Agriculture

Hugh James has advised farmers, tenants, agribusinesses and public bodies for more than forty years. This in-depth understanding of the issues farmers and landowners face means our specialists have the expertise and experience to assist clients in this sector with all of their legal needs.

The team at Hugh James consists of a number of lawyers (many of whom are Welsh speaking) who have developed an understanding of the agriculture sector from advising on various contractual, corporate and rural land and property matters and also providing personal advice for individuals and families involved in farming businesses.

Our broad expertise includes:


Farming Continuity Plan

As part of our specialist services to agricultural clients, we are pleased to present a range of products designed to protect the future of farming businesses.

We understand that a farming business is often a joint endeavour of several generations of the same family. This arrangement has often existed for many years and continues to the benefit of future generations.

The impact that a lack of formal or complete future planning can have on a business can be devastating, for instance where a farming partner dies or loses capacity.
Whilst informal plans for the future will almost certainly be in place between farming partners, those arrangements will not always necessarily be recognised at law or, indeed, by family members outside of the farming business. That can lead to costly and bitter disputes which can threaten the future of the farming business.

With that in mind, Hugh James offer a range of products for clients in the agricultural sector designed to ensure that appropriate plans are put in place to secure a smooth transition to future members of a farming business, whenever that is necessary. These products can be purchased separately or, as a package, depending on your needs.

Experience

Our recent experience in the agriculture sector includes:

  • appointed as legal advisers to the FUW’s members across Mid and South Wales;
  • advisors to the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society;
  • acting in substantial commons disputes, representing commoners in hearings before the Commons Commissioner and mediating settlements in cases often involving contested grazing rights;
  • defending a milk producer in Carmarthenshire against allegations of breach of milk quota;
  • advising in relation to the Single Payment Scheme, including dealing with cross-compliance issues and the provisions of the Single Applications Rules 2009;
  • agricultural tenancy disputes including issues such as claims for lost subsidies and part completed agri-environment scheme contracts;
  • provision of specialist agricultural contentious probate and non contentious asset management practice involving very high asset values;
  • wide experience in agricultural dispute resolution, dealing with issues such as rights of way, possessory title, boundaries, claims for breach of contract and negligence;
  • acted in cases of misrepresentation in sales of horses and defending damages claims arising from escaped livestock as well as the quality of artificial insemination;
  • advisors to the Welsh Pony and Cob Society on various disputes and on corporate and constitutional matters;
  • representing farmers in criminal and health and safety investigations, including insurance fraud, defending animal welfare prosecutions, nuisance prosecutions relating to animal waste and contamination, planning issues, defending farmers in health and safety and manslaughter prosecutions following fatal accidents on site; and
  • all aspects of business advice and support services tailored to the agricultural sector. We have excellent links with agribusiness accountants and land agents and are the retained solicitors for Innovis in providing a wide range of artificial breeding products and associated services to the livestock industry.

Testimonials

Hugh James offers a broad range of services concerning contentious and non-contentious agricultural issues. They are well suited to dealing with Welsh matters due to a large number of Welsh speakers in the team. A client states that: “They have a fabulous array of contacts.”
Chambers UK 2014

Richard Locke leads a cross-departmental team at Hugh James which acts for the Welsh Government, the Farmers’ Union of Wales, and Welsh Milk, and has strength in property, projects and private client. Wiljo Salen is also recommended.
The Legal 500 2013

New to the ranking this year, Hugh James is legal adviser to the Welsh government, and to the FUW. Richard Locke leads the practice, and Wiljo Salen is recommended for contentious issues, particularly probate related. The firm has strong tax, trusts and property teams.
The Legal 500 2012

Hugh James is a panel firm for the Welsh Government, and through this has been instructed in relation to contentious issues surrounding the Single Farm Payment Scheme. A market commentator states that the team is “very professional and has expertise in the agriculture field.”
Chambers UK 2013

“There aren’t many in Wales that operate at their level”

Chambers UK 2016

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Cardiff
Hodge House
114 - 116 St. Mary Street
Cardiff, CF10 1DY
Tel: 029 2022 4871
Fax: 029 2038 8222


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London
Temple Chambers
3-7 Temple Avenue
London, EC4Y 0DA
Tel: 020 7936 3453
Fax: 020 7936 3437


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