Agriculture and Rural Law
Agriculture law specialists who work with you to meet your needs.
Farmers, landowners and rural businesses face many challenges and opportunities as a result of the swift pace of change in the agricultural sector, and the impact of Brexit and COVID-19.
To help your business rise to these challenges, it is essential to have the support of a legal team that understands your needs and works with you to find the right solutions.
Why choose our Agriculture and Rural team?
Our specialist agricultural lawyers have a detailed understanding of agricultural law and the priorities relevant to traditional country landowners and farmers.
With the diversification of the agricultural sector in recent years we also have the knowledge and understanding to support clients who run rural enterprises such as vineyards, rural tourism initiatives, and leisure and hospitality ventures. This includes legal guidance around commercial contracts, intellectual property, licensing, data protection and succession planning.
Our team is drawn from across the firm, with expertise in a wide range of areas of the law that can affect agricultural clients. Download our Agriculture Handbook to find out more about our team of specialist lawyers. We work in partnership with you, as well as other professionals such as surveyors, land agents and accountants, to address your immediate priorities and secure your future.
We have been advising farmers and landowners for more than 125 years and act for a number of landed estates throughout the South East. Many of our agricultural and farming clients have been with us through multiple generations.
Our solicitors are members of the Agricultural Law Association (ALA), the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), Canterbury Farmers Club and the British Independent Fruit Growers Association. We have also been associated with the National Farmers Union (NFU) in Kent for more than 70 years.
We support the sector by writing a monthly column for South East Farmer, and by attending and sponsoring major agricultural events. These include the Weald of Kent and East Kent Ploughing Matches, Kent County Show and regional CLA conferences.
Recognition of our expertise
Brachers’ Agriculture and Rural team is highly ranked by leading legal directory The Legal 500 2024. Brachers is also rated as a ‘Leading Firm’.
Head of the team Sarah Gaines is ranked in the Chambers and Partners 2024 directory, along with Allis Beasley, and Partner Christopher Eriksson-Lee is ranked in the top tier of the Chambers High Net Worth Guide.
In 2021, Partner Christopher Eriksson-Lee joined the committee of the Kent branch of the CLA, and Sarah Gaines was appointed to the board of directors of the Kent County Agricultural Society (KCAS). Allis Beasley sits on the Expert and Mediation panels of the Agricultural Law Association.
Find out more about our awards, accreditations and partnerships.
How we can help
Simply expand the sections below for more information on the services and support available to you.
Corporate law in rural business
Our expert corporate solicitors have a long track record working as advisers to, and in partnership with, agricultural businesses.
We can advise you on a wide range of issues, including:
- Mergers, acquisitions and disposals of businesses
- Private equity and venture finance
- Forming partnerships, LLPs or joint venture companies
- Restructuring your business.
Find out more about our corporate law services for rural businesses.
Commercial law in rural business
Whether you need support with simple commercial agreements or with complex projects on your land (such as a construction or energy project), our commercial law experts can help.
We can advise on areas such as:
- Supply, purchase and distribution agreements
- Haulage and transportation agreements
- Terms and conditions of business
- Engineering and construction projects
- Energy contracts
- Maintenance contracts.
We also have experience advising on the installation of new energy or technology improvements, such as solar or ground source heat pumps, on agricultural land.
Find out more about how we can support your commercial projects.
Employment law in rural business
Our employment specialists have many years’ experience of working with agricultural and rural businesses. Our clients include farmers, distributors, picking and storage operations, and equestrian-based businesses.
We can provide support on a full range of employment law issues, from flexible working to disciplinaries.
We can also support you with the challenges of hiring seasonal workers and managing new restrictions on workers coming into force as a result of Brexit.
Find out more about our employment law services for rural businesses.
Family law in the rural community
Our family lawyers work collaboratively with you and your agents to ensure that we fully understand the intricacies of your farming business.
Our wealth of experience means we are sensitive to the wide range of problems that can arise in a divorce or family dispute when farms or agricultural business interests are involved.
We can provide legal support on issues including succession planning, divorce, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, matters involving children and mediation.
Find out more about our family law services.
Health and safety in rural business
Our experienced lawyers have been advising farmers and other rural businesses on health and safety issues for more than 30 years.
We can support you with a wide range of issues including incident management and reporting, risk assessments, COVID-related health and safety requirements, liability issues, workplace injuries or fatalities, representation at court and inquiries.
Find out more about health and safety in rural businesses.
Planning and environment law in rural business
Our dedicated planning and environmental specialists have extensive agricultural experience.
We can help you with planning applications, appeals against refusal of planning permission, planning enforcement and compulsory purchase orders.
We can also advise you on Permitted Development Rights, including for the conversion of agricultural buildings, as well as agricultural occupancy conditions, and footpaths and rights of way.
Find out more about planning and environmental law for rural businesses.
Rural property and buildings
Our property lawyers can help you to make the most of all your opportunities so that you get the maximum commercial benefit from your property.
We can support landowners and farming families with property sales, purchases, mortgages, business and residential leases, tenancy agreements and development opportunities on their land.
We have the expertise to deal with specialist agricultural legal matters such as agricultural stewardship schemes, Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 tenancies, farm business tenancies, and sporting and fishing rights.
Find out more about our rural property services.
Our secured lending experts help agricultural and rural businesses to raise finance so they can grow and develop.
We can advise on facility agreements, loan agreements, legal mortgaging of agricultural and rural property, and guarantees.
We have strong relationships with leading banks and financial institutions in the agricultural and rural business sector.
Find out more about secured lending for rural businesses.
Solving disputes in rural business
Our dispute resolution lawyers can deal with the whole range of disputes that can affect agricultural land and businesses.
We strive to think creatively to help resolve matters quickly and effectively.
We can provide expert support on a range of issues including commercial disputes, property disputes and in particular boundary issues and agricultural tenancy matters.
Find out more about dispute resolution for rural businesses.
Succession and rural estate planning
Farming businesses are often passed down the generations and it is important to plan carefully for this transition. This is essential in helping you to minimise likely tax liabilities.
Our succession planning and wealth protection experts will work with you to understand your wishes and collaborate with tax specialists, land agents and other consultants.
We work to ensure that you have a well-structured Will in place and effective tax planning for your lifetime and beyond.
Get in touch
Please fill out the below form or alternatively you can call us on 01622 690691
- Commercial law in rural business
- Corporate law in rural business
- Employment law in rural business
- Family law in the rural community
- Health and safety in rural business
- Planning and environmental law in rural business
- Rural property and buildings
- Secured lending in rural business
- Solving disputes in rural business
- Succession planning for farming businesses
Key Contacts - Agriculture and Rural Law:
Meet the Team:
Chambers and Partners 2023
They are excellent solicitors who knew their specialisms inside out.
The Legal 500 2023
Brachers have a long history in agriculture and estates work and understand the industry extremely well. They have good expertise in IHT planning, property issues and trusts etc, which other firms struggle with. They work well in a multi-disciplinary team, with accountants and land agents.
Chambers and Partners 2023
They are extremely professional, and always on hand to provide guidance as to the best course of action to take.
The team are always professional and efficient. I never hesitate in referring clients to them and feedback that follows is always complimentary.
Chambers High Net Worth Guide
They have a very friendly and personal style. They are always professional, helpful and available.
As a fellow professional they are always incredibly generous with their time in providing assistance and advice, even when it does not concern a mutual client. This regularly extends to outside of the usual hours of business.
The Legal 500 2023
The team are knowledgeable and responsive and have access to other teams outside of their team to provide comprehensive advice where the job diverse and requires different specialties and knowledge in order to bring jobs to a timely and beneficial conclusion.
Chambers and Partners 2024
They are probably respected as the best in Kent with a large enough practice to cover all areas, from employment and property, to Inheritance Tax.