Firm Profile > Roythornes Solicitors > Peterborough , East Anglia

Roythornes Solicitors
East Anglia

Agriculture and estates Tier 1

'They look at the detail and are well versed in agriculture problems', says a client of the practice at Roythornes Solicitors, which has a growing presence in East Anglia through its offices in Peterborough and Alconbury. Key partner Julie Robinson, whose career includes a stint as chief legal adviser at the National Farmers’ Union, leads the single agriculture team that works across all of the firm's offices and incorporates property, private client, family, company commercial, litigation, renewable energy and planning expertise. Associate Kirsten Rimmer is a rising star in commercial and agricultural property matters.

Roythornes Solicitors is one of the UK’s leading agri-food firms, with extensive experience in other sectors including private client, energy and commercial property.

The firm: Roythornes was founded in 1934. It now has four offices and over 200 staff and continues to expand. The firm’s main office is in Spalding, which is at the heart of the agriculture and fresh produce industries  – sectors in which Roythornes has particular expertise.

Roythorne’s growth plans include an increase in focus on developing areas such as added value food and drink, energy and planning, as well as continued expansion and development of expertise in agriculture. Employing experienced cross-functional teams who handle complex and interrelated issues for clients, the firm offers a complete approach providing the very best advice available in the UK.

The firm’s clients range from individuals and families to some of the UK’s fastest moving and most innovative businesses. Within this there are long-standing family trusts looking after large country estates, property investors managing extensive portfolios and large high-street charities and corporates. A large proportion of clients have been coming to Roythornes for generations. It also acts for some of the most entrepreneurial companies in the UK – in particular in the area of renewable energy.

Types of work undertaken: Agriculture: without doubt, Roythornes’ key strength is in agriculture, where the firm has a national client base – working for farmers and landowners, the agri-businesses they run, and their families. This brings in a wide range of work including agricultural property, commercial property and private client, where the firm has a particularly strong reputation. It acts for a large number of trusts and estates, providing tax and trust advice to help generations of families protect and preserve their assets.

Food: in terms of food clients, Roythornes’ experience helps clients to manage their businesses when margins are tight. The firm helps them to negotiate with high-street retailers and make sure their position is as protected as possible when developing new and innovative food products. When high-profile issues arise over food safety, it can act fast to ensure damage is minimised and all important reputations maintained. Roythornes has extensive supply chain and logistics experience.

Energy: the firm has a national reputation in this area, in particular working on large-scale projects. The team, led by Edd Johnson, has been involved in some of Europe’s largest schemes. With experience of wind power, anaerobic digestion and energy from waste as well as the emerging technologies of battery storage, the team’s ability to see projects from both sides (developer and landowner) gives it a unique position when advising clients.

Property: Roythornes undertakes a considerable amount of work for developers, in particular, large national house builders. It has an efficient team handling plot sales for new-build estates etc. This type of work requires efficient systems and work processes which are developed in-house.

Planning: a rapidly expanding planning team advises landowners and developers on complex schemes including highways and infrastructure, land promotion, appeals, and large-scale mixed-use schemes.

Debt recovery: the busy debt team handles debt recovery for many large clients, including high-street names. Significant investment in systems means clients now instruct Roythornes online and have 24/7 access to the current position on their matters.

Corporate and commercial: led by Martin Jinks, the team is quickly gaining a reputation for high-quality work, and the recent appointment of additional senior level headcount is further enhancing its capacity and skills in this sector.

Personal injury: Roythornes’ personal injury practice covers mainstream business together with specialised work involving claims against the MOD. The firm operates a number of helplines for major insurers and financial institutions.

Other offices: Nottingham, Peterborough, Alconbury.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Paul Osborne
Managing Director Vember Mortlock
Head of Agriculture Julie Robinson
Litigation Phil Cookson
Renewable energy Edd Johnson
Property and development Jo Ladds
Corporate and commercial Martin Jinks
Private client Elizabeth Young
Personal injury Victoria Stevenson
Debt recovery Victoria Stevenson
Food and drink Peter Cusick
Charity Julia Seary
Planning Shruti Trivedi
Photo Name Position Profile
 Catherine Thompson  photo Catherine Thompson
 Jonathan Williams  photo Jonathan Williams
Number of UK partners : 33
Number of other UK fee-earners : 78