Whether you are a farmer, a landowner, a tenant or an investor, the law can have a bearing on many aspects of your personal and professional life, including property, land, assets, employment, taxes, contracts and even family issues.
What we do and where we specialise
Based in Lincoln and York, our services originate in the country’s agricultural heartland, giving us a strong understanding of many of the challenges faced by the industry.
Our agriculture and rural affairs team have wide reaching experience in handling matters ranging from land sales and purchases, tenancies and licences all of the way through to disputes, contracts and renewables projects.
We understand that with agricultural businesses lines are blurred and matters often extend beyond the business into the wider family. Our team has the breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise required to advise on succession planning, inheritance tax and other tax planning, wills and estate planning thereby ensuring that your interests and assets are protected and the future of your business, farm and family is assured.
It is a fact of life that disputes occur over land, boundaries, trade contracts, access and even between family members. We can help to resolve these disagreements, protecting the best interests of you and your business whilst looking at the bigger picture.
Our specialist corporate and commercial team can help our agricultural clients to achieve their business objectives, protect existing interests and maximise potential opportunities. We will work together with our agricultural team to find practical and collaborative ways to meet the commercial needs of our agricultural and farming clients.
Our experts can advise on all aspects of the employment relationship with your staff. This starts with the appointment of workers and the formation of their contract and handbook. We are also there to support you in dealing with difficulties such as grievances, disciplinaries, redundancies and managing sickness absence.
Divorce and Farm Assets
Divorce proceedings, involving farmers, can often involve complex considerations such as inherited land and assets, farming tenancies and issues with cash-flow. Our experienced team understand the unique nature of a farming separation and can ensure that your interests are protected and you gain the best possible outcome.
Buying and Selling Land
Selling or buying agricultural land can be complex. Dealing in detail with title issues, in particular covenants and third party rights, will be crucial, whether you are buying and selling land or securing funding over it. Our expert team understands the particular requirements of farmers and landowners, translating our legal expertise into practical, commercial advice, and will work to meeting your deadlines.
Our fully trained and accredited fee-earners offer an efficient and reliable service for those buying or selling farm dwellings. We have extensive experience in buying and selling rural residential property, which doesn't necessarily fit the standard residential conveyancing model. We offer a bespoke service to our clients and can deal with most issues such as transfers of part (involving a split in the title), mixed use residential and commercial, overage and clawback, equestrian property and shared services.
Agricultural Tenancies and Licences
Taking a tenancy or a licence of agricultural property or land generally should involve entering into a written agreement. Our team can advise on such agreements, new or already in place, from farm business tenancies to Agricultural Holdings Act tenancies and from grazing licences to cropping licences. We pride ourselves in providing good quality advice around agricultural holdings act tenancies, which is a niche and complex area of the law. Acting for both tenants and landlords, we offer advice on matters such as succession applications, assignments, surrenders and notices to quit. We also regularly advise on sporting rights, whether that be granting a lease or a license of the sporting rights of an estate or adjusting on those rights in a sale or purchase of land.
Easements and Wayleaves
From rights of access to agreements with third parties such as utility suppliers, we can help make sense of your rights and obligations and advise you in negotiating the rights you need or wish to reserve for yourself.
Promotion agreements and options for development
If you’re looking to work with a developer to promote, sell or build upon your land, there are a variety of options available. We can provide guidance on the best course of action to protect your interests and maximise potential opportunities. Our tax advisers work closely with our property specialists to ensure that, whatever route is taken, the landowner can minimise it's tax liability in the event of a successful planning permission being granted.
Whether it’s a contract between yourself and the people you employ or with suppliers, utility companies or distributors, it’s important that all parties understand their rights, obligations and responsibilities. We can help in all aspects, from drafting and negotiating to assisting with any disputes.
The complexities of agricultural partnerships mean that the consequences for the business and family can be far reaching if things go wrong. Seeking advice to ensure that you have a relevant and up to date partnership agreement can help avoid potential arguments and problems in the future.
Wills and Succession planning
Ensuring that management and ownership is transferred efficiently to the next generation is vital for the long term continuity of any agricultural business. Early succession planning is advised especially where families or estates and their interests are large or complex.
Inheritance Tax Advice
Proper structuring of your farm business can mitigate or completely remove the risk of the Inheritance Tax liability which could significantly diminish the amount left to be passed on. We can help reduce impact of Inheritance Tax with expert guidance and planning.
Clean energy and the renewables industry is an ever changing market representing challenges as well as opportunities for businesses, landowners and investors. From existing and on-going projects to new technology such as battery storage, we can assist with the legalities.
Minerals and Mines
We have extensive experience of options and leases of minerals rights, including sand, gravel, limestone or evaporites, acquired from acting for landowners and also a national mining operator. We can advise you on all aspects of agreements you propose to enter into or have already entered into.
How we work
We pride ourselves on the strong relationships we forge with our clients and their professional team, taking time to understand their priorities, successes, frustrations and aspirations. We then provide sound legal advice to protect their financial, business and personal interests, both now and for the future.
Our established team, based in Lincoln and York, offer genuine expertise and specialism and are experienced in a range of complex matters that arise in cases involving farms, land and agricultural businesses and families.
The team has built a strong reputation in the legal and agriculture industries for sound and pragmatic advice. As part of the wider team at Langleys, the Agricultural Law team are able to draw on expertise from specialist solicitors from the employment, commercial and private law teams, whilst always maintaining that single point of contact. This enables all of your needs to be covered across the board regardless of how unique your circumstances and requirements might be.
Whatever your future needs are you can rest assured that, our team are here taking a genuine interest and making sure that you have all of the information and advice that you need to make the necessary decisions moving forwards. As with all family businesses, it’s vital that not only are your business interests looked after but also your personal ones too. Our wills, trusts and inheritance tax team offer advice to maximise and protect your assets, now and for future generations.