The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Freeths LLP

Work 01865 780 1000
Fax 01865 778504
45418 COWLEY

Samantha Leigh

Work 01865 781155
Freeths LLP

Work Department

Agricultural and rural.


Samantha is a partner in the property team specialising in agricultural work, her interest in agricultural matters being primarily due to the variety of work and disciplines that the term 'agricultural property' covers. She is also an experienced commercial property lawyer, and continues to use her commercial property expertise for her many and varied clients which include landed estates, lenders, landlords and tenants and several charities including wildlife trusts and Oxford University Colleges and is known for her “can do” and commercial approach with a good deal of her work coming from recommendation. Recent work includes

  • the sale of a listed manor house with adjoining land, moat and gardens, tenanted cottages and arable land. The contract involved apportionment of stewardship scheme responsibilities, the novation of farm services contracts, apportionment of single farm payments and allocation of private water supply.
  • lending to a mixed farming, residential and commercial estate and completion of security in order to release funds for the development of the farm for various diversification operations. The security included arable land subject to a chancel repair liability and involved significant further investigation into the chancel repair 'regime' to reassure the bank client. The security was taken over land held in trust, land held by third party family members and the properties were, in part, subject to service occupancies and assured agricultural tenants
  • Grant of a lease of high class office accommodation within converted cow sheds on an agricultural estate with associated grants and reservation of rights on neighbouring land. The grant of the lease followed an agreement for lease, subject to planning and development, on a World Heritage Site.


Trained Wallace (fka Wallace & Partners), qualified 1997. Russell Cooke 1997-2004, partner in 2000; Darbys 2004-12 partner; joined Henmans as a partner in 2012. Current directorships: Sylva Foundation.


Current directorships: Sylva Foundation.

Committee member of the CLA – Oxfordshire Branch

Member of the Agricultural Law Association


Education Wakefield Girls' High School; University of Birmingham (1990 BA Hons, 1991 MA); University of Central England (1995 CPE and LPC).


Reading, walking, boating, history, the great outdoors, cinema and theatre. Member of Thames Rowing Club, BBOWT

South East: Private client

Agriculture and estates

Within: Agriculture and estates

Freeths LLP attracts praise for its 'excellent grasp of agricultural law', with clients singling out practice head Iain Davis ('approachable, very knowledgeable and supremely efficient'), Samantha Leigh ('highly knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile') and the 'hugely efficient' Sarah Duffy as key figures among the sizeable team. Also recommended are tax, probate and trusts specialist Jane Maitland, Balvinder Jaj, who is noted for his focus on greenfield and brownfield site developments and agricultural lending, and Lesley Pollock, who specialises in the acquisition and disposal of country houses. In an illustration of the practice's agricultural property expertise, Duffy led the team assisting with a grant of promotion agreement over 25 acres of land near Didcot, Oxford, as well as acting on the acquisition of adjoining land and the negotiation and grant of an option agreement with the county council in respect a school expansion site. In another highlight, Leigh assisted the trustees of a landed estate with the letting of a listed manor house, including advising on the consequences of the removal of the land from a stewardship scheme and sale of entitlements.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to