Services for your industry
Rural and agricultural solicitors for Sussex, Kent and beyond
Gaby Hardwicke has a skilled team of solicitors whose expertise is complemented by in-depth knowledge and experience of acting for clients in the rural and agricultural sector. We understand the challenges and commercial opportunities of the sector and regularly act for farmers and growers, agricultural businesses, landed estates, trusts, partnerships and corporate bodies on a wide range of legal matters. This includes:
- The acquisition and disposal of agricultural and other rural-based businesses.
- The acquisition, disposal, leasing and mortgaging of farms, land and rural properties.
- Employment law advice for agricultural and other rural-based businesses.
- Dispute resolution advice and representation, including mediation, arbitration, negotiation and where necessary litigation.
- Estate planning through the preparation of Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) and steps to maximise tax efficiency on retirement and death.
- Estate administration after death, including steps to ensure maximum tax efficiency (Agricultural Property Relief from Inheritance Tax ‘APR’) on the transmission of rural properties and businesses.
- The creation and administration of family trusts.
- Expert advice and representation for people with rural assets involved in inheritance, matrimonial and other family disputes.
What you can expect
Agricultural law can be complex and confusing, but our lawyers will cut through the legal jargon to give you a clear understanding every step of the way. Drawing on many years of experience, our solicitors can help ensure a smooth and satisfactory outcome, whatever the legal matter.
Lead partner for rural and agricultural
Jonathan Midgley heads our cross-departmental rural and agricultural team. He regularly acts for an established rural client base across Sussex and Kent, on matters which include the purchase, disposal or refinancing of farms, farmland, landed estates and associated assets.
Recent Cases & Deals
Jonathan Midgley acted in the sale of a farm for £3 million, which included drafting a deed of release for a section 106 planning agreement.
Jonathan Midgley completed the sale of a farm for consideration in excess of £2.2 million. The sale contained overage provisions, allowing the seller to share in the profits if the land is sold in the future.
Jonathan Midgley refinanced a working farm for capital, raising funds in excess of £900k. In order to accomplish this transaction, we needed to regularise the various commercial tenancies on the farm.
Jonathan Midgley acted on the purchase of a working Sussex farm for an active farmer for consideration in excess of £1 million.
Restructure of family-owned LLP
Richard Ostle provided inheritance tax-planning advice on the restructure of a multi-generational, family-owned LLP with a value in excess of £10 million. Richard’s role was to maximise the availability of Agricultural Property Relief (APR) and Business Property Relief (BPR) in relation to a diverse range of estate activities including farming, forestry, holiday lets, property development and property investment.
Antony Caulfield acted in a large farming probate where the deceased owned several hundred acres of farmland, which was farmed by a family partnership. The value of the farmland and the deceased’s interest in the farming partnership was over £3 million. Antony obtained Agricultural and Business Property Relief on the whole value of the farmland and the deceased’s interest in the farming partnership. This meant there was no inheritance tax to pay on the estate.
Farming partnership agreement
Mark Williams prepared a farming partnership agreement for established clients, setting out the terms of the partnership for their 400-acre farm.
Agricultural inheritance dispute
Jeremy Laws acted in a dispute that involved the division of a partnership and farm inherited by three family members. This covered an array of issues including Agricultural Holdings Act tenancies and the single farm payment.
Agricultural employment advice
Paul Maynard advised one of the country’s largest fruit and vegetable growers and distributors on numerous employment issues including the Agricultural Wages Order 2007.
National Park property sale
Christopher Bean acted in the sale of high-value property in the South Downs National Park, including advising on rights of way and public footpath issues.
What our clients say:
Highly commended in the Law Society’s 2018 Excellence Awards.