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Agriculture and Landed Estates

Warners Agriculture and Estates team Ranked in Chambers 2014Warners Agriculture and Estates team Ranked as a Top Teir firm in Legal 500We have a long established relationship with farmers, landowners and landed estates having acted for several generations of farming families for over 200 years. We know that this industry faces unique challenges, that is why we have a dedicated team of agricultural and landed estate solicitors who all have a detailed understanding of the issues of relevance to countryside landowners.  They are all members of the Agricultural Law Association (ALA) and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and have been actively involved in the rural community for many years.

Our agricultural and landed estate team provides specialist advice and can draw on expertise from other areas of the firm. This allows us to offer an integrated approach based on a clear understanding of your needs. Our aim is to provide advice that is prompt, practical and cost effective.

Our Agriculture and Estates team has been recognised as a Top Tier firm in the 2013 edition of The Legal 500 and as a leading firm the 2014 edition of Chambers and Partners UK. Chambers said we are “Well known for its predominantly non-contentious work for major farms and estates across the South East.”

The firm has recently considerably broadened and strengthened its expertise in contentious rural matters, with the recruitment from January 2012 of two new partners, Michael McNally and Tim Ryan. They have particular expertise in acting not only for farms and estates but also for shoots, grouse moors, hunts and rural businesses, including diversified farming interests, such as recycling, composting and waste disposal.

Amongst the services offered are:

  • Agricultural Tenancies
  • Dispute resolution, land tribunals and contractual issues
  • Rights of Way issues
  • Boundary disputes
  • Business succession planning
  • Farm and land sales and purchases
  • Employment issues
  • Tax and trust advice
  • Prosecutions by the Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency
  • Mergers, de-mergers and re-constructions
  • Producer organisations and cooperatives
  • Disputes over the sale and purchase of farm animals, horses and farm machinery
  • Personal injury claims, especially those involving horses or livestock brought under the 1971 Animals Act
  • Employment disputes and employment tribunal claims involving agricultural and other rural staff, including hunt staff and gamekeepers
  • The running of equestrian premises, including grazing and livery agreements
  • Prosecutions over the welfare of farm and other animals
  • Renewal and revocation of shotgun and firearms licences
  • Prosecutions under the Hunting Act 2004
  • Prosecutions relating to vermin control on farms and estates

Matters on which we have recently advised include:

  • Advising on the ownership and structure of a family’s significant landed estate and farming business, while preserving the integrity of the estate for the benefit of future generations.
  • Application to the Land Registry to register a right of way over common land.
  • Advising in connection with the acquisition of substantial agricultural land and holdings including the negotiation of rights of pre-emption and sporting rights over adjoining land.
  • Advising a family on various ongoing tax and trust issues arising from and in relation to the ownership of a large estate in Kent.
  • Administration of an estate with a complex unregistered title leading to first registration at the Land Registry. 
  • Defending a farmer over a prosecution for alleged incorrect use of a snare on his farm
  • Pursuing employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal and breach of the National Minimum Wage
  • Regulations on behalf of a gamekeeper
  • Defending unfair dismissal and holiday pay claim brought in the employment tribunal against a hunt
  • Drafting new employment documentation and licence agreements for a landed estate in relation to its staff
  • Advising a major hunting body over changes to its employment documentation and its constitution

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