Hall Of Fame

Rising Stars

Agriculture and estates in Yorkshire And The Humber

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP‘s agriculture and rural property team is led by Jonathan Attey, who is a specialist in the sale and purchase of farms, estates and sporting properties. The team also has notable expertise handling diversification work for landowning clients, from development sales and renewable energy projects to the niche area of spring water bottling operations. Alongside advice regarding the Environment Act and Agriculture Act, including conservation covenants and ecosystem services, the group also offers strategic advice on tax planning and trusts issues, with clients able to access a range of private client services across the firm. Solicitor Will Foley is recommended, and Clair Douglas joined the team in January 2023 from Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Attey

Other key lawyers:

Clair Douglas; Angus Hunter Smart; Will Foley; Emma Ridge; Matthew Featherstone; Joanne Spavin


‘The Agriculture and Rural Property are deeply invested in what is often a complex sector of work. The team take proactive steps to protect the interests of their clients drawing upon a broad spectrum of specialisms including Tax, Trusts, Succession Planning and Strategic Advice.’

‘Jonathan Attey who takes the lead on the excellent Agriculture and Property team is not just approachable but generous with his time and always thinking laterally. His calm and measured approach puts you completely at ease and you are assured that the best possible result will ensue. Will Foley’s attention to detail is second to none and the speed of his response is genuinely astonishing. His proactive and pragmatic approach is utterly refreshing.’

‘My relationship with Wrigleys over the last 20 years has involved legal and tax issues relating to individuals, land owning families and trusts. I have had dealings with a lot of other firms for similar work and what makes Wrigleys stand out is the combination of technical expertise, “can do attitude” and speed of response.’

‘The partner at Wrigleys with whom I have had most dealings in recent years is Jonathan Attey. There were issues involved which were not straightforward and Jonathan’s efficiency, speed of response and general aplomb made the whole process less stressful.’

‘Thoroughly competent in the areas of rural property and wills/trusts and estate planning.’

‘Jonathan Attey and Angus Hunter-Smart. Both extremely competent in their fields and also personally live in rural areas, where they are involved and so understand the workings. And both full of sound common-sense which prevents forays into legal backwaters which, in the end, achieve nothing. Finally both are good at explaining the more complicated facets in understandable simple English.’

‘They are human and understand their clients and their clients’ needs better than I have experienced at other professional services firms. They are both technically proficient and realistic in understanding what outcomes are achievable in all circumstances.’

‘They engender trust through taking care to understand how their client thinks and their expectations for bringing work to suitable and realistic conclusions within a reasonable time frame and only incurring necessary and proportionate cost. Specific stand-out partners include Jonathan Attey and Matthew Featherstone.’

Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP

The agriculture and landed estates team at Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP is led by Helen Mellors, who is an expert in work regarding landed estates and landowners. The team draws strength from its ability to bring in cross-departmental skills and specialisms across the firm, and the expertise of individual team members. Stephen Unwin acts on energy projects, particularly wind farms, turbines and ground source heat pumps. Martin Collingwood provides advice on the construction aspects of agricultural issues, and Claire Ramsden is experienced in high-value and complex purchases and disposals.

Practice head(s):

Helen Mellors

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Unwin; Martin Collingwood; Claire Ramsden; Samuel Peake


‘A very friendly and approachable team who are good people people. They appear to work well collaboratively on behalf of clients, utilising their various specialisms.’

‘Helen Mellors is very approachable and pragmatic, which is refreshing compared to some law firms.’

‘Deep knowledge of agriculture and estate matters.’

‘Very collegiate approach when working with us but also engaging with other firms. Very commercial in outlook.’

‘Proactive in their pursuit of business and easy to deal with. Strong team with clear succession.’

‘Forward thinking, approachable and willing to go the extra mile.’

‘Strong team in the property division with a diverse skill set able to work in an agile and professional manner.’

‘Helen Mellors has specific expertise in the intensive livestock sector, handling complex legal issues in a timely manner involving both pig and poultry assets.’

Key clients

Associated British Ports

Harrowells Solicitors

Stephen Proctor leads the agricultural land and property team at Harrowells Solicitors in York. The team has experience regarding high-value land purchase, promotion and land development agreements, and farm business tenancies. Additionally, it has expertise in the niche areas of mineral rights and telecoms code agreements.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Proctor

Other key lawyers:

Katie Daniels


‘Harrowells give me clarity, guidance and support. They turn business around quickly, and communicate well. The culture is open and caring.’

‘They care. They are open and direct in discussion. They look at each issue, situation or negotiation from my perspective. They are personable.’

‘Good honest legal advice, deal makers not deal breakers who think of solutions rather than problems.’

Mills & Reeve LLP

Andrea Newman leads the agribusiness team at Mills & Reeve LLP in Leeds. Newman advises charities, trusts and institutional landowners on a range of issues from diversification projects to farming business acquisitions, including natural capital matters. The team has experience regarding the sale, purchase and management of rural estates, with additional niche expertise in solar lease options.

Practice head(s):

Andrea Newman

Other key lawyers:

Nichola Ross; Vanessa Walton

Key clients

Albanwise Limited

Rollits LLP

Neil Franklin leads the Hull-based agriculture team at Rollits LLP, which is experienced in work regarding diversification projects, specifically solar parks. The group has particular expertise regarding agricultural properties, including Agriculture Holdings Act 1986 issues and farm business tenancies at a contentious and non-contentious level.

Practice head(s):

Neil Franklin

Other key lawyers:

Libby Clarkson; Ruth Maltby-Sinker; Katheryn Matthews


‘The ability to get proper advice which is commercially focused – always a sense of realism to the advice that is provided. Equally, the ability to get in contact with all levels of staff, including partners by telephone and without any long delay.’

‘Neil Franklin – educated, a realist, affable and available to clients. Douglas Oliver – Can always see the commerciality of the deal. His manner in dealing with difficult opposition, clients or situations always puts my mind at ease.’

‘Very friendly and easy to engage with. Pragmatic approach to finding solutions and good communication with clients. They provide a good service.’

Key clients

Cranswick plc

HSBC plc

Virgin Money t/a Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank

NatWest Bank

Irwin Mitchell

James Laycock  leads the agricultural offering at Irwin Mitchell across Leeds and Sheffield. The team advises on issues from high-value tax planning advice to land developments, with notable experience regarding nitrate neutrality schemes. The group works collaboratively with the firm’s wider private client offering, with particular experience in handling succession planning work for agricultural clients.

Practice head(s):

James Laycock

Other key lawyers:

Paula Myers; Laura Pang; Richard Smaller


‘Great team with the ability to draw upon other disciplines – great communication.’

‘Richard Smaller – great communication and understands really well the end point of a project, organising the team to achieve the goal.’

‘Many of the firm’s probate cases involve agriculture and estates and the lead partner is the excellent Paula Myers.’

‘Paula Myers is experienced and effective.’

‘Irwin Mitchell is a truly national firm but retains its local feel. Each local base can draw on the depth of experience throughout the company, ensuring that all clients receive a first-class service.’

‘Laura Pang is tenacious and can be relied upon to get the best possible outcome for her clients.’


Peter McCormick leads the agriculture team at McCormicks, which is based in Harrogate. The team acts for a number of landed estates and other clients range from charities to individuals; its workload includes advising on the diversification of estates, residential property developments, and refinancing issues. The group also has particular expertise in handling work relating to shooting estates.

Practice head(s):

Peter McCormick

Other key lawyers:

Elaine Lightfoot; James Towler; David Birks


‘You can expect a quick efficient service to all enquiries.’

‘Peter McCormick is great to do business with and also as a trustee a pleasure to work with. Elaine Lightfoot is a delight and a very knowledgeable solicitor and always available at short notice and will know the person within McCormicks to answer a particular question if it’s not in her field of expertise.’

‘They have dedicated teams to cover all aspects of work who are knowledgeable in their respective fields.’

‘Will Bates has always given the service I require.’

Key clients

The Estate of the late John Herbert Strutt

The Ripley Castle Shoot

Rudding Park


Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Cheywynde School

Royal Horticultural Society

Yorkshire Agricultural Society

Long Mountain Shoot

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise The Estate of the late John Herbert Strutt and the associated Trusts and Charities with regards, in particular, the potential future development and/or sale of various properties held within the residuary estate.
  • Continuing to assist and advise The Ripley Castle Shoot on all relevant aspects of the shoot along with several others (including Hob Green, Cayton Gill, the Nidd Estate, Mountgarret Shoot).
  • Advising the Rudding Park Estate including advising on re-financing of the entire estate with advice relating to a dispute with the local council relating to granting of an entertainment licence to a neighbouring property.


The agriculture team at Raworths in Harrogate is led by Matthew Hill, who is also head of commercial client services and dispute resolution at the firm. The team draws on expertise across the firm, including assistance from the commercial, family and employment practices, to advise on issues such as agribusiness contracts, Agricultural Holding Act tenancies, farming divorces and development projects.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Hill

Other key lawyers:

Adam Colville-Robins


‘The team at Raworths are brilliant. Everyone works together as a team. The legal advice is excellent. The service they provide is exceptional.’

‘Matthew Hill and Adam Colville-Robins are excellent. They are very knowledgeable and experienced. They are good listeners, good at explaining things and identifying and implementing the best strategy.’

‘Raworths have a multidisciplinary team working from a central location allowing collaboration of skills to offer an efficient and comprehensive result.’

‘Matthew Hill is a knowledgeable solicitor with a wide breadth of experience. We most regularly instruct on the basis of agricultural and land-based queries which are expertly handled. Adam Colville-Robins has assisted in contentious areas, his advice has been balanced and accurate assisting with meeting the clients’ objectives.’

‘Raworths have dominated the Harrogate market for all the time I have been in practice. There are two very experienced partners with an up-and-coming junior who is extremely good and punches above his weight. Very client-focused, with old-school values.’

‘Matthew Hill – now something of a legend in the Harrogate market, he has been with Raworths for 15 years and is well-respected by clients, barristers, and opponents alike. Combines technical ability with a real adversarial punch. Adam Colville-Robins – has been with the firm around 2 years and is starting to take on higher value and more complex cases; ability far beyond his years of experience and a partner in waiting.’

Key clients

H. & F.N. Smith (Ellis Laithe) Limited

W F Alton & Son Limited


SJP Law‘s team is headed up by the ‘hugely experiencedClaire Charman in Hull, while Philip Lewis-Ogden and Isobel Willoughby are the key names in York. The team’s depth of experience in agriculture informs its work for agricultural clients regarding tenancies, diversification issues and renewable energy schemes. The firm’s further specialisms in corporate, commercial and private client work means it is able to offer a holistic service.

Practice head(s):

Claire Charman; Philip Lewis-Ogden; Isobel Willoughby

Other key lawyers:

Holly Gibson


‘Experts in agriculture, with a wealth of experience to fall back on.’

‘Claire Charman is a hugely experienced solicitor with an impressive depth of knowledge in agriculture and estates.’

‘We find SJP Law have an exceptional understanding of all aspects of the agricultural sector and provide a very efficient service.’

Wilkin Chapman LLP

Katie Wright leads the agriculture team at Wilkin Chapman LLP in Beverley. The team has particular expertise regarding farming partnership issues, large-scale renewable projects and agricultural tenancies. It works collaboratively with the firm’s family and corporate departments to provide a comprehensive service for agricultural clients.

Practice head(s):

Katie Wright

Other key lawyers:

Alistair Latham; Charlotte Boyes


‘The agriculture team at Wilkin Chapman is a forward thinking and proactive team who approach all jobs and clients with professionalism and expertise.’

‘The department benefits from a range of experts who have a range of skills to tackle all scenarios no matter the level of complication.’

‘A really strong and knowledgeable team covering a wide variety of property specialisms. Friendly and pragmatic and good to work with collaboratively.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a national bank on the first charge of a property being purchased together with additional land already owned by the client. The property being purchased was subject to an option agreement for lease for solar and parts of the land were purchased subject to overage.
  • Acted for a collaboration of landowners in the option and development for solar.
  • Acted for a private client on a complicated succession claim under the Agricultural Holding Act.