Specialist private client firm Wrigleys Solicitors LLP fields an agriculture and estates team led by Jonathan Attey. Handling a significant amount of work for owners of woodland and forestry, it is notably strong in the buying and selling of farms, estates and sporting properties. In addition, recent areas of development include diversification linked to development sales, renewable energy projects, minerals and office developments. Moreover, the offering provides advice in relation to tenancies covering commercial and residential interests, sporting rights and tax planning.
Agriculture and estates in Yorkshire And The Humber
‘They are a very human bunch who understand client worries, and are good at explaining what can be quite complicated legally. Above all they have a good sense of humour. They are meticulous in setting out the expectations and likely costs of a particular job.’
‘I like that they do not hide behind a load of jargon. That is too often used by those who would make something quite simple seem complicated to justify their apparent professional expertise.’
‘An accessible, professional and constructive team of solicitors.‘
The agriculture and estates offering at Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP is led by York-based partner Helen Mellors. Acting for estates, landowners and tenant farms, the team is regularly involved in matters linked to renewable energy and general environmental concerns. In particular, recent highlights include issues pertaining to the construction of wind farms, turbines, ground source heat pumps and anaerobic digestion plants. Moreover, the firm's expertise extends to the purchase and disposals of tenancies, restructuring and (increasingly) the need for agri-businesses to engage in various forms of diversification. Commercial property specialist Samuel Peake is another key contact.
Other key lawyers:
‘The firm are very commercial, proactive, supportive and forward-thinking. We have a close working relationship and we have great experience of regular collaboration. We hold joint events and cross refer/introduce business to each other. They are transparent and straightforward to deal with.’
‘The team has an extremely broad breadth of knowledge with all services covered in-house. They are approachable, friendly and explain the work which they do in plain English. Always prepared to assist and provide bespoke solutions and advice where necessary. The establishment of a banking specialist within their team is a great service to be able to use. I am always confident in putting the firm in front of my customers, given the consistency and quality of the work which they deliver. Provide regular updates on cases being worked on and regular feedback should issues arise.’
‘The individuals within the team are open , approachable and friendly. No enquiry is too much trouble and is always treated professionally. I feel that the team are not just providing a legal service but seek to build strong working relationships and trust, which in turn helps to deliver a high level of service. The wide range of expertise within the team is of great benefit. Especially worthy of mention are Sam Peake and Helen Mellors, whom I have worked with over the past 12 months and who provide excellent support and advice.’
Working from Malton and York, Clair Douglas leads the agriculture and estates team at Crombie Wilkinson. Acting for landed estates, private trusts, land owners and individual farmers, the offering covers a broad spectrum of agricultural matters within both contentious and compliance parameters. In particular, the firm's Malton office is adept at advising on diversification projects, agricultural tenancies, tax planning and succession requirements. The National Farmers’ Union is a notable, longstanding client.
‘We have a good working relationship with a partner who we feel that we can trust. She has worked rapidly to act for us on various matters, The firm seem to cover rural legal matters well.’
‘Professional friendliness and efficiency and willingness to assist where possible. We particularly admire Clair Douglas as a partner.’
‘Able to offer the expertise to purchase the which was for us a large estate, which was beyond the capabilities of our usual solicitors. ’
‘An experienced group of Individuals who work closely as a team. Relevant experience held and a friendly and efficient way about the way work is approached.’
‘They offer a bespoke facility for their clients They put the correct person in the right place to do the job efficiently ’
‘Clair Douglas is a credit to the profession – she is at the top of her game ’
National Farmers’ Union (NFU)
Operating between Thirsk and York, the agriculture and estates team at Harrowells Solicitors is a broad offering with depth of expertise in various areas. This includes advice in relation to land transactions, corporate and commercial matters, trusts, partnership disputes and litigation. Notably, the firm also has a substantial track record handling divorce proceedings and financial settlements that incorporate the complex division of farm assets. A new office was established in Malton in January 2021. The team leads are Paul Burkinshaw and Stephen Proctor.
Paul Burkinshaw; Stephen Proctor
‘Fantastic service – all solicitors are always contactable and happy to talk through any transactions/matters in plain, easy to understand terminology. ’
‘Geographically well spread to serve the Agriculture and Estates Sector in this area. Their knowledge and passion for the sector is clearly evident.’
‘They are immersed in the sector they love.’
Led by Harrogate-based name partner Peter McCormick, the agricultural and estates offering at McCormicks counts the Royal Horticultural Society and various charities within its impressive portfolio. In addition, the team is particularly well known for assisting landowners with the diversification of their estates (including overseeing building conversions for both commercial and residential use). McCormick is a longstanding member of the Country Landowners and Rural Business Association.
‘Ably led by Peter McCormick, this practice punches above its weight. Good sound advice across a number of fields – employment, litigation, commercial dispute resolution and succession planning.’
‘They adopt a sensible common sense approach to achieve the desired outcome. Their advice on succession planning in respect of a family business was excellent.’
The Estate of the late John Herbert Strutt
The Ripley Castle Shoot
Rudding Park – Simon Mackaness
Sir Thomas and Lady Ingilby of the Ripley Castle Estate
Various charities – WMT, Duke of Edingburgh’s Award, Chetwynde School
Royal Horticultural Society
Yorkshire Agricultural Society
- Continue to advise on the complex estate of the late John Herbert Strutt and the associated Trusts and Charities with regards the potential future development and/or sale of various properties held within the residuary estate.
- Continue to assist and advise on all relevant aspects of The Ripley Shoot along with several others (including Hob Green, Cayton Gill, the Nidd Estate, Mountgarret Shoot) which together form the second largest portfolio of shoots in the UK.
- Advised the Rudding Park Estate for many years (including advising on re-financing of the entire estate along with advice relating to a dispute with the local council relating to granting of an entertainment licence to a neighbouring property).
Key names in the agriculture and estates practice at Mills & Reeve LLP include principal associate Andrea Newman in Leeds and food and agribusiness co-head Michael Aubrey in Cambridge. The team handles work for traditional farming clients as well as landowning colleges, pension funds, estates and substantive agribusiness interests. Notably, given the firm's size, it can also draw on specialists from its tax, insolvency and construction teams to cover all aspects of a particular matter.
Andrea Newman; Michael Aubrey
‘We have many and varied issues, and each department we deal with responds in a timely fashion.’
Bishop Burton College
Yorkshire Bank/Clydesdale Agriculture
Seasoned property litigator Matthew Hill leads the agriculture and estates offering at Raworths - he is known as 'something of a legend in the Harrogate litigation arena'. Handling matters concerning estates, farming, agri-business and leisure, the 'skilled and multidisciplinary' team is particularly adept at disputes involving rural property, land transfers and sales. In addition, the firm covers succession and tax planning work, most notably as it relates to partnerships.
‘A skilled and multidisciplinary practice offering sound and pragmatic advice with instructions handled in a timely fashion. The whole team being under one roof is a great strength and allows easy cross referral to those with expertise.’
‘The whole team has a positive approach concentrating on reaching solutions.’
‘A first-rate team in a first-rate law firm in a market (Harrogate) which has access to some very high quality work but is distinct from the neighbouring Leeds market. Their strength lies in keeping the team small and tightly knit and with a large combined experience; thus the clients benefit from the stability and knowledge which has been built up over the years. This is a team/firm that knows its strengths and has the confidence to play to them without attempting to take over the world.’
‘Matthew Hill has become something of a legend in the Harrogate litigation arena; definitely the ‘go to’ lawyer for a service that is both technical and commercially astute – always sensible about litigation and its risks but quite able to go on the offensive where required; very easy to deal with and a great deal of experience’.
- Acted for an agribusiness client in a substantial and complex dispute regarding the supply and installation of agricultural equipment.
- Acted for a rural landowner in resisting an application to the Land Registry to register a right of way over his land.
- Acted in complex dispute over vehicular rights of way over a railway bridge connecting two pieces of agricultural land.
Hull-based partner Neil Franklin heads up the agriculture and estates offering at Rollits LLP. An expert in rural property, he oversees a team that acts for farmers, families and estates across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Cumbria. In particular, the team has expertise in AHA 1986 tenancies (within both contentious and compliance parameters) and has substantive experience in major land sales and purchases. Additional areas covered include renewable energy projects, anaerobic digestion and private wealth advice including tax planning and familial structures
‘Excellent people skills and the ability to translate complicated technical issues into practical scenarios.’
‘Rollits have a long established team with lots of experience. They deliver what they promise which is often not the case with some of their competitors. We know their team well and they know ours. It works very well and has done for very many years.’
‘Neil Franklin heads their agricultural department and understands all types of agricultural tenancies including AHA tenancies, which many do not. He and his team have the detailed knowledge of trusts which are so often needed in such circumstances.’
Bishop Burton College
Yorkshire Bank/Clydesdale Agriculture
Irwin Mitchell's team is led by landholdings expert James Pavey and contentious estates specialist James Laycock. Handling high-value tax planning for individuals and trusts, the offering also covers tax disputes and property advice for landowners in relation to development, transactions and agricultural tenancies. In addition, the firm assists clients with asset structuring and succession planning in relation to wills, trusts, intestacies, and partnerships. A recent highlight indicative of its strengths is its representation of the Green Lanes Environmental Action Movement in judicial review proceedings against Lake District National Park Authority, a case which pertains to a failure to stop public vehicular use of historic highways.
James Pavey; James Laycock
‘The team is strong on all agricultural matters, and particularly strong on farming proprietary estoppel cases.’
Green Lanes Environmental Action Movement