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Agricultural Law

At Newtons, our agricultural law solicitors have an in-depth understanding of the issues farmers and landowners face throughout Yorkshire, Cumbria and the North East.

Rural legal services involve our solicitors experienced in agricultural law acting on behalf of clients in matters relating to:

  • Agricultural property: This includes the buying and selling of farms, agricultural land and country estates.
  • Farm business tenancies: A type of business lease that qualifies an agricultural letting under the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995.
  • Land development: Selling agricultural land for development or entering into joint venture agreements including promotion agreements can be complex and is high-value work.
  • Farm partnerships and structures: Advising on the different ways in which the farm can be owned and managed. Drafting suitable agreements so that there is clarity between the parties and the risk of disputes reduced, with suitable procedures incorporated for disagreements. We regularly advise on partnership agreements, shareholders agreements and joint venture agreements. We will also assist with restructuring upon retirement and whenever any party wants to exit the business.
  • Wills, trusts and inheritance tax planning: Preparing your estate for your death in the most tax-efficient way for the benefit of those you love gives you peace of mind and it is essential that you have an experienced solicitor to assist you with such matters. Trusts can help you protect your family and farm, transferring and distributing any farm assets before and after death. Trusts that are in place whilst you are still alive are called “living” trusts, and trusts that are active following your death are called “testamentary” trusts.
  • Divorce: Protecting the farm which is often owned within a partnership and providing for your family, when the marriage of one of the farm partners breaks down irretrievably.
  • Farmworkers employment: Agricultural workers have different employment rights, based on whether they were employed before or after 1st October 2013. We can assist with farm employment contracts and any procedures required against employees to ensure that everyone is dealt with fairly and in accordance with employment law, reducing the risk of employment claims.
  • Inheritance claims: Farms and agricultural land can often be the source of inheritance disputes and estoppel claims due to farms being run as a business by generations of the same family and promises being made in relation to inheritance. We are able to advise on the merit of any Inheritance Act claim and provide representation to achieve the realistic desired outcome.
  • Lasting powers of attorney: Making a lasting power of attorney (LPA) for your business ensures that your farm will be able to be managed in the unexpected event that you become incapable, whether through illness or accident.
  • Farming property disputes and dispute resolution: Agricultural disputes can range from boundary disputes, tenancy disagreements, partnership disputes and any other disputes relating to the sale, purchase or use of farming property or land. Dispute resolution needs to be dealt with quickly and effectively so that disruption to the business is minimal. If a resolution can’t be found, our agricultural law solicitors will guide you every step of the way through the litigation process.
  • Nuisance claims: Neighbouring properties may pursue a nuisance claim against farmers who they believe are permitting anything to occur on land that is unlawfully interfering with the enjoyment of the neighbouring land.  This might include wind turbine noise, tree roots, harmful farming activity by way of a few examples. 
  • Contractual and building disputes: Contract disputes can cover any agricultural contractually-binding agreements, dealing with areas such as farming suppliers, contract farming arrangements and machinery deals.
  • Farm road traffic: This refers to the laws and rules of tractors and agricultural vehicles on the road. Things to consider around these include; tractor and trailer weights and conditions, speed, the legal age of the driver and depositing mud on to the road. We can assist with police interviews, notices under the Road Traffic Act and Summons to appear at the magistrates court.
  • Public and regulatory: Regulatory matters range from Health and Safety breaches, inspections by the Rural Payments Agency, the Food Standards Agency and dealing with alleged breaches of rules or orders pertaining to the cultivation of land, growing crops and raising livestock.

We offer confident and clear advice on the best course of action to help our clients cut through the jargon and red tape.

Please contact our agricultural solicitors. 

Please get in touch to arrange a phone call, video call, or book a meeting at one of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

Please contact our Agriculture and Rural Law Team

Our key contact is Sonia Hunter whose details are featured above. We look forward to hearing from you.