire estate, of which the deceased was sole owner and sole trader.
  • Acted on the purchase of a boutique country estate and organic farm.

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP

Frequently handling the sale and development of farming land throughout Kent and Sussex, Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP is led by the ‘faultless’ Richard CrippsOliver Bussell is knowledgeable of environmental issues and planning applications, while Ian Best in Uckfield is adept in tax reliefs. Bruce Clarke is based in Sevenoaks and assists clients with probate and estate administration. Individuals mentioned split their team between Sevenoaks and Ashford, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Richard Cripps

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Bussell; Ian Best; Bruce Clarke


‘I would recommend Rix & Kay to any fellow farmer, they are up to speed and understand the life of a farmer. They are well equipped to guide you though your legal queries.’

‘We can’t fault the team – always excellent service with a great breadth of experience.’

‘Richard Cripps is always faultless.’

‘Ian Best of Rix & Kay has been a great help in guiding me though my legal problems and advice with my will and other inheritance issues. Ian has aways been available or quick to reply to me when ever I have had any questions or queries.’

Work highlights

Thompson Smith and Puxon

The ‘formidable agriculture and estate practice‘ at Thompson Smith and Puxon is led by Stephen Firmin, a lawyer who leverages his corporate background to advise clients with business projects, in addition to transactional property matters. Kerry Addison handles site disposals on small rural developments, as well as larger plots, while Fiona Ashworth is knowledgeable of succession planning and wills. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Colchester.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Firmin

Other key lawyers:

Kerry Addison; Fiona Ashworth; Mary Anne Fedeyko; Robert Ashworth; Fiona Gibson


‘TSP have a formidable agriculture and estate practice in our region, and I believe that reality is being widely recognized by the professional community advising farmers. They have the strength in depth to deliver the best solution whatever the circumstances.’

‘This team is highly skilled and dedicated, offering specialist advice to their clients.’

‘A team who cover all aspects of land matters and are willing to consider all aspects and understand family issues which often arise.’

‘A great mix of characters who help each other in giving advice to clients.’

‘Kerry Addison in particular ensures a client’s needs are properly and fully understood before then dealing with those needs as fully as possible’.

‘Fiona Ashworth continues to be a force of nature, leading the team with her customary elan. Because she is from a farming family, she instinctively understands the issues confronting farming families and the dynamics at work.’

‘Fiona Ashworth – a powerhouse of knowledge. Giving outstanding advice and support to her clients, ensuring they attain their goals.’

‘Stephen Firmin always seems one step ahead in any engagement, he is available, patient and accurate.’

Work highlights

Thrings LLP

Recently been bolstered by its 2022 merger with Okells Francis, Thrings LLP advises farmers and rural landowners with battery storage, solar power, and wind energy matters. Duncan Sigournay leads the team from Bath and handles the purchase and sales of agricultural and equestrian land, while Mark Charter is noted for his experience in significant secured lending for farms and estates. Jonathan Thompson is adept in family business succession planning, and Josephine Taylor is often engaged in matters involving unregistered land. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Romsey, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Sigournay

Other key lawyers:

Mark Charter; Jonathan Thompson; Josephine Taylor; Neil Barbour; Eve Laws


‘The team is engaged on many levels with the business.’

‘The partners and associates we work with are responsive and you feel that the matter in hand is at the top of their pile! There is an interest in the wider activity of the business which helps put in context the priority or importance of instructions.’

‘There is a depth of expertise in the business, and we are given direct access to these individuals when required.’

‘The practice was unique in many ways but the key one was that they were happy to take phone calls and discuss solutions.’

‘Good technical abilities whilst providing pragmatic approach for clients.’

‘Depth of knowledge and strong ability to problem solve for clients.’

‘Josephine Taylor and Jonathan Thompson are experienced, pragmatic, protective, and have a desire to get things done quickly and efficiently.’

‘Mark Charter is very calm and measured and is able to explain specific/complicated legal points clearly and straightforwardly, so it is easy for clients to understand particular issues at hand. Very knowledgeable.’

Key clients

National Farmers Union

Country Land and Business Association

The Badminton Estate

The UK’s major banks

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.
  • Sucesfully represented a client in a Supreme Court proprietary estoppel case and appeal in Guest v Guest.
  • Represented the executors of the estate for the late John Mitchell Spencer in a multi-million-pound proprietary estoppel claim concerning farmland and quarries in Lincolnshire.

Warners Solicitors

Warners Solicitors fields a considerable workload in contentious, criminal, regulatory, tax planning, and asset protection matters. With over four decades of experience, Steve Colville leads the department and thrives in commercial property mandates, while Michael McNally is adept in employment law. Gail Hall‘s practice encompasses lifetime tax planning, trust and estate administration, and wills. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Tonbridge.

Practice head(s):

Steve Colville

Other key lawyers:

Michael McNally; Gail Hall; Tim Ryan; Hope Flashman-Wells

Work highlights

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

With expertise in scale renewable energy projects including battery storage facilities, biomass fuel plants in addition to Solar PV Parks, Field Seymour Parkes LLP is well-placed to handle the sales and acquisitions of agricultural rural property. Hazel Eccles leads the team and is proficient in adverse possession and lost deeds, granting easements, and licenses. James Burgess has over two decades of experience in agricultural and rural development, while Rob Crowther is knowledgeable of lifetime tax planning and asset protection matters, in addition to wills. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Reading.

Practice head(s):

Hazel Eccles

Other key lawyers:

James Burgess; Rob Crowther


‘What makes them standout is their personal touch, attention to detail and accessibility of staff.’

‘All are accessible, approachable and good at assisting clients in making decisions or identifying key components of decision making for them to review with objectivity.’

Work highlights

Longmores Solicitors LLP

With ‘a strong background in agriculture and estates’  Longmores Solicitors LLP is led by Victoria Sandberg, who is adept in conditional contracts, option agreements and overage agreements. Richard Horwood leads the private client department and is sought after by families for his expertise in structuring and planning family wealth, while Rachael Spalton heads the commercial property team. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Hertfordshire.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Sandberg

Other key lawyers:

Richard Horwood; Rachael Spalton


‘Longmores have a strong background in agriculture and estates with a friendly and approachable senior team.’

‘Longmores have an excellent practice in Hertfordshire which also covers the surrounding counties. They keep in touch with other professionals and organise regular briefings and updates of topical issues of interest.’

‘Victoria Sandberg is excellent and has a strong team to help on other legal matters. I value her sensible approach to issues which for rural property is often unusual and not straightforward!’

‘Victoria Sandberg is very proactive and robust in negotiations. Her expectation management is excellent, and she is very approachable.’

‘Victoria Sandberg is exceptionally smart, diligent, and efficient. She has highly impressive knowledge of a range of matters including leasing/letting, purchase and sales, commercial property and planning and development.’

‘Richard Horwood has a deep understanding of trusts, tax, and capital tax treatment in relation to rural property issues. He is responsive and very approachable.’

‘Rachael Spalton  has deep knowledge and an excellent understand of commercial matters including leases, planning and development.’


Work highlights


With thorough expertise in contentious property matters, SE-Solicitors is also well-equipped to advise rural businesses on company structure and restructuring, partnerships, in addition to sales. Team head Guy Stephenson is supported by Jennie Loynes whose client roster features agricultural businesses, charities, and private individuals.

Practice head(s):

Guy Stephenson

Other key lawyers:

Jennie Loynes


‘Spratt Endicott are efficient and knowledgeable, they get things done. We especially value a close working relationship and ease of access to legal advice that helps us concentrate on our own business knowing that we are in good hands.’

‘The team have been able to deal with a range of different property cases.’

‘Both Guy Stephenson and Jennie Loynes have completed work on our behalf in the past. We would not hesitate to use them again or to recommend them to others. They keep our business informed on progress and make themselves available to chat through issues and provide advice where needed.’

‘Guy Stephenson is approachable, friendly and pragmatic in his approach to challenging situations.’

Work highlights

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Thomson Snell & Passmore handles contentious and non-contentious agricultural matters including renewable energy projects, tax, trusts and probate, rural land claims in addition to regulatory issues. Penelope Edgar leads the team from Kent and is often handling diversification projects, farm tenancies and agreements.

Practice head(s):

Penelope Edgar

Other key lawyers:

Alison Sparks; Robert Trench


‘Penelope Edgar is sensible, commercial and practical whilst careful to bottom out any possible issues.’

‘Penelope Edgar is approachable and offers clear, concise, and positive advice to clients and fellow professionals. Penny is easy to work with and is happy to be part of a team to ensure clients receive the best possible outcomes.’

‘The agriculture and estates team offer practical and sound advice and are deal makers, rather than deal breakers. They are always looking for the most efficient route through any transaction.’

Work highlights