Growing up on my family’s farm in Leicestershire surrounded by fields, I realised my love of the countryside from a very young age. I graduated from the University of Chester in 2014 with a Law Degree and whilst a great advocate of the beautiful city of Chester, I was very keen to return to rural life.
I am now a few weeks away from completing the Legal Practice Course. I joined Arnold Thomson in 2015, which was an amazing opportunity, having always wanted to pursue a career in law. Farming is a fantastic way of life, and to quote my late grandfather “he didn’t farm to live, he lived to farm.” Like law, it is one of those professions which one must be passionate about to enjoy. I feel privileged for the opportunity to be able to combine both.
Arnold Thomson is renowned for its unrivalled expertise in Agriculture and Countryside matters. One implemental change to farming over the last 12 months has been the transition from the Single Payment Scheme ‘SPS’ to the Basic Payment Scheme ‘BPS’ and the introduction of the online claim system. Whilst the changes have been met with mixed feelings, it is anticipated that some of the issues will be ironed out in the next claim year. Although the administration is carried out by farmers or their agents, our agricultural team will ensure that both purchasers and sellers of Entitlements are protected.
We carry out a wide variety of land transactions for our clients and it is reassuring, after the gruelling years of the recession, to see land prices witness a steady rise over the last 12 months. Our senior Agricultural Property Lawyer, Kate Austin, says “it appears we are finally leaving the lingering effects of the recession behind. It’s good to see our clients happy and forward planning again.”
There has also been a marked increase in the number of our clients seeking advice on development opportunities. Matt Hawkins, one of the Firm’s Directors and an Agricultural and Commercial Property expert, corroborates that “development work is definitely on the rise and we are happy to be in this unique position where we are able to provide our clients with expert legal advice on transactions which sometimes straddle both agricultural and commercial property law.”
I happen also to be passionate about horse riding and this is one of the great perks of living in the countryside. It’s a passion shared by a number of my colleagues. It makes looking after our clients’ best interests either as landowners/farmers or horse owners that much more important to us.
We provide specialist advice in respect of Tenancies, with many written Tenancy Agreements being created between landowner and horse owners. For a landowner there are many important provisions to be considered and incorporated into a written tenancy agreement, all of which we will be happy to advise and assist with. Being passionate about farming and the countryside means that we understand our clients’ needs even better and we are able to provide them with the specialist and practical guidance for which we are well-known.
Elizabeth (Libby) Hinch, Trainee Solicitor (01327 350266)