Next Generation Partners

Rising Stars

Agriculture and estates in West Midlands

FBC Manby Bowdler LLP

Sarah Baugh  leads a ‘strong‘ and 'readily accessible' team at FBC Manby Bowdler LLP that continues to be busy advising on various major acquisitions, disposals and funding arrangements for land and property. Other core areas of expertise include advising on farm diversification, renewable energy projects and providing partnership advice. In addition, it is skilled at advising on mineral and sporting rights and is adept at handling agricultural litigation. The agile team also regularly works with farm owners on trusts, probate and tax planning matters. Tom Devey  plays a pivotal role in the department  too.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Baugh

Other key lawyers:

Tom Devey


‘The Agriculture and Estates team at FBC know their clients exceptionally well, their breadth of knowledge and experience is excellent with them being able to draw on specialist individuals. Everyone is professional and easy to get on with and are easily contactable’.

‘Tom Devey – experienced, professional, detailed, concise but still friendly. He has been pivotal in the completion of a difficult purchase from a family member where perseverance, diligence and knowledge were vital in getting a complicated matter resolved’.

‘Tom Devey has a great depth of knowledge and is supported by a wider team which means that they are capable of dealing with more complex matters all under one roof’.

Lanyon Bowdler

The ‘wonderful‘ team at Lanyon Bowdler is led by Brian Evans  and acts for many large agricultural and horticultural clients as well as landed estates.  It is an NFU panel firm for Shropshire, Herefordshire and Staffordshire and advises on a variety of issues from property and private client matters to family issues and employment matters. The team receives plaudits too for its work on disputes relating to renewable energy projects, product liability and professional negligence cases involving farmers as claimants. Edward Nutting  advises on a wide range of agricultural and commercial property matters.  Andrew Evans has retired and Nicholas Playford has moved to Hall Smith Whittingham LLP.

Practice head(s):

Brian Evans

Other key lawyers:

Edward Nutting; Andrew Pegg


‘Practice has an excellent understanding of agriculture and the idiosyncrasies of that market’.

‘Andrew Pegg offers sensible practical advice to deliver best cost effective solution’.


Key clients

Administrator of the estate of the late Valerie Ruth Greaves – Vivien Dawn Edwards

Mr David Onions & Mrs Sandra Onions

Sweeney Estate Trustees

Patricia Pain

Belton Farm Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the Trustees of the Sweeney Estate in connection with ongoing contentious and non-contentious matters relating to the management of the Estate.
  • Advised on tax planning will for a farming couple with £3m assets (including farming and non-farming assets), advising on APR and BPR and appropriate trusts.
  • Dealing with administration of an intestate estate worth £1.4m, negotiating a claim for APR with HMRC.

Lodders Solicitors LLP

The ‘hardworking and efficient‘ team at Lodders Solicitors LLP is led by James Spreckley. It advises on a wide variety of agricultural matters from farm sales and purchases, biodiversity net gain and off-setting matters to tenancies, succession issues and share farming. It is also skilled at advising on environmental issues and rights of way. Clients include farmers (both landowners and tenants); landowners; agri – businesses; equestrian businesses; landed estates; breed societies and agricultural charities. John Rouse specialises in advising on estate planning matters. Victoria Longmore advises rural and agricultural clients on planning matters. Associate Nicola Beach deals with a wide range of property-related agricultural matters.

Practice head(s):

James Spreckley

Other key lawyers:

John Rouse; Victoria Longmore; Nicola Beach


‘For a large company I found they were very personable and was not treated like a number.  Everyone we dealt with was excellent‘.

‘James Spreckley – we found him very approachable and helpful with clear communication’.

‘Nicky Beach gave us her undivided attention. I can’t speak highly enough of Nicky. Her communication was excellent she was very helpful and approachable a real pleasure to deal with‘.

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of a 560 acre Cotswold farming estate in nine separate lots.
  • Advised on a 520 acre farm purchase in Suffolk.
  • Advised on the dissolution of a mixed family partnership agreement and the partition of assets.

MFG Solicitors LLP

MFG Solicitors LLP has an excellent reputation for its work with farmers and landowners on a wide variety of agriculture and property matters.  It is co-led by Iain Morrison and Susan Morrissy and receives plaudits for its work on complex contentious matters, for its specialist succession planning advice as well as for its expertise in public rights of way. The 'responsive' group also has considerable strength in the energy sector. Other core areas of focus include handling farming divorces, regeneration projects and contentious agricultural tenancies. Helen Gough  is adept at handling many agricultural and rural property disputes.

Practice head(s):

Iain Morrison; Susan Morrissy

Other key lawyers:

Helen Gough; Alexandra Phillips; Tom Bell


‘I am always in the position where I can see how quickly things are moving and what my lawyer is currently working on. I also appreciate the effort they put in to explaining difficult concepts to me on the telephone so I can understand the decisions I need to make and what kind of risks are involved. Alexandra Phillips leads the team I deal with‘.

Wide range of skills available. They care for their clients‘.

‘mfg Solicitors LLP has a fantastic team who are able to deal with all of our mutual clients needs. They have a can-do attitude and regularly go above and beyond to ensure that our clients objectives are met’.

Key clients

Mr P Ward

Work highlights

  • Advised Mr Ward on an objection to a Definitive Map Order issued by the local council and was successful in the objection.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Peter Snodgrass is at the helm at Shakespeare Martineau LLP and is a known name for his advice on various property transactions (including  promotion agreements) and for his work on HS2 claims. The group regularly advises on transactions involving farms and rural land and is also recommended for its work on renewable energy schemes and on natural capital projects. Another core area of expertise is advising on agricultural tenancies as well as providing succession planning and tax advice. The group is also skilled at handling farm litigation and planning matters. Newly promoted partner Jennie Wheildon, covers a wide range of agricultural matters including advising on diversification projects and agricultural tenancies.



Practice head(s):

Peter Snodgrass

Other key lawyers:

Jennie Wheildon


‘All the staff I have dealt with have been very approachable. Have used online meetings rather than have to go to the office which has been very useful’.

‘Peter Snodgrass as always is very knowledgeable and helpful for the more complex aspects of a farm sale’.

‘The Stratford Office is particularly focused on agriculture and its associated legal problems. There is good advice over a whole range of subjects‘.

‘Peter Snodgrass is an extremely capable, clever and thoughtful solicitor, who is very interested in agriculture and its associated work. Jennie Wheildon is a very capable lawyer who is very good’.

The team is headed up by Peter Snodgrass and they are always ready to answer any conveyancing queries our clients or we may have’.

‘Having the Agricultural Dept readily available is invaluable to us , the rules and regulations constantly change and they are always up to date with these changes. Answers on farm tenancies, forestry, farm payment schemes and a myriad of other queries are always answered promptly’.

‘Jennie Wheildon is a delight to work with and instantly wins the confidence of our clients to solve any of the additional rules and regulations for overseas buyers. Jennie’s advice is always clear and her work is extremely thorough’.

SM offer a superb service, whilst being totally approachable to both us as agents and to our clients. We will look forward to working with them again throughout the coming year’.

Wright Hassall LLP

At Wright Hassall LLP, Alex Robinson who is a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association, heads up the department. Joel Woolf advises farms and estates on their business structures and continuity planning. Sarah Beer has a solid reputation for her work on matters relating to HS2 and its impact on farms and estates. Ethan Desai is 'technically very good and pragmatic'. The group advises on many other issues such as subsidies, renewables and on notices to quit in addition to the various remedies that are available under the Agricultural Holdings Act. It also skilled at handling agricultural disputes and disputed wills.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra Robinson

Other key lawyers:

Joel Woolf; Sarah Beer; Ethan Desai

Key clients

Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE)

Cotswold Farm Park

Sir Thomas White’s Charity

British Simmental Society

Berkswell Cheese

Warwickshire Young Farmers’ Federation

National Young Farmers’ Federation

Napton Water Buffalo

Arthur Rank Centre

Meadow Quality


Headed by Simon James , the team at Ansons continues to attract a steady flow of instructions on numerous agricultural land acquisitions and disposals. It advises on a myriad of other issues relating to diversification projects such as the alternative use of rural buildings and land, renewable energy and conservation projects as well as issues relating to rural subsidies, tenancies and drainage issues. Neil Faunch is another prominent member of the department who has a wide range of experience in agricultural sales and purchases.

Practice head(s):

Simon James

Other key lawyers:

Neil Faunch

Key clients

The National Forest Company