We have a proud history within Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire’s rural community that has evolved over decades. We understand the intrinsic issues and opportunities that affect farmers and landowners.
Our dynamic and highly knowledgeable solicitors are not just here as a professional service, but as a team of people who have their hearts and minds embedded in the regions agricultural and rural communities. Through commercially astute and timely advice, we are trusted by generations of clients to assist with a broad range of agricultural matters.
Specifically selected for our expertise, we have been the NFU’s legal panel member for Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire since 2008, and are ranked highly in the UK’s leading independent law firm guide, the Legal 500.
Our agricultural property team form strong relationships with clients.
We see the big picture, providing commercially sound advice for future growth and stability, while efficiently looking after all the complex detail.
We deal with the sale and purchase of farms and farmland, from smaller concerns to thousands of acres, and provide intelligent advice on a full range of agricultural property issues, from land registration to leases and tenancies.
We deal with the buying and selling of farms, farmland and rural property, from garden land to large estates running into thousands of acres.
We are here to protect your assets and investment and are fully conversant with the detailed complexities that are synonymous with buying and selling agricultural property, such as rights of way and retaining value in potential development land.
We have the experience and ability to take control of what can be a tricky process. Day-to-day, our team is negotiating the legalities such as options to purchase, clawback and overage agreements and the grant and reservation of rights – to ensure clients are in the strongest position for the future.
We will advise on collateral security and act on refinancing arrangements, whether the purpose is to fund capital business investment, purchase of additional land and diversification projects, or as a solution to a difficult financial period. We are on the panels for all the major UK lenders which can make the process smoother.
We are specialists in dealing with leases that affect agricultural land. Along with farm business tenancies, we commonly handle leases in relation to telephone masts, solar farm and wind turbine agreements, battery storage and livery agreements among others.
Whether you are succession planning or creating an entirely new partnership, you can be confident that we have worked alongside generations of families, helping them to achieve smooth transitions and thriving family businesses.
We ensure the intricate details are covered, creating watertight, clear agreements which include;
Basic partnership agreements
Dealing with divisions of businesses and assets
Structuring business to deal with commercial requirements, family dynamics and tax considerations
Dealing with departure of partners or dissolution
Incorporation of partnerships
There are very few solicitors in the country that can effectively handle AHAs, and we are one of the few.
We deal with issues such as succession rights or the surrender of AHAs and replacement with farm business tenancies, which may include compensation conditions to a tenant.
We have full awareness of tax implications, with tax planning being a vital element of our work with agricultural clients.
When buying and selling farms and farmland, it is important to choose a solicitor who is fully conversant with the intricacies particular to agricultural property.
We are accustomed to working on land registration, including first registration of land, registration problems, boundary disputes and unregistered land title issues, registration of access over third party land, and profit a prendre, such as shooting and fishing rights.
Sports rights and easements are the most common property rights that we address, very often in relation to new developments. Chancel repair liabilities, public footpaths, commons and village greens are also on the list, where it is vital that you understand the legalities.
We are fully abreast of current schemes and advise clients accordingly. With significant changes to subsidies afoot over the coming years, we reliably inform and assist our agricultural clients in relation to funding opportunities and the related environmental compliance and regulatory responsibilities.
All schemes are properly documented within contracts and we also assist with the transfer of entitlements.
It is essential to have the right type of agreement in place for activity on your land and to distinguish between a licence and a tenancy agreement in relation to grazing for example, a point on which landowners are commonly caught out.
We handle temporary occupational agreements such as grazing licences, cropping licences and other occupational agreements such as shooting licences.
Our firm’s sector wide agricultural expertise results in a holistic service which extends to renewables such as solar parks and wind farms, diversification including tourism and farm shops, livestock business ventures, tenancy disputes, family and estate and succession planning.
We offer advice on all general disputes including contractual disputes, damage to land, crops and machinery, boundary, right of way and tenancy disputes.
We deal with many agricultural probates annually with multimillion pound estate values involving agricultural land, claims for agricultural property relief (particularly on farmhouses), and business property relief on farming partnership interests and farming companies.
We can advise on the full range of family matters and deal with complex cases involving substantial farming assets. We will handle these complexities with sensitivity, from a position of complete understanding of the impact that relationship difficulties can have on the wider family and farming business.
We have accumulated a wealth of experience advising on new power generating technologies. We understand the issues, opportunities and risks and will guide you through the sector's complex and specific legal aspects.
Tourism and leisure is a key industry in the UK. Getting the best legal advice is critical to the success and profitability of this growing sector.
Here Andrew Holt, senior partner discusses the benefits of becoming members of the NFU Legal Assistance Scheme.
"As panel firm coordinator of the NFU Legal Assistance Scheme (LAS) at Wilkin Chapman, I emphasise for just £35, the virtues that members, individually or collectively, have gained from the generosity of this scheme.
"To gain access to all NFU funding, members should be subscribed to LAS and contact NFUCallFirst on 0370 845 8458 for approval before we undertake any work."
The NFU LAS grants part or total funding dependent on your legal case. The NFU normally contribute 50% towards initial funding. There are exceptions based on circumstance.
Members can take advantage of a contract checking service, given the pandemic and Brexit changes. The NFU are encouraging members to look at any contracts. The NFU provides four contributions of £250 to have contracts checked (max of £250 per contact. The continuing availability of this benefit is determined by the NFU). We cap the cost of reviewing a contract at £600 plus VAT (NFU members only).
We have produced a self-assessment questionnaire to help members diagnose issues they might need us to review. This interactive questionnaire is accessible here. Click the button below or email us to request a copy.
Upon completion, members will automatically receive a copy of their answers highlighting any areas of concern. We follow up with you where appropriate.
Submit an enquiry and one of our team of experts will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss your needs.
Or call the agricultural property team on 01522 515929