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Agriculture and food industry disputes

The agriculture and food sector is hugely diverse and with it comes a wide variety of disputes. These can range from arguments about land ownership or inheritance, to negligence, contracts, partnership and business disputes. We offer a combination of litigation expertise and in-depth sector knowledge to resolve these issues, in line with your objectives.

Key Contacts

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Russell Reeves

Russell Reeves

Partner

Derek Walsh

Derek Walsh

Partner

Immersed in agriculture

Ranked in the top tier by the leading directories, we are one of the largest agricultural teams in the country. Fully immersed in the industry, we have extensive sector knowledge and can advise you on any agricultural issue. Indeed, we are panel solicitors for the National Farmers’ Union in seven counties – more than any other practice in the country – and provide a monthly ‘business clinic’ column to Farmers Weekly.

Whether pursuing a settlement or court action, we will take time to understand your individual circumstances and develop a bespoke strategy to create the best outcome for you. We have an excellent track record in successfully representing clients in the highest Courts, in this country and in Europe. This means we can confidently guide you through every stage of any proceedings.

Offering down-to-earth advice, regular communication and a transparent fee structure, you are assured of consistent support and clarity throughout your case.

Highlights

Our Disputes Team has been involved in a number of high-profile claims and cases. Highlights include:

  • representing farmers nationwide in the large-scale and well-publicised High Court litigation arising from the foot and mouth disease outbreak
  • representing a partner in connection with a multi-million pound family farming partnership dispute in the High Court. This involved issues concerning ownership and inheritance of land, proprietary estoppel, accountancy and taxation
  • winning agricultural rights of way cases, including an important decision in the Court of Appeal for one of Europe’s largest soft fruit companies
  • acting for substantial producer organisations (top and soft fruit growers) in the withholding of grant aid payments by the RPA and the temporary suspension of the companies from the EU Fruit and Vegetables Scheme. One of these cases has now been referred to the European Court of Justice
  • representing a market-leading horticultural grower in a High Court claim for substantial damages and the recovery of assets arising from a breach of various contractual agreements

Expertise

Our expertise in this area encompasses:

  • agriculture
  • agricultural tenancies
  • animal and livestock disputes
  • boundary disputes
  • contract disputes
  • criminal and regulatory investigations
  • disputes concerning RPA/Defra
  • employment disputes
  • European legislation
  • farm tenancies
  • food safety

  • Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
  • inheritance and ownership disputes
  • land disputes
  • partnership and company disputes
  • personal injury
  • professional negligence
  • rights of way
  • sales of goods
  • shooting law

Case Studies

In a case lasting three years, Thrings’ Agriculture team secured a critical right of way for a Berkshire farm owned by EU Plants Ltd. Without the right of agricultural traffic, the farm would have been forced to close.

The ‘terrific’ Russell Reeves is praised by a source for his ‘very imaginative, very clever and very insightful’ approach to cases.

Chambers and Partners 2017

Latest

News 5 July 2017

News 29 June 2017

Law on the wrong side of the tracks

The Court of Appeal’s judgement in Keenan v Woking Borough Council[1] has provided a further reminder that failing to check whether works are within permitted development rights or need a planning application can be an expensive mistake.

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