If you are being investigated or facing prosecution – or think you are likely to be – it can be a stressful and uncertain time for you or your business. The specialist agriculture lawyers at Thrings can help you make sense of the process and position yourself for a positive outcome. Our national reputation is built on our track record of successfully defending our clients and protecting their livelihoods.


Russell Reeves

Partner 0117 930 9598

protecting your business, assets and reputation

For farmers and agricultural businesses, the consequences of being investigated for an alleged breach of regulations or the law can result in serious convictions and heavy financial penalties. We have a long history of successfully helping our farming clients defend themselves against potentially damaging prosecutions and navigate the investigation process. This may be the first time you have faced such allegations, but our expert team have likely helped someone in a similar situation before. As the country’s premier agricultural law firm, our experience and understanding of your sector, regulatory landscape and unique challenges cannot be matched.

We provide clear advice and strategic guidance on every aspect of an investigation or prosecution by the authorities. From Environment Agency cases and health and safety investigations, to investigations by Defra, Trading Standards or the Police, we act quickly to get the right team in place and outline the steps you need to take. Investigations and prosecutions can be a confusing and complex process, but we will always provide you with a clear understanding of what your options are and what their likely consequences could be.

It is important to act quickly if you are facing investigation or prosecution, as the decisions you make about attending interviews or providing written statements can have a significant impact. Give yourself the best chance of success by getting industry-leading experts on your side.

Our team has been involved in a number of high-profile claims and cases. Highlights include:

  • Defending a farming company in a high profile investigation by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority involving over 40 dairy farmers. The investigation attracted national media attention and covered 16 counties in England and Wales.
  •  Forcing the government to change the law on the burial of animal by-products following a farming client’s prosecution being struck out as an abuse of process
  • Defending many farmers from Trading Standards investigations into animal welfare of farmed animals, for example sheep with Maedi Visna
  • Urgently representing a farmer and 8 employees on a ‘dawn raid’ by the Police.
  •  Successfully representing a land agent on a fraud prosecution who was found not guilty
  • Defending a DVSA prosecution into tachograph and drivers’ hours offences for agricultural workers
  • Defending a farmer on a prosecution for shotgun offences and successful appeal of a shotgun licence to the Crown Court
  • Defending a farmer from a prosecution by the Health and safety Executive following a dangerous fall from height
  • Providing urgent injunction advice to a large agricultural company following a Channel 4 News investigation to avoid broadsheet newspaper reports the following day

Our Agriculture Team have successfully defended investigations and prosecutions involving:

  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • Companies House
  • Cross compliance issues
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • Dangerous dogs
  • Dawn raids
  • Defra
  • DVSA (formerly VOSA)
  • Environment Agency
  • Food Standards Agency
  • Fraud
  • Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
  • Harassment
  • Health and Safety
  • HMRC
  • Planning enforcement
  • Police
  • Proceeds of Crime Act
  • Professional and disciplinary
  • Road traffic and motoring offences
  • RSPCA and animal welfare
  • Shotgun offences and appeals
  • Trading Standards

In the end it took [their] assiduous and heroic efforts to finally make Defra grasp the nettle” His Honour Judge White following a prosecution of Thrings farming clients being struck out as an Abuse of Process


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