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We’re trusted advisors to a number of family and charitable estates.  And we’re proud to have client relationships spanning decades, with deep experience of handling property transactions, registration of estates with the Land Registry, wills and inheritance planning, and increasingly commercial work, as estates seek new ways to diversify their estates beyond just farming. 

We understand that the significant rise in land values, combined with the increasing diversification of enterprises carried on by many estates, has put the spotlight on ensuring you maximise eligibility for business property and agricultural property reliefs for inheritance tax purposes.

We provide a full range of services to agricultural, rural and estate clients including property, tax, charities, private client, litigation and commercial services.

Our estates and rural team, which includes two accountants, draws together experts from across the legal disciplines to build a holistic group of experts, skilled in supporting you with the complex administration of large estates. We’re particularly well-respected for our work handling large-scale national agricultural and rural land sale and purchase transactions, as well as complex trusts, companies and partnerships work. 

We understand the wider objectives you have - underpinning our ongoing advice on tax structures, acting on development and refinancing projects and commercial arrangements in order to improve income for your estate. 

Browne Jacobson is a member of the Country Landowners Association and Agricultural Law Association, attending meetings and playing an active role in involved in discussions on issues relevant to the wider sector and its impact on our clients. 

Chambers and Partners 2023
"Browne Jacobson's work at the outset is precise, on scope and always appreciated. They are always willing to have a discussion in order to progress matters."

What we do

From financial and tax planning to the future succession of your business or estate, our team will work closely with you and other professionals to provide tailor-made solutions.

The team is ranked first for private client work for the Midlands by both Chambers UK and the Legal 500 and we are all members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Our goal is to guide you through the labyrinth of rules and legislation and alleviate your concerns. We do this through effective and timely planning to help you and your family preserve your estate.

Our services and advice include:

  • The succession of family estates and businesses through generations, and related estate planning.
  • Tax - primarily inheritance tax including agricultural and business property relief, capital gains and income tax.
  • Setting up and restructuring trusts and all aspects of trust administration
  • Agricultural and other family partnerships.
  • Professional trustee services – either through an individual or our trust company Mowbray Trustees Limited.
  • Specialist advice on commercial trusts.
  • Family investment companies.
  • Tax and legal advice for non-UK domiciled individuals.
  • Trust and estate disputes.
  • Probate and administering the estates of deceased individuals with complex business, agricultural and tax implications. Including estates involving overseas assets.
  • Wills, including those with complex trust provisions, to help protect assets for the next generation.
  • Powers of attorney and appointment of deputies. Dealing with the court of protection where a person has lost capacity.

Our property and agricultural team provide a full service to agricultural, rural and estate clients including advising on property, planning, development, litigation, and agricultural entitlements.

We have been trusted advisors to a number of family and charitable estates for several decades.

We handle their property transactions, registration of estates with the Land Registry and increasingly commercial and strategic work as estates seek new ways to diversify beyond existing farming enterprises.

Key facts about our team and the benefits we offer include:

Our clients

Trustees (from individuals through to corporate trustees and charity boards), entrepreneurs, landowners, investors, accountants, independent financial advisors, and other professionals, both onshore and offshore, including Wyggeston Hospital Estate, Belvoir Estate, Natural England, National Trust and the Environment Agency.

Our expertise

A team of specialist lawyers working nationally, including lawyers as members of the Country Landowners Association and Agricultural Law Association. We regularly attend their meetings and get involved in discussions on issues relevant to our clients.

Strategic development advice

On strategic land matters such as option promotion agreements, development agreements, planning permission, joint ventures and terminating agricultural tenancies.

Specialist agricultural advice

On maximising eligibility for business property and agricultural property reliefs for inheritance tax purposes, reviews of agricultural estates to optimise tax efficiency, negotiating transfer of reliefs and retentions in land transactions and regulatory advice.

Estate management

We advise on agricultural and estate management matters, including farm business tenancies, grazing licences, subsidy schemes, minerals and commercial leases.

We attend trustee and management meetings and offer focused advice relevant to individual requirements if required. In addition, we work collaboratively with other professionals such as accountants, agents and consultants.

We are members of the Country Landowners Association and Agricultural Law Association, through which we regularly attend meetings and get involved in discussions on issues relevant to our clients.

The UK food and drink sector is facing many challenges while the UK establishes its trading relationships with the European Union and further afield. Food and drink companies are also experiencing workforce shortages while keeping up with an ever changing regulatory landscape. Juggling pressures on profit margins created by supply chain issues and increases in the cost of utilities, combined with consumer demands for both convenience and long-term sustainability, means that companies must constantly invest in innovation and technology to keep up with competitors.

We act for major players in the food and drink industry. Our full-service team have a range of specialist sector knowledge from their experience of advising a range of clients from field to fork, including listed multinational food and drink manufacturers and distributors, national retailers, restaurant chains and CBD and supplement suppliers.

We deliver prompt and pragmatic advice to keep clients trading. We’ll help make sense of regulatory and compliance issues, while avoiding reputational risks of a product recall or quality issues. In addition, we assist with mergers and acquisitions, trading arrangements, brand protection, competition issues, property management and a variety of employment matters.

We regularly advise estates clients, individuals, trusts and charities on their corporate and commercial arrangements — including in relation to family offices, family investment companies, trusteeships over business interests and succession. For example, on the corporate side in addition to the support we provide in relation to transactions and funding, we advise high net worth individuals on a range of issues relating to their business interests from structuring or realising their investments through to succession issues in relation to owner managed businesses.

We also advise on the setting up and ongoing governance of family investment companies and angel investors on their investments in trading companies and in relation to the use of partnerships and LLPs. We also have a corporate trustee which acts as a trustee in many of our clients’ trust arrangements.

On the commercial side we advise on contracts and arrangements relating to any commercial activities carried out by our clients or activities relating to their properties, business, or assets.

Our criminal, compliance and regulatory team is well used to reacting to fatal and serious accidents which often raise issues covering police involvement, privileged internal investigations, disclosure to the HSE, access rights to documents and equipment, questioning of employees and contractors and the appeals against improvement and/or prohibition notices.

The team both prosecutes and defends, regularly supporting business and individuals in a wide range of sectors, including those within the agricultural sector.

This includes:

  • Defending companies/partnerships and individuals facing gross negligence/ manslaughter investigations/ health and safety investigations involving commercial and farm related accidents. These could result in investigations by all types of linked government bodies including HSE, Environment Agency, BIS, DEFRA and HMRC.
  • Alleged breaches of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.
  • Acting for farmers and members of the shooting fraternity in firearms related offences; successful appeals to the crown court for firearms revocation cases.
  • Advising on health and safety aspects applicable to commercial shoots.
  • Local authority trading standards investigations involving milk contamination; animal tagging/ passport breaches; animal cruelty cases involving the importation/ sale/transportation of livestock; alleged breaches of the Food Hygiene Regs 2006; Egg and Chick Regs 2009.

From financial and tax planning to the future succession of your business or estate, our team will work closely with you and other professionals to provide tailor-made solutions.

The team is ranked first for private client work for the Midlands by both Chambers UK and the Legal 500 and we are all members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Our goal is to guide you through the labyrinth of rules and legislation and alleviate your concerns. We do this through effective and timely planning to help you and your family preserve your estate.

Our services and advice include:

  • The succession of family estates and businesses through generations, and related estate planning.
  • Tax - primarily inheritance tax including agricultural and business property relief, capital gains and income tax.
  • Setting up and restructuring trusts and all aspects of trust administration
  • Agricultural and other family partnerships.
  • Professional trustee services – either through an individual or our trust company Mowbray Trustees Limited.
  • Specialist advice on commercial trusts.
  • Family investment companies.
  • Tax and legal advice for non-UK domiciled individuals.
  • Trust and estate disputes.
  • Probate and administering the estates of deceased individuals with complex business, agricultural and tax implications. Including estates involving overseas assets.
  • Wills, including those with complex trust provisions, to help protect assets for the next generation.
  • Powers of attorney and appointment of deputies. Dealing with the court of protection where a person has lost capacity.

Our property and agricultural team provide a full service to agricultural, rural and estate clients including advising on property, planning, development, litigation, and agricultural entitlements.

We have been trusted advisors to a number of family and charitable estates for several decades.

We handle their property transactions, registration of estates with the Land Registry and increasingly commercial and strategic work as estates seek new ways to diversify beyond existing farming enterprises.

Key facts about our team and the benefits we offer include:

Our clients

Trustees (from individuals through to corporate trustees and charity boards), entrepreneurs, landowners, investors, accountants, independent financial advisors, and other professionals, both onshore and offshore, including Wyggeston Hospital Estate, Belvoir Estate, Natural England, National Trust and the Environment Agency.

Our expertise

A team of specialist lawyers working nationally, including lawyers as members of the Country Landowners Association and Agricultural Law Association. We regularly attend their meetings and get involved in discussions on issues relevant to our clients.

Strategic development advice

On strategic land matters such as option promotion agreements, development agreements, planning permission, joint ventures and terminating agricultural tenancies.

Specialist agricultural advice

On maximising eligibility for business property and agricultural property reliefs for inheritance tax purposes, reviews of agricultural estates to optimise tax efficiency, negotiating transfer of reliefs and retentions in land transactions and regulatory advice.

Estate management

We advise on agricultural and estate management matters, including farm business tenancies, grazing licences, subsidy schemes, minerals and commercial leases.

We attend trustee and management meetings and offer focused advice relevant to individual requirements if required. In addition, we work collaboratively with other professionals such as accountants, agents and consultants.

We are members of the Country Landowners Association and Agricultural Law Association, through which we regularly attend meetings and get involved in discussions on issues relevant to our clients.

The UK food and drink sector is facing many challenges while the UK establishes its trading relationships with the European Union and further afield. Food and drink companies are also experiencing workforce shortages while keeping up with an ever changing regulatory landscape. Juggling pressures on profit margins created by supply chain issues and increases in the cost of utilities, combined with consumer demands for both convenience and long-term sustainability, means that companies must constantly invest in innovation and technology to keep up with competitors.

We act for major players in the food and drink industry. Our full-service team have a range of specialist sector knowledge from their experience of advising a range of clients from field to fork, including listed multinational food and drink manufacturers and distributors, national retailers, restaurant chains and CBD and supplement suppliers.

We deliver prompt and pragmatic advice to keep clients trading. We’ll help make sense of regulatory and compliance issues, while avoiding reputational risks of a product recall or quality issues. In addition, we assist with mergers and acquisitions, trading arrangements, brand protection, competition issues, property management and a variety of employment matters.

We regularly advise estates clients, individuals, trusts and charities on their corporate and commercial arrangements — including in relation to family offices, family investment companies, trusteeships over business interests and succession. For example, on the corporate side in addition to the support we provide in relation to transactions and funding, we advise high net worth individuals on a range of issues relating to their business interests from structuring or realising their investments through to succession issues in relation to owner managed businesses.

We also advise on the setting up and ongoing governance of family investment companies and angel investors on their investments in trading companies and in relation to the use of partnerships and LLPs. We also have a corporate trustee which acts as a trustee in many of our clients’ trust arrangements.

On the commercial side we advise on contracts and arrangements relating to any commercial activities carried out by our clients or activities relating to their properties, business, or assets.

Our criminal, compliance and regulatory team is well used to reacting to fatal and serious accidents which often raise issues covering police involvement, privileged internal investigations, disclosure to the HSE, access rights to documents and equipment, questioning of employees and contractors and the appeals against improvement and/or prohibition notices.

The team both prosecutes and defends, regularly supporting business and individuals in a wide range of sectors, including those within the agricultural sector.

This includes:

  • Defending companies/partnerships and individuals facing gross negligence/ manslaughter investigations/ health and safety investigations involving commercial and farm related accidents. These could result in investigations by all types of linked government bodies including HSE, Environment Agency, BIS, DEFRA and HMRC.
  • Alleged breaches of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.
  • Acting for farmers and members of the shooting fraternity in firearms related offences; successful appeals to the crown court for firearms revocation cases.
  • Advising on health and safety aspects applicable to commercial shoots.
  • Local authority trading standards investigations involving milk contamination; animal tagging/ passport breaches; animal cruelty cases involving the importation/ sale/transportation of livestock; alleged breaches of the Food Hygiene Regs 2006; Egg and Chick Regs 2009.

Featured experience

Landed estates

We have advised a landed estate client (£200M+) for several generations involving the creation of various family trusts to own much of the land and advice about estate planning for example, the gift and leaseback of chattels and reversionary lease planning in relation to the manor house. 

Family partnership

We created a family partnership for a farming family (£100M+) and transferred land with development potential into trust to help protect the value for the family and maximise tax reliefs. We also advised this family about a land pooling agreement. 

Various commercial arrangements

We act as trusted advisor for the trust and company entities and individuals that form part of a large landed estate, on a broad range of commercial arrangements, including:

  • Location agreements for films.
  • Concert venue agreements with promoters for performances by artists such as Il Divo and Tom Jones.
  • The estate’s agenda to drive commercial value from and including advising on entertainment and alcohol licensing, health and safety laws and catering contracts with both caterers and consumers
  • The redevelopment of building for retail outlets which included drafting commercial contracts required for the sale and purchase of goods and services.

Corporate arrangements

Acting for Tom Joule, the founder and chief brand officer of premium lifestyle brand Joules, on a range of corporate arrangements, including:

  • The £22m investment in Joules by Lloyds Development Capital.
  • The £140m listing of Joules on AIM.
  • The establishment of a family investment company, which has undertaken several property investments.

Testimonials

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