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Estates and rural services

We’re trusted estates and rural law advisors to a number of family and charitable estates, with relationships spanning decades; handling all of their property transactions, registration of estates with the Land Registry, wills and inheritance planning, and increasingly commercial work as estates seek new ways to diversify beyond just farming.

What we do

  • A full range of services to agricultural, rural and estate clients – property, tax, charities, private client, litigation and commercial services. Significant increases in land values combined with the increasing diversification of enterprises carried on by estates has put the spotlight on ensuring they maximise eligibility for business property and agricultural property reliefs for inheritance tax purposes. We have initiated reviews of agricultural estates to optimise tax efficiency. Our sector focus allows us to draw on a range of services to cover all implications including tax, commercial, employment and property considerations. 
  • Involvement in high-value land transactions – our team handle large scale national agricultural and rural land sale and purchase transactions. 
  • Significant experience in trusts, companies and partnerships
  • Large and complex estates - our sector specialists, including two accountants, are well placed to handle the complex administration of large estates, with business and tax implications. 
  • Member of the Country Landowners Association and Agricultural Law Association - attending meetings and being involved in discussions on issues relevant to our sector and clients. 
  • Given our sector focus, we understand our clients’ wider objectives - underpinning our ongoing advice on tax structures, acting on development and refinancing projects and commercial arrangements in order to improve income for the estate. 
  • A national team of sector-focused lawyers - working together across our property, private client, commercial corporate, employment, construction, insurance, fraud, insolvency, data, regulatory and property litigation service specialisms, we offer the full service in landed estates and rural work. 

Featured experience

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.

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. 

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. 

Diversification scheme

We acted for a longstanding estate client, on a diversification scheme for the landed estate that involved converting derelict buildings on the estate into a retail village for commercial lettings.

We were instructed to assist with the set up and structure of the site and lettings, including infrastructure, construction and commercial lettings. We have been instructed to deal with the site set up and commercial lettings of an extension to the development.

Our expertise

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