Agricultural Law

Agricultural Law

The law governs the ownership, occupation, management and use of agricultural land in many different ways. Evolving regulation, taxation, and pressures to diversify create new challenges for rural businesses, in addition to the old challenges relating to death, succession and divorce. Our Agriculture and Rural Estates team work to provide our clients with cohesive and clear, practical and commercial advice.

Getting to know you and your situation

To help ensure you protect your agriculture or rural estate, we take the time to get to know you and your circumstances, so that our solutions always balance legal, personal and commercial requirements efficiently.

We use our specialist knowledge to understand exactly what you need so we can tailor our services to suit you. Our agricultural law solicitors advise farmers, agribusinesses and rural landowners across Gloucestershire in the legal matters which commonly affect this essential sector.

So, whether you are looking to sell a farm or a country house or looking for help with environmental stewardship or restrictive covenants, we’re always on hand to help.

Get in touch with our agricultural law solicitors in Gloucestershire

For expert advice, please contact your local WSP branch in Gloucester, Stroud or Dursley today.

Our agricultural law solicitors’ services

As Gloucestershire-based solicitors, we’re right in the heart of your valuable farming community. We’re the solicitors of choice for rural and agricultural landowners, occupiers, and managers across the region.

Our expertise includes:

Agricultural property law

Agricultural property transactions require specialist expertise to efficiently handle the complex factors at play. We can advise on a wide range of property law issues regarding the ownership, use, management and occupation of farms, agricultural property, estates, and rural land, including:

  • Buying and selling agricultural property, rural land and country estates
  • Farm business tenancies and tenancies under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986
  • Rights of way and access rights
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Environment and renewable energy
  • Managing residential property on estates or farms and residential conveyancing
  • Development of agricultural land and property, including clawback, options and pre-emptions
  • Equestrian property
  • Sporting rights
  • Grazing rights
  • Common land and town and village greens
  • Working with secured lenders in relation to the financing of farms and agricultural property

Visit our Commercial Property page for general information.

Corporate law for agricultural businesses

Farms and agricultural businesses are often family affairs, but they are also corporate ventures which need the right level of care and advice to succeed. Building your agri-business on strong foundations means your operations are likely to be smoother, and the risk of disputes or cash flow issues arising are lower. Our farming law solicitors can provide advice on all your corporate law needs, including:

  • Structuring your agricultural business – setting up a limited company or partnership and providing advice about the implications of your chosen structure
  • Buying and selling agricultural businesses
  • Putting in place articles of association, shareholders agreements, partnership agreements and any other relevant corporate agreements
  • Farming joint ventures and other commercial arrangements
  • Legal aspects of financing, such as reviewing documentation and liaising with lenders
  • Shareholder rights advice
  • Exit strategies
  • Farming business rescue and restructuring

Running your farm or agricultural business

Farming is a tough business, but one that can be rewarding if handled carefully. Having the advice of a legal expert who knows the ins and outs of the laws and regulations affecting the industry can be invaluable. Our agricultural lawyers can provide advice on a broad range of commercial law matters, including:

  • Commercial contracts, such as supply and distribution agreements
  • Collaborative farming and collaborative agreements
  • The Basic Payment Scheme
  • Intellectual property law for farming businesses, such as trademarking
  • Employment law for farming businesses, such as drafting contracts of employment, advising on housing for farming workers, and putting in place policies and procedures
  • Licences and sugar beet initiatives
  • Farm diversification, such as renewable energy, sustainable farming, tourism, leisure & hospitality, and food & drink
  • The impact of Brexit on your agricultural business

Agricultural succession planning

The unique nature of many agricultural businesses as family ventures means succession planning is essential to the future success of the business and to avoid disputes from cropping up.

When agricultural assets are passed from parent to child over generations, it is natural to have expectations and strong beliefs about what should happen when the current owner passes away. When individuals are passed over, or someone fails to put the right plans in place, the resulting disputes have the potential to become extremely expensive and volatile.

Our agricultural estate planning solicitors are here to help you put everything in order. We can provide advice about planning for the future and speaking to your loved ones about your intended succession plans – when everyone is on the same page and aware of what is going to happen; disputes are less likely to arise.

We can also draft and review your succession planning documents, making sure your wishes are set out clearly so there can be no confusion. Our expertise includes:

  • Making a Will – specialist advice for farmers, rural landowners and occupiers, and agricultural business owners
  • Inheritance Tax planning – helping you make your estate as tax-efficient as possible, including advice about Agricultural Property Relief
  • Making a Power of Attorney – to give people you trust the authority to manage your affairs if you no longer can, for example, because of an illness or injury.
  • Farming probate and estate administration
  • Resolving farming and agricultural inheritance disputes

Visit our Wills, Trusts and Probate page for general information about estate planning.

Family law for farmers and their families

Our farming lawyers can offer you a wide range of family services tailored to meet the needs of farming and rural families. Our services include:

Other personal legal services for farmers and their families

We also offer a range of other legal services to support you, your family, and your farm or agricultural business. Our services include:

  • Residential conveyancing – expert advice about buying or selling land or properties on a farm or estate
  • Personal Injury – physical and psychological injuries can have a devastating effect when you have a farm or agricultural business to run. If you have had an accident that wasn’t your fault, we can help you claim the compensation you need to restore your quality of life

Agricultural dispute resolution and litigation

Disputes can cause a great deal of damage or disruption to a farm or rural business if not handled sensitively. Costs are also likely to be a major concern for you, so our goal will be to help you resolve the matter as amicably and cost-effectively as possible. Our agricultural law solicitors’ expertise includes:

  • Farming inheritance disputes and disputes over probate & estate administration
  • Property disputes, such as agricultural tenancy disputes, boundary disputes, right of way disputes and nuisance complaints
  • Agricultural debt recovery and enforcement
  • Disputes between shareholders and directors
  • Commercial contract disputes
  • Professional negligence, such as claims for poor tax or business advice
  • Defending personal injury claims, such as accidents at work on the farm or occupiers’ liability claims

Visit our Commercial Disputes page for general information.

Get in touch with our agricultural law solicitors in Gloucestershire

For expert advice, please contact your local WSP branch in Gloucester, Stroud or Dursley today.


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    We can help with...
    • Sales and purchases of farms, estates, land and country houses
    • Agricultural tenancies and farm business tenancies
    • Estate planning