The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Burges Salmon LLP

Living Wage
Work 0117 939 2000
Fax 0117 902 4400
Bristol, London

Emma Folkes

Work 0117 307 6975
Burges Salmon LLP

Work Department

Real Estate


Partner working within the firm's Food and Farming team and specialising in non-contentious agricultural property matters. Acts on a wide variety of transactional matters including sales and purchases and the grant of tenancies, and also advises on a wide range of issues arising from the ongoing management of farms and estates. Client base is UK-wide and includes landowners, farmers, national institutions and charities. Recent examples of work: acting on the sale, in parts, of a significant West Country estate comprising multiple let farms, in-hand land and cottages. Acting on the sale of a geographically dispersed portfolio of 125 rural cottages. Documenting the division of a family farm following the settlement of a complex farming partnership dispute, including the sale of part to a charitable entity. Working with an institutional landowner on agricultural tenancy issues including surrenders, re-grants and sales. Acting on the acquisition of strategic land subject to complex average obligations relating to future development.


Trained Trowers & Hamlins LLP, qualified 2003, Trowers & Hamlins LLP (2001-2006); Forsters LLP (2006-2007); Burges Salmon (2007-present); senior associate 2009; legal director 2014, partner 2017.


Agricultural Law Association.


Attended Girton College, University of Cambridge (Geography 1999); University of the West of England, Bristol (Post Graduate Diploma in Law 2000; Legal Practice Course 2001); Member, Board of Governors, Harper Adams University.


Country walks and inns, National Trust visits and quilting.

London: Private client

Agriculture and estates

Within: Agriculture and estates

Burges Salmon LLP  ‘has a long tradition of working in this area', and acts for a wide range of clients, from institutions to private individuals. Tom Hewitt leads the food and farming team and Alastair Morrison is particularly skilled on the transactional side. Hewitt has ‘many years of experience of dealing with complex sales and purchases in a very efficient way’. Jim Aveline  advises a number of farms and landed estates on tax, estates and succession issues. Sian Edmunds acts for various agribusinesses and Kevin Kennedy has a particular focus on agricultural tenancy advice, real property disputes, trust-related disputes as well as contract and tort claims. Emma Folkes leads on a diverse range of transactions involving rural land for institutional investors, registered charities and high-net-worth individuals. The ‘very impressive’ group acts for major clients such as the National Trust, the Crown Estate, the John Lewis Partnership as well as the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

[back to top]

South West: Private client

Agriculture and estates

Within: Next generation lawyers

Emma Folkes - Burges Salmon LLP

Within: Agriculture and estates

Burges Salmon LLP is ‘excellent, with extensive and wide-ranging experience in this area'. Recent highlights include two major transactions in the national land market - sales from The Crown Estate at Dunster (comprising some 9,900 acres) and Gopsall.  Sian Edmunds is a ‘first-rate lawyer and litigator’, who is ‘very client focused, hugely experienced and tenacious’. Edmunds specialises in food regulation, but also handles farming and agribusiness contractual disputes, partnership disputes and agricultural tenancy issues; she acts for John Lewis Partnership/Waitrose, The Crown Estate, Gea Farm Technologies, Ornua Foods and Humphreys Feed. Kevin Kennedy has a national reputation for agricultural and private client advice and litigation, with a particular focus on tenancy advice, real property disputes, trust-related disputes and contract and tort claims; his clients include The Crown Estate, The National Trust, and Peel Group. Jim Aveline is a ‘brilliant private client and trust specialist’, and recently advised on a £30m succession plan for a 3,000-cow Dorset dairy farm. The ‘enormously bright’ associate Maddie Dunn is ‘one to watch’. New clients include Worcestershire County Council and the Environment Agency. Tom Hewitt heads up the food and farming as well as estates teams. With her ‘wealth of experience and technical knowledge’, Emma Folkes was made partner in May 2017; she specialises in non-contentious rural property, advising The Crown Estate's Rural Portfolio (for which the firm is sole legal advisor), the National Trust, and The Woodland Trust.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments by:
Burges Salmon LLP

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

    - Burges Salmon LLP

Legal Developments worldwide

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