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Agricultural Land, Farms & Estates

Choosing a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of both legal and rural worlds can make a significant difference in the success of any agricultural matter. Being based in the heart of central southern England, our team prides itself with having its roots in both.

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We understand that the agricultural industry is continuously evolving and presents unique challenges to farmers, landowners and business owners alike. That’s why we offer a range of holistic professional services that cater to the needs of those who operate within the rural community. We ensure that we are the forefront of key developments that may impact our clients.

Whether you’re looking to purchase farmland, sell land for development, diversify your business with alternative income streams such as holiday homes, camping and glamping, or renewable energy and natural capital projects, our team of experts can help guide you through the process and beyond, ensuring that your focus remains on running your business.

We also understand that disputes with suppliers, contractors or neighbours can arise unexpectedly and you may be unsure of how best to handle the situation. That’s why we have specialists to help navigate you through these difficult situations, strategically working to help protect you, your family and your business both now and against future potential problems.

From hiring foreign or local workers to safeguarding your farm against potential family disputes, our team of professionals is well-equipped to handle all aspects of rural life.

Relationships are at the heart of what we do and we understand that succession planning for many landowning families involves conflicts between what is the best for the business and what is fair to the whole family. Our professionals have many years’ experience of addressing and resolving potential family conflicts before they arise. At the same time, our estate planners never lose sight of the best solutions from a tax point of view.

We recognise that, whilst we operate in the same world, each family and business is unique. That’s why we will take the time to walk the land with you, get to know you and learn what is most important for you.

By doing this, we can help you grow your business, protect you and your family’s interests, and help you achieve success both now and for future generations.

Several of the team are business and professional members of the CLA.

Agri business and farming families services

Our team of professionals can help you with:

Agri business

  • Agricultural disputes
  • Biodiversity and the Environment Act
  • Buying and selling
  • Supplier Contracts
    • Creating
    • Disputes
  • Employment law
  • Farm tenancies
  • Health and safety, investigations and prosecutions
  • Partnerships and farming structures
  • Public rights of way and access to land
  • Rural planning and development:
    • diversification
    • holiday lets
    • nitrates and phosphates
    • renewable energy
  • Sporting rights
  • Worker visas

Farming families

  • Farming divorces
  • Inheritance disputes
  • Partnership agreements
  • Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements
  • Succession planning
  • Tax planning and Wills

Work examples

  • Acting for a farming family, working closely with accountants to restructure part of one of their farm holdings to enable significant tax savings via business asset roll over relief after the surrender of an AHA tenancy.
  • Purchase of dairy farm in two stages via staggered completions for the land and farm buildings, and the farm house, to allow the retiring farmer to find a new home.
  • Acted for a Hampshire farming family who sold one of their farms for a large scale residential redevelopment. The transaction was structured so that it was completed in stages over a number of years, allowing the gradual transition over to a new farm, on which the firm also acted.
  • The property team assists farming clients on transfer of land within their property portfolio when required in connection with partnership restructuring and tax planning.
  • Acted for produce grower and packer in a dispute with an African supplier which involved cross border issues, insurance law and company law.
  • Acted for a shrub and cut flower nursery in a shareholder dispute between the owners.
  • Advised the beneficiary of a Will comprising farmland and buildings on the Isle of Wight which involves shareholder and director disputes as well as the intricacies of proprietary estoppel and other probate-related claims.
  • Advised a member of a family plant nursery company on a deadlock situation with his sibling following the death of the last surviving parent, involving company law and the law of equity, wills and estates.
  • Advised wineries and vineyards on sponsor licence applications.

How we work with you

Whilst based in the South of England, Paris Smith acts for businesses and families throughout the UK. Technology has enabled us to provide a high level of service to our clients whether they are local to our offices or not. Our advice can be given in many ways:

  • Over the telephone
  • Via video conferencing
  • In face to face meetings, either at our offices or your premises

We will talk through how you would like to be contacted and the best ways for us to meet in our early conversations with you.

Get in touch to speak with an expert.

Chambers Alternative 500

Introducing your key contacts

Agricultural Land, Farms & Estates Services

How we’ve helped our clients

Hattingley Valley Wines has historically utilised experienced overseas vineyard and winery resources at key times of the year such as harvest. Understanding the new rules related to overseas workers following the UK leaving the EU was critical to the business and we turned to Paris Smith to provide advice and guidance. Jane Biddlecombe led this project and provided a clear and concise outline of what we could/couldn’t now do and easy to understand guidance on Visa sponsorship.

Bruce Green, Finance Director
Hattingley Valley Wines

One referee says “The team has a very strong technical ability and is good at finding compromises in some complex issues;” whilst another adds “Exceptional legal advice delivered at a sensible price. They are commercial lawyers and are willing to listen.”

Chambers Legal Directory 2024

Referees say “The property and planning department at Paris Smith proved to be the perfect place to go for expert advice. They adopt a very collegiate and professional approach, are well respected in the industry, communicate very well, build constructive relationships between the contracting parties’ legal teams (which is so important) and are also really nice and decent to deal with”; “They have all the expertise you need to guide you through what can be a minefield. Costs are clearly laid out and all the work was delivered within pre-agreed budgets”; For a large business they are very friendly and approachable. I’m not a huge customer but I always feel like my business is valued. With a wide range of skills I have yet to find a matter they cannot help me with. Also what I like is that I have a few key contacts I deal with and if my issue needs to be handled by a different person within the firm they will direct me to the correct person” and “What make them different is they will make sure I get looked after and follow up. It’s the small things that make the difference. This is all backed up my simple and clear billing – which is done with a bit of common sense. They are about more than just billing!”

Legal 500 2024 Edition

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