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Agriculture, Food & Rural Business

Agriculture, Food & Rural Business

About

Hewitsons has the expertise to cover a diverse range of agricultural and rural issues. From rights of way, to legal situations involving wind farms, to equine issues and everything in between. We are proud to have been selected as a member of the NFU Legal Panel Firms to provide support and professional guidance to farmers.


Hewitsons' Rural Business team of agricultural lawyers delivers specialist advice and a gateway to other services of the firm. This gives you the benefit of an integrated approach based on a clear understanding of the way you operate. As ever, we put your needs as a client at the centre of our thinking.


Our agricultural law clients are mainly private individuals running agricultural and rural businesses or who are using farmland as an investment. Many traditional farms are run as partnerships of family members, while some are sole traders. A minority will be run through companies. Whatever the ownership, our advice will be timely, relevant and delivered with an understanding of commercial realities.


We act for a number of charities, including the RSPB, as well as local authorities and public bodies such as HCA.


Specific expertise within the team includes:


  • Sale and purchase of farms and farmland, as well as other aspects of the transfer of the farming business; transfer of single payments and any environmental stewardship scheme obligations, and any other agri-environmental schemes
  • Grant, termination and dealings with all types of tenancies – agricultural tenancies, residential tenancies (e.g. estate farm cottages) and business leases
  • Sales for non-agricultural use: particularly the grant of options and sales of farmland to developers acquiring land for residential and commercial development
  • Diversification projects where farmers are seeking additional income from new projects
  • Renewable energy projects, including wind farms
  • Single payments, environmental stewardship schemes, milk and other quotas
  • Mineral leases
  • Heritage property
  • Sales/purchase/letting of estate/farm cottages and other residential property
  • Sporting rights

We can draw on expertise from elsewhere in the firm for:


  • Taxation, particularly Inheritance Tax advice
  • Wills and succession planning
  • Trusts and charities
  • Employment issues
  • Planning and development matters
  • Compliance with environmental legislation
  • Partnership matters
  • Incorporation of businesses
  • Pensions

Hewitsons has been a leader in agricultural law and rural business services for more than 100 years. Our team of agricultural solicitors has the experience, knowledge and relevant professional memberships to go on delivering outstanding service.


Meet the team

Latest testimonials

"He brings clarity to the situation, breaks it down and comes to a conclusion"
Client testimonial / Chambers & Partners

"Bill Thatcher. Gentle in nature but shrewd. He puts the client at ease and uses his excellent intellect and communication skills to identify the client’s needs and their exact legal solution. He also writes legal documents in clear, legal language which is easy to understand by the client and third parties. Bill is always on time and is appreciated for his professionalism and clear legal contracts. He also has a board expertise in the type of contracts needed for our sector (biotechnology/life sciences)."
Client testimonial / Legal 500

More than an accomplished legal adviser, Bill Thatcher is a resource for the development of our company’s business practices, a sounding board for our new ideas and, in many ways, a mentor to our in-house team. His responsiveness, sophistication, practicality and deft negotiation skills make Bill an invaluable part of our team."
Client Testimonial c/o Legal 500

Latest testimonials

“Hewitsons is an impressive practice – client-focused, efficient and effective. The firm punches well above its weight.”
Client Testimonial c/o Legal 500

“Great communication, reasonable fees, good value for the money.”
Client Testimonial c/o Legal 500

“The firm provides excellent partner expertise at highly competitive rates.”
Client Testimonial c/o Legal 500

"They are an efficient, knowledgeable team, which is able to advise and carry out work on a variety of topics."
Client Testimonial c/o Legal 500

"Hewitsons provided us with timely legal support adhering to the scope of the service agreed."
Client Testimonial c/o Legal 500

Latest testimonials

“I particularly liked the approach of Hewitsons in that we worked with the same lawyer from initial discussions and quotation through to completion of the sale. This meant there was good continuity throughout the project.”
Client Testimonial c/o Legal 500

"In my experience Hewitsons is top of its class. It has experts in every field."
Client Testimonial c/o Legal 500

"Hewitsons is outstanding. It is professional, knowledgeable and efficient."
Client Testimonial c/o Legal 500

Latest testimonials

"Excellent client service, responsiveness, appreciation for business considerations and cost-effectiveness, billing transparency, and industry knowledge/expertise."
Client testimonial c/o Legal 500

"The team finds an excellent balance between paying good attention to detail while keeping a sensible commercial view of any points at issue."
Client testimonial c/o Legal 500

“Hewitsons offers a broad spectrum of specialist support for whatever commercial issues you face.”
Client testimonial c/o Legal 500

Latest testimonials

“James Lawrence has a first rate legal mind, and his advice is always succinct and completely on the point.”
Client Testimonial c/o Legal 500 

Latest testimonials

“The firm provides excellent partner expertise at highly competitive rates.”
Client Testimonial c/o Legal 500

"They are an efficient, knowledgeable team, which is able to advise and carry out work on a variety of topics."
Client Testimonial c/o Legal 500

"Hewitsons provided us with timely legal support adhering to the scope of the service agreed."
Client Testimonial c/o Legal 500