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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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Wrigleys Solicitors LLP is known for its 'specific knowledge and expertise in agricultural matters'. The team, which leverages the firm's strong private client practice and tax and trusts capability, acts for more than 130 landed estates, as well as farmers and entrepreneurs investing in farmland, woodland and sporting properties. The agriculture and estates department is headed by Jonathan Attey who handles a diverse case load including land transactions, diversification schemes, and agricultural tenancies, including tax orientated restructuring. The substantial team also includes +Andrew Wriglesworth, Julia Boyes,Angus Hunter Smart who all spend a substantial amount of time acting for landowners. Also recommended is the 'extremely professional' Caroline Hawcroft who, 'with excellent agricultural knowledge', frequently handles specialist agricultural property transactions. Philip Nelson left the team to join Harrowells Solicitors.

The 'enthusiastic and knowledgeable team' at Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP is 'known for its efficiency and pragmatism' in agricultural matters. York-based Helen Mellors represents landed estates in a diverse range of matters and has taken over from Martin Whitehead as head of the practice. Whitehead remains at the firm as a consultant. Other key names include Andrew Oliver, who has expertise advising on pollution and waste consenting procedures, Kevin Webster for tax and trust work and Peter Duffus for disputes. The 'prompt and proactive'Christopher Harrison - who is primarily based in the Scarborough office - is also recommended for his 'very practical and professional approach' particularly in land purchases and disposals and agricultural tenancies.

Grays focuses primarily on the representation of landowners and landed estates, trusts and charities, farmers, family businesses and private individuals. The team handles a full range of land and property transactions, as well as advising on trusts and tax planning. Head of the property team, Lyn Rickatson, is well regarded in this area and has particular expertise acting for farmers on the diversification of farming interests including the conversion of farm buildings.

The 'competent, efficient and supportive' practice at Harrowells Solicitors offers 'good value for money' and 'an all round excellent service'. The 'well-respected and trusted firm' handles the full-scale of contentious and non-contentious agricultural matters, and is instructed for both large farms to smaller scale family and specialist farms. Paul Burkinshaw is recommended for disputes and heads up the practice, which also includes the 'highly responsive and commercially aware' commercial property and agricultural lawyer +Stephen Proctor. The team has been further strengthened with the arrival of  +Philip Nelson  from Wrigleys Solicitors LLP > Leeds who has particular experience in trust and estate planning.

The private client team at Langleys Solicitors LLP handles the full spectrum of agriculture-related matters. Francoise Vandale  heads the practice which acts on sales and purchases of large estates, succession issues, and minerals and renewables projects. David Wood is recommended for tax and succession planning on behalf of high-net-worth clients. The team was bolstered with the arrivals of Andrew Gowar from Harrowells Solicitors and associate Judy Lankester who joined from Wilkin Chapman LLP. Gowar advises agricultural clients on capital taxation and succession matters, and Lankester handles the full range of agricultural matters. The group secured panel appointments with the Agricultural Law Association and Clydesdale Bank. Other clients include Tockwith & District Agricultural Society, Dawnay Estates and Lincoln University.

The agriculture team at Lupton Fawcett, which includes individuals across the firm's York and Sheffield offices, is praised for its 'good advice and quick response times'. Johanne Spittle heads the practice and has particular expertise handling property litigation for agricultural, ecclesiastical clients and landed estates.  Julian Rowden handles the sale and purchase of quarries and former gravel pits, including advising on associated mineral rights issues. Hugh Thompson and head of banking Michael Kidd joined from Langleys Solicitors LLP and Addleshaw Goddard, respectively. David Grice retired.

The 'excellent' agriculture and rural affairs team at McCormicks is led by senior partner Peter McCormick, who has significant charity law experience. McCormick continues to be instructed by the Royal Horticultural Society, and recently acted in relation to a promotion agreement with Gladman Developments Limited for a residential housing development. The team also represent Sir Thomas Ingilby and Lady Emma Ingilby, the owners of the historic Ripley Castle Estate in a range of matters.  Heather Roberts is recommended for commercial property matters; Philip Edmondson for handling disputes; and Jon Healey for corporate and commercial matters, particularly in relation to shooting estates. Head of the private client team Elaine Lightfoot is another name to note.

Mills & Reeve LLP  leverages its strong national agriculture and rural affairs practice in handling a range of high value and complex matters. The group is headed by Cambridge-based Michael Aubrey and includes Julia Rangecroft who leads from the Leeds office. Rangecroft has expertise advising on tax planning, particularly in relation to property backed businesses, agricultural assets, heritage property and offshore work. The Leeds-based team now also includes associate Andrea Newman who recently relocated from the firm's Cambridge office.

Highlighted as a 'well-established firm with excellent technical expertise' in this area, Raworths' agricultural and rural group attracts praise for being 'diligent, helpful and able to meet tight deadlines when required'. The eight partner team is headed up by David Garfitt, who continues to act for Nunnington Estates and recently handled complex estate administration. The team also represented the estate in a Inheritance Act claim. Garfitt is ably supported by the 'commercially aware and very pragmatic' Matthew Hill who has particular experience handling disputes for agriculture clients.

The practice at Rollits LLP represents farmers, families and estates in a range contentious and non-contentious matters, including property transactions,  renewable projects, trusts, tax advice and wealth planning. Practice head Neil Franklin is an experienced rural property lawyer and focuses on commercial property, agricultural property and renewables. John Lane is another key name to note, with particular expertise advising high net worth in relation to trust and other wealth planning issues. The team also acts for banks lending to rural sector clients. 

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