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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > Yorkshire and the Humber > Private client > Agriculture and estates > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Agriculture and estates
  2. Leading individuals

Agriculture and estates is a core element of Wrigleys Solicitors LLP’s private client offering. Areas covered by the team include estates and sporting properties and diversification projects - in particular renewal energy schemes, mineral schemes, sporting ventures and tax efficient restructurings. Jonathan Attey, who heads up the department, is an expert in the sale and purchase of farms, estates, sporting properties, country houses, woodland and grouse moors.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Attey

Other key lawyers:Andrew Wriglesworth; Angus Hunter Smart


'Determined to provide excellent and practical advice at a cost commensurate with the limited financial resources of many of their clients, who are families, private individuals and small businesses.'

'Good communicators and able to explain complicated subjects clearly and with patience.'

'An excellent firm with some fantastic lawyers.'

'Emma Ridge has great knowledge gained over many years. Nothing is too much trouble and delivery is very professional and timely.'

'Matthew Featherstone is an excellent adviser. Always available. Knowledgeable and proactive in addressing problems and challenges before they arose. Balanced legal opinion well with practical and emotional tactics to bring project to satisfactory completion. Lots of common sense and ability to advise clients of the smoothest course of action.'

'Angus Hunter Smart and Jonathan Attey set the tone for the running of the firm. They provide an efficient and timely service, which gives us confidence in their advice. They also have a good sense of humour and practical common sense which to me is a keystone of any professional advice, however complicated. It is a pleasure working with them and their teams.'

'Emma Ridge is a delight to work with. She is incredibly knowledgeable and is a very safe pair of hands.'

'Jonathan Attey has a good technical knowledge of the law and how it applies but is always able to put appropriate practical advice in context of the requirements of the law.'

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of a 770-acre farm and hydro electric business.
  • Advised on a conditional contract and subsequent sale of a residential development site.
  • Advised on the purchase of a mixed livestock and arable farm.
  • Negotiated an option to grant a lease for a stone quarry.
  • Preparing for the sale of a farm forming part of a wider estate.

Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP’s agriculture and landed estates team is based in York but boasts a commanding presence across Yorkshire, including the firm's head office in Hull. The practice collaborates with other departments across the firm to provide a cross-expertise private client offering, spanning from landed estates and landowners (under practice head Helen Mellors), high value and complex purchases and disposals and agricultural tenancies, agricultural restructuring, recovery and insolvency. The team is also increasingly involved in renewable energy and has acted on several wind farm projects.

Practice head(s):Helen Mellors

Other key lawyers:Andrew Oliver; Kevin Webster; Peter Duffus; Christopher Harrison


'They a have a good practical experience of rural matters and are focused on ensuring a deal is done and understanding the parameters of getting things over the line. A friendly and personal team with good depth of rural matters.'

'Great mix of young and older team member, each with excellent knowledge and practical experience of the issues.'

'Christopher Harrison is efficient, thorough and knowledgeable. He is very good with clients and helping explain legal jargon to laymen.'

'Chris Harrison is pragmatic, quick and efficient.'

'Hannah Farm is knowledgeable and approachable.'

Crombie Wilkinson has a strong and longstanding presence in North Yorkshire, with a network of offices acting for landed estates and private trusts, land owners and individual farmers on a wide range of agricultural matters, both contentious or non-contentious. The Malton office, led by 'true agricultural specialist' Jennifer Bartram, is particularly adept at advising on diversification projects, agricultural tenancies, tax planning and succession. Two new lawyers recently joined the team from Rollits LLP.

Practice head(s):Jennifer Bartram


'Jennifer Bartram is highly knowledgeable, a true agricultural specialist, approachable and easy to deal with, and someone I am always glad to have on the other side as I know we will get the job done with the minimum of fuss.'

Key Clients

National Farmers Union

Grays acts for landowners and landed estates, farmers, family businesses and private individuals. Head of the property Lyn Rickatson is well regarded across the market.

Practice head(s):Lyn Rickatson

Harrowells Solicitors combines advice on land holdings and tax planning with litigation support in relation to partnership and probate disputes. Paul Burkinshaw is head of the team, which is divided between York, Clifton Moor, Thirsk, Pocklington and Easingwold, and is able to advise large agricultural clients on a range of matters, including niche practice areas such as quarrying.

Practice head(s):Paul Burkinshaw

Other key lawyers:Stephen Proctor; Philip Nelson

Work highlights

  • Advising major farming group on tenancies, production agreements, land transactions and renewable energy infrastructure.
  • Advising on land sales, conditional agreements and s106 negotiations for large scale residential developments for significant Yorkshire landowner.
  • Successfully secured IHT exemption for certain business activities within a complex and diverse farming group.
  • Successfully settled a high value farm partnership dispute at arbitration.

Lupton Fawcett has offices in York, Leeds and Sheffield, providing advice to the farming community across the whole Yorkshire and Humber region. The team has a strong focus on property work, as well as issues relating to the occupational rights of farm workers, renewables, mines and minerals, development work, insolvencies and ecclesiastical matters. Former department head Johanne Spittle left earlier this year to join Ware & Kay, and was succeeded by senior associate Caroline Hawcroft, who joined the firm from Wrigleys Solicitors LLP in September 2018.

Practice head(s):Caroline Hawcroft


'Well resourced, friendly, capable and efficient.'

'The team at Lupton Fawcett combine good, pragmatic advice with an easy personal style.'

'Kirsty Barsby has been incredibly thorough and diligent with respect to the at times complicated matters around land sales and purchases.'

'Caroline Hawcroft delivers sound, professional advice in a timely and cost effective way.'

McCormicks’ agriculture and rural affairs team has a well-established roster of clients in Yorkshire, advising on a number of substantial estates. The firm prides itself on its commercial approach, and aims to helps its clients create and manage new income flows by assisting in the diversification of their property. Peter McCormick heads the practice, which is active within the Agricultural Law Association and the Charity Law Association.

Practice head(s):Peter McCormick

Other key lawyers:Heather Roberts; Elaine Lightfoot


'Peter McCormick is approachable and very efficient and always gets back to you.'

'Elaine Lightfoot is a very efficient solicitor and deals with whatever you put her way easily and successfully.'


Key Clients

The Estate of the late John Herbert Strutt

The Ripley Castle Shoot

Rudding Park – Simon Mackaness

Sir Thomas & Lady Ingilby of the Ripley Castle estate

Various charities – WMT, Duke of Edingburgh’s Award Chetynde School

Liam Botham

Royal Horticultural Society

Yorkshire Agricultural Society

Robert Jones – Long Mountain Shoot

Work highlights

  • Acting for the estate of John Strutt, the Eden Place Estate, the Belper Estate together with associated trusts and charities, providing advice on a variety of areas.
  • Advising the owner of the Ripley Castle shoot, Frank Boddy, and a number of other shooting estates.
  • Advised the Rudding Park Estate on a complex refinancing of the entire estate following the grant of planning permission for a new £7m spa extension.
  • Advising Sir Thomas and Lady Emma Ingilby of Ripley Castle, near Harrogate, on various issues.
  • Undertaking a large amount of estate work for charities.

Following the departure of Julia Rangecroftto Shulmans LLP, Mills & Reeve LLP’s agriculture and estates team in Leeds is now led by principal associate Andrea Newman. Newman, who was previously based in Cambridge, has 16 years’ post-qualification experience and is well versed in high-profile transactions, such as large scale development projects for institutions and landowning charitable trusts. Other highlights of the work carried out by the practice include diversification projects and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):Andrea Newman

Key Clients

Coutts & Company

Wellcome Trust

The Countryside Restoration Trust

Farmcare Trading Limited

Northumbrian Water Limited

John Innes Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advising Coutts & Company on a review of circa 801 acres of land and buildings for bank security.
  • Acted for the Wellcome Trust on the disposal of land at Alpraham to a developer for housing.
  • Assisting the Countryside Restoration Trust with various land holdings in negotiating tenancies to best reflect the charitable obligations of the client.
  • Acting for Northumbrian Water Limited in securing easements across the length of its pipeline feeding the Abberton Reservoir.
  • Advised on the restructuring of Farmcare’s trading operation to exit direct farming on 25,000 acres.

Clients turn to Raworths for estates, farming, rural leisure and agribusiness advice on highly complex matters. The firm's agricultural expertise is spread across many practice areas, including private client (dealing with land transfers and sales), corporate and commercial (partnerships and company work), dispute resolution (with partners Matthew Hill and Jonathan Mortimer), family (agricultural divorce and family work) and employment.


'Raworths genuinely prioritizes client needs. They take enormous care to understand the client’s objectives and once that is established, they have a clear process to map advice against those objectives and to cost the key steps.'

'One of the main players in the vast and lucrative North Yorkshire agricultural and estates market - combines the friendliness of a small firm with the expertise of a much larger firm.'

'Jonathan Mortimer is a seasoned, well-known and well-respected player who has a great deal of experience and is highly regarded as a safe pair of hands.'

Key Clients

Nunnington Estate North Yorkshire

Yorkshire Agricultural Society

Parkmount Estates Company (Allerton) Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing property litigation services to Parkmount Estates across a portfolio of commercial and residential property assets.
  • Acting for clients in a complex dispute relating to access to agricultural land over a right of way running over a lane within the ownership of a neighbouring property.
  • Acting for clients in a complex dispute regarding property rights relating to their substantial rural home.

Rollits LLP is a private wealth firm that acts for a range of clients in the rural sector, from tenant farmers to large corporate freeholders and banks. The team, which is led by Neil Franklin, has expertise covering landlord and tenant matters, farm, land, woodland and forestry sales and purchases, renewable projects (biomass and anaerobic digestion, solar and wind) and pipes and other easements over land (such as offshore electricity cable crossings). The practice operates out of the firm's Hull and York offices for clients in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Cumbria and beyond.

Practice head(s):Neil Franklin

Other key lawyers:John Lane


'Rollits have in-depth specialist knowledge in all the interconnecting areas required to service the sector and their team work together to provide the right solution for their clients.'

'Neil Franklin's experience enables him to highlight the important sector specialist issues for the client in order for them to get the correct outcome efficiently.'

'Sheridan Ball uses her experience and personality to calmly guide the client through the problems of divorce where the family farming assets are under threat.'

'The private client team has in-depth sector knowledge to assist with the protection of the family farm through the generations.'

Key Clients

Cranswick plc

Nat West Bank plc

Yorkshire Bank plc

Lloyds Bank plc

Charity Bank

Bishop Burton College

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sale of two farms totalling approximately 2,000 acres
  • Advised on the sale of part of a plant-growing nursery
  • Advised on the sale of former dairy land and buildings to a developer.

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