Our clients know what they want – the implementation of a deal. We deliver that deal as quickly as possible keeping our client's risk to a minimum.

Right at the start, we find out what our client wants and why, agree the structure and identify the potential risk areas, so we are clear where we are going.

Our core team are experts in agricultural property law, farming and business risk, and specialists in delivering realistic advice on a wide range of rural property transactions.

The firm's history of agricultural law expertise and our collaborative culture ensure that we can draw on other experts in relevant areas such as transactional tax, employment and environmental law who also understand the rural world.

We have published The Pink Book 2, Burges Salmon’s legal 'bible' for landowners and farmers. The book covers topics as diverse as buying, selling and developing farmland, estate planning, trusts and partnerships, planning and employment law and is free to download.

Areas of focus

Our expertise in agricultural property transactions includes the following:

  • Buying and selling farms, country estates and rural property portfolios including farming businesses.
  • Implementing deals for the surrender of secure agricultural tenancies in return for payment, land or lease-backs including advice on CGT, SDLT and VAT implications.
  • Negotiating overage or development clawback agreements and enforcing them.
  • Advising both banks and borrowers on loans secured on agricultural property.
  • Agreeing new leases of agricultural, residential and commercial property in the countryside, and assessing whether existing tenancies have security of tenure.
  • Managing first registration at the Land Registry of large rural estates.
  • Advising on shooting and other sporting rights.
  • Securing rights of way by long use or ownership by long occupation.
  • Documenting settlement agreements between family members to resolve disputes.
Please refer to our pricing and services details for further information.

The sale of the Co-operative Group's farming operation known as Farmcare (including the majority of its agricultural land) for £249 million through a sale of shares in the trading company.

Advising and lecturing regularly on the pros and cons of development clawback agreements in the context of farmland sales where development is unlikely.

Drafting simplified Farm Business Tenancy precedents for our clients and their advisers to minimise legal cost, to introduce new controls on the tenant's treatment of soil fertility and structure and to reflect the implementation of the new Basic Payment System for CAP subsidies.

The purchase of a farming and shooting estate in the Welsh borders worth over £12 million for a landowner who also sold an existing estate at the same time.

Completing the partition of a farming estate worth over £9 million between family members who now share the ownership of mineral rights and are subject to access and pre-emption rights in favour of each other.

Advising a farming family on the acquisition of the large farm from their landlord for over £10 million, funded by lending from Lloyds Bank secured on the new farm and on existing property and by the simultaneous sale of a significant area of farmland with potential for development.

Buying forestry land worth over £3 million in the south of England for a private client interested in the commercial, fiscal and sporting benefits of ownership.

Advising HSBC on the re-financing of a large estate in the Cotswolds owned by trusts, individuals and companies.

Acting for various institutional owners in taking surrenders of secure agricultural tenancies to facilitate development sales of land or farm buildings.

Purchasing a Scottish sporting estate for an English client and taking a lease of a grouse moor in Scotland for another client.

Acting in 2015 for The Crown Estate on the sale of a large estate in Dorset (subject to numerous tenancies), on the sale of a portfolio of cottages throughout the country subject to residential tenancies, and the sale in 2016 of a tenanted estate in North Yorkshire to the tenants in five separate sales.

Meet the team
Emma Folkes

Emma Folkes Partner

  • Head of Rural Property
  • Estates and Land
  • Food and Farming
Robert Forman

Robert Forman Partner

  • Head of Scottish Real Estate 
  • Real Estate Advisory
  • Real Estate Investment
Ross Simpson

Ross Simpson Partner

  • Real Estate
  • Estates and Land
  • Food and Farming

What others say...

The rural team have excellent strength and breadth across the sector. In a changing landscape they have engaged in thought leadership which puts them apart from their competitors and much appreciated by clients.

Legal 500 2024

Key contact

Emma Folkes

Emma Folkes Partner

  • Head of Rural Property
  • Estates and Land
  • Food and Farming

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