Russell is the Head of our Agricultural Litigation Team which specialises in all forms of disputes for farmers, agri-businesses and landowners. He has been ranked for many years in the leading national legal directories Legal 500‚ and Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession.
Russell clients are based all over the UK, seeking his expert knowledge in the agriculture sector. He has forced the Government to change UK law and his cases have been reported in the Telegraph, Times, Guardian, on BBC TV and discussed in the House of Commons.
Russell is one of the most influential Agricultural Litigation lawyers in the UK, is a panel solicitor for the National Farmers Union (NFU), a Fellow of the British Institute of Agricultural Consultants (BIAC), a member of the Agricultural Law Association, the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers and the Country Land and Business Association. Russell is invited to speak at seminars and webinars throughout the country including being a long time speaker and contributor to the Farmers Weekly Business Clinic where he answers farmers’ questions in online webinars and in magazine print. Russell is also editor of our agriculture newsletter.
Russell’s team have acted on some of the country’s largest or most valuable farming proprietary estoppel cases including in the Supreme Court (Guest v Guest in 2022), Court of Appeal (Moore -v- Moore in 2018) and High Court (Gee -v- Gee in 2018 and Spencer -v- Spencer in 2023). More information about the team’s proprietary estoppel expertise can be found here.
winning a farm partnership dispute at arbitration concerning the ownership of a family farm worth £4m. The case involved interpretation of a partnership agreement, the value of the outgoing partner’s share and the correct valuation basis for farming assets
conducting high-profile cases in the High Court involving agricultural land, restrictive covenants, adverse possession and rights of way, including the important decision for one of Europe’s largest soft fruit companies, EU Plants Ltd, following a five day trial. The Defendant landowners unsuccessfully appealed to the Court of Appeal as a result of which our client’s right of way to its farmland was protected
winning substantial sums for agricultural clients in cases involving breach of contract, negligence and nuisance, such as those relating to the milk market, horticulture, crop damage, land value, seed supply, escaping oil, fertility issues in animals, equestrianism and the supply of goods and services
dealing with contentious trusts and inheritance disputes, including contesting the validity of Wills, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975, issues arising out of the administration of estates and trusts including the removal of Executors/Trustees, undue influence claims and litigation under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996
providing urgent injunction advice to a large agricultural company following a Channel 4 News investigation to avoid broadsheet newspaper reports the following day
forcing the UK Government to change the national law on the burial of dead animals. Russell successfully argued that the Government and a local authority had breached European Regulations, which forced the Government to introduce the Animal By-Products (Amendment) Regulations 2009. R v Brownrigg & Brownrigg (Hansard 23 June 2009) (Farmers Guardian, NFU Pro Journal, Isle of Wight County Press). Through the European Commission and Parliament, Russell then forced the Government to introduce the Animal By-Product (Enforcement) and Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2011
acting for the farmers whose livestock contracted Foot and Mouth Disease in 2007 (and the associated test cases), which gave rise to the important decision of D Pride and Partners and Others v (1) Institute for Animal Health (2) Merial Animal Health Limited and (3) DEFRA.  All E.R. (D) 09
one of the UK's leading lawyers in defending the agricultural industry from Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority Prosecutions. The largest concerned more than 40 dairy farmers across 16 counties in England and Wales, with many cases involving foreign workers, the UK Border Agency and Proceeds of Crime Act
successfully defending those in the agricultural industry from prosecutions involving the Police, Crown Prosecution Service, Trading Standards, Health & Safety Executive, DVSA, DEFRA, RSPCA, Kennel Club, HMRC and Companies House
I was delighted to work with Russell on a complicated case involving EU law and public law. I found him knowledgeable, meticulous and a pleasure to work with.- Cherie Blair (Cherie Booth QC)
Thrings LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), SRA number 510691.