AGRICULTURE DISPUTES

The agriculture sector is hugely diverse and with it comes a wide variety of disputes. These can range from arguments about land ownership or inheritance, to negligence, contracts, partnership and business disputes. We offer a combination of litigation expertise and in-depth agriculture knowledge to resolve these issues, in line with your objectives.


Key Contacts

Russell Reeves

Partner 0117 930 9598

Robert James

Partner 0117 374 9614

IMMERSED IN AGRICULTURE

Ranked in the top tier by the leading directories, we are one of the largest agricultural teams in the country. Fully immersed in the industry, we have extensive sector knowledge and can advise you on any agricultural issue. Indeed, we are panel solicitors for the National Farmers Union in seven counties – more than any other practice in the country – and provide a monthly ‘business clinic’ column to Farmers Weekly.

Whether pursuing a settlement or court action, we will take time to understand your individual circumstances and develop a bespoke strategy to create the best outcome for you. We have an excellent track record in successfully representing clients in the highest Courts, in this country and in Europe. This means we can confidently guide you through every stage of any proceedings.

Offering down-to-earth advice, regular communication and a transparent fee structure, you are assured of consistent support and clarity throughout your case.

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


• Successfully representing an appellant farmer in the Court of Appeal, on the issue of equitable relief, in a partnership dispute and proprietary estoppel claim concerning promises about the inheritance of farmland worth over £10m (Moore -v- Moore [2018])

• Successfully represented a farming son in a High Court proprietary estoppel claim involving farm land and assets worth £8-10m. The dispute centered on a 650-acre farm in Oxfordshire. The case was successful following seven-day trial in the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division. (Gee -v- Gee [2018])

• 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

• Representing farmers nationwide in the large-scale and well-publicised High Court litigation arising from the foot and mouth disease outbreak

• Winning agricultural rights of way cases, including an important decision for one of Europe’s largest soft fruit companies 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

• Acting for substantial producer organisations (top and soft fruit growers) in the withholding of grant aid payments by the RPA and the temporary suspension of the companies from the EU Fruit and Vegetables Scheme. One of these cases has now been referred to the European Court of Justice

• 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


Our expertise in this area encompasses:

  • Agricultural tenancy disputes
  • Boundary disputes
  • Claims against agricultural professionals
  • Contract disputes
  • Defamation and reputation management
  • Employment Disputes
  • Equine disputes
  • Farm inheritance and succession disputes
  • Farm partnership disputes
  • Farming company and shareholder disputes
  • Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority investigations
  • Harassment and anti-social behaviour
  • Land ownership disputes
  • Negligence and nuisance
  • Proprietary estoppel
  • Public Rights of Way
  • Regulatory and criminal investigations
  • Rights of Way
  • Rural land disputes
  • Shotgun licence disputes


Industry Accreditations

We have strong ties to the following:

 

Acting as National Farmers Union panel solicitors for more counties than any other law firm in the country, we have strong ties to the following:

  • Agricultural Law Association 
  • British Institute of Agricultural Consultants
  • Central Association of Agricultural Valuers
  • Country Land and Business Association
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • Tenant Farmers Association

We are also proud to be the sole designated legal contributor to the Farmers Weekly Business Clinic.

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NFU Members

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As an NFU Panel Firm we offer NFU Members a 12.5% discount on our fees for qualifying cases and if you subscribe to the NFU’s Legal Assistance Scheme further funding from the NFU may be available.


Contact

THE ‘TERRIFIC’ RUSSELL REEVES IS PRAISED BY A SOURCE FOR HIS ‘VERY IMAGINATIVE, VERY CLEVER AND VERY INSIGHTFUL’ APPROACH TO CASES. CHAMBERS AND PARTNERS 2017

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