How an agricultural lawyer can help you protect your land and keep your farming business running smoothly
PUBLISHED: 15:22 20 November 2019
Learn how an agricultural lawyer can help you, what services they can offer and how it will benefit you to work with an expert.
We talked to Rebecca Gatens, an associate in Ashtons Legal's Agriculture and Estates team, to learn how they are helping landowners, agribusinesses and farmers protect their land and safeguard their livelihoods.
What does an agricultural lawyer do?
"An agricultural lawyer is an essential support for all landowners and farmers," explained Rebecca. "We are here to provide our clients with a full legal service that helps protect their land and businesses plan for the future, keep their legal documentation in order and their businesses operational."
How an agricultural lawyer can help you
An agricultural lawyer takes care of the legal requirements, allowing farmers to get on with their job.
"Projects like the wind farm and power station developments underway on the coast at the moment can affect landowners. As more companies are investing in UK infrastructure, they are looking for land to build on and if you are considering offering your land for such use it's important that you understand your options and make sure you're not losing out," Rebecca said.
Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) allow public bodies to take land or property without your consent for the benefit of the public. Ashtons' Agriculture and Estates team ensure that you receive the correct amount of compensation and review and restructure your landholdings and business to maximise the impact of the CPO to the business.
Why you should work with an agricultural law specialist
"Many of the team are from farming families and/or have personal ties to the industry so we have a genuine understanding of our clients' needs and how the law affects their land, business and livelihoods," Rebecca said.
Why it's important to plan
Ashtons' Agriculture and Estates team offer a full sector service. They can help you plan and structure the growth of your business and protect and secure it for future generations.
"We can ensure your important legal and financial documentation like partnership agreements and tenancies are in order," Rebecca explained. "These documents are essential for your business and are often required for property matters, tax planning, claiming payments for land management schemes and complying with regulations."
A specialist lawyer can help you make the necessary preparations if your business changes hands or for someone to inherit your estate and ensure these are done in a tax-efficient manner.
Giving you the legal advice and expertise you need
The Ashtons' Agriculture and Estates team have over 100 years of experience in agricultural law. Each member of the team is involved in the farming community and Rebecca is a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association, a member of the Suffolk Agricultural Association who stewards at the Suffolk Show and treasurer of the Suffolk Branch of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.
The team are well informed of the legal issues and practical problems clients face every day. Rebecca and the team use this knowledge and understanding to provide the best advice for each client's individual needs and circumstances.
Rebecca is based in Ipswich and the Ashtons' Agriculture and Estates team provide its services throughout East Anglia from offices in Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge and Norwich.