The sphere of farming and rural businesses is one which involves an increasingly disparate range of legal issues. It's no longer simply about the sale and purchase of farms and estates; the sector has now diversified to such an extent that advice required from agricultural lawyers can range from tax planning, subsidies and trusts to commercial, andlord and tenant disputes and employment law. Further, a thorough and balanced knowledge of the realities of life for those living and working in the rural sector is vital for a truly adept approach to agricultural law.

The role of Oratto in agricultural law matters

Oratto has been specifically developed as a web-based platform to link consumers of legal services with the right lawyer for their needs. In this instance, all of the lawyers featured on this page are experts in the highly niche area of agricultural law. They will able to provide specialist legal advice for farmers and landowners and act equally for landed estates, growers, rural businesses and agri-businesses.

You can select an Oratto member solicitor from the list to connect with, or, if you prefer, you can submit your details directly to our team and we will use our Oratto Match function to pair you with the right solicitor for your needs.

Some of the main areas of agricultural law

The land, food and farming sector is a very industry-specific one. It's rapidly expanding and seeing diversification spread into rural businesses and emerging markets. The changing face of farming means that as more and more business opportunities present themselves, the legal needs of agriculture clients are increasing, thus requiring a broader range of services than ever before.

Now, as well as encompassing issues relating to developing land, land conveyancing, tax matters and tenancy considerations, agricultural law also affects a far broader range of issues which apply equally to businesses, individuals and family partnerships. These include:

  • Land development and planning; section 106, planning appeals, Defra/RPA disputes, BPS appeals
  • Commercial contracts; food industry supply and distribution, dispute resolution, intellectual property issues pertaining to trademarks and branding
  • Equine and equestrian property, including the Animals Act
  • Estate management; staff and farm workers' housing, environmental issues, wind farms and proposed or current telecommunication sites.

Within these wide categories lie several niche branches involving different fields of law and whether you are a farmer, landowner or investor, your Oratto member agricultural lawyer will be able to advise you on your specific circumstances.

Being well-informed and fully cognisant of the most recent, applicable changes to legislation, such as the implications of the replacement of the Single Farm Payment Scheme with the Basic Payment Scheme, is vital. Such specific knowledge is crucial for adopting the strongest legal position for agriculture law cases.

Why is the Basic Payment Scheme important?

The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is the largest of the EU rural payments. Grants are designed to benefit the farming industry and it replaced the Single Farm Payment Scheme in 2015. To qualify, there are conditions which must be met and some businesses will be exempt. In order to receive a grant you will need to follow cross-compliance rules and there are also other rules which may apply to your land; for example if you are an arable farmer then you might need to dedicate 5% of your land to environmentally beneficial features. Your chosen solicitor will be able to explain how the BPS may work in relation to your agricultural position.

What other legal areas might feature in my agricultural law query?

  • Commercial law
  • Employment law
  • Energy and Renewables law
  • Environmental law
  • EU and competition law

Other agricultural law issues that may arise

  • Shared or contract farming
  • Farming business tenancies
  • Collaborative ventures, including Producer Organisations
  • Farm structure and partnerships
  • Secured lending
  • Inheritance tax, subsidies, trusts
  • Crop damage
  • Diversification issues
  • Boundary disputes
  • Environment Agency Prosecutions

For immediate advice on any number of agricultural law issues, contact Oratto today.

Whether you are facing financial difficulties and need large estate and insolvency advice, or you are involved in a partnership or land use dispute, your chosen solicitor will be able to advise you carefully and in detail to work towards achieving the best outcome for you.