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7th November 2018

Industry leaders set for Thrings’ agriculture seminar

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) in Cirencester will play host to many of the country’s leading food and farming experts tomorrow as Thrings’ annual autumn agriculture seminar returns for its third decade.

Specialist agriculture lawyers from Thrings’ offices in Bristol, Bath, Romsey, London and Swindon will lead discussions on topics including farm conveyancing, succession planning, wealth protection and diversification at the event which takes place between 9.30am and 2pm on 8 November.

Among the many highlights from a packed programme will be seminar chair and Thrings’ head of agriculture, Duncan Sigournay, who will examine farm tenancies, Brexit and the Agriculture Bill currently making its way through parliament.

Alex Madden, head of planning at Thrings, will run the rule over the latest rural planning issues, including the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), considered by many in the sector to be the most significant change in central government planning policy for six years.

The seminar will also see two Thrings partners make their debuts on the speakers’ platform, with private client family law expert Sally Pike discussing farming divorces and commercial specialist Mary Chant highlighting potential pitfalls to avoid in agricultural contracts.

The full programme for Thrings’ autumn agriculture seminar is:

  • Mark Charter: land development and diversification
  • Neil Barbour: farm conveyancing – case updates and Land Registry issues
  • Ken Kaar: rights of way
  • Mary Chant: agricultural contracts – traps for the unwary
  • Duncan Sigournay: farm tenancies, Brexit and the Agriculture Bill
  • Alex Madden: the latest rural planning issues
  • Rachel Brooks: farm succession planning and wealth protection
  • Sally Pike: ‘piggy-in-the middle’ – farming divorces
  • Robert James: farm ownership disputes

During the course of the seminar, attendees will have the opportunity to network and participate in a Q&A session. All major discussion points will be shared via Thrings’ dedicated @ThringsAgri Twitter feed.

Thrings – which has the largest specialist agricultural team of any law firm in the UK – is preparing for a repeat of last year’s event which attracted a record-breaking number of farmers, landowners, land agents, planning consultants, surveyors, accountants and farming journalists.

Duncan Sigournay said: “This year’s seminar is taking place less than 150 days before Brexit. Much has happened since the Prime Minister triggered Article 50, and there remains a fair degree of uncertainty across the agriculture sector about what the future holds.

“The last year has undoubtedly been a frustrating period for those involved in farming and rural affairs, and our team of specialist advisers have been working to provide clients with help, support and guidance on the challenges and opportunities for the industry in post-Brexit Britain.

“The success of the seminar hinges not only on the knowledge and expertise of our lawyers, but also the input of those who support the event each year. By working closely with our farming clients and understanding their requirements, we have been able to add further breadth and depth to the topics under discussion, ensuring they reflect and address their commercial and personal legal requirements.”

For more information about Thrings’ annual autumn agriculture seminar, please contact Chantelle Johnston on cjohnston@thrings.com / 0117 374 9636.

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