Farmers, mind your head

In 1964 Bob Dylan sang ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ and today this song holds particularly true for rural life and the farming sector. These areas have seen incessant cutting of subsidies, Brexit, and changes in the law that have not only required changing practices but have impacted incomes too. There’s also greater pressure to […]

Home is where the holiday is

The Government’s indicative roadmap out of lockdown has prompted a boom in both UK and foreign holiday bookings, with the BBC reporting earlier this year that enquiries for UK holiday cottages were up by 300%. However, many still suspect that booking a UK holiday this summer might be a safer bet than an overseas trip. […]

Rural news – Issue three

Welcome to our latest Rural newsletter which covers a variety of topics, including Philip Whitcomb, who’s just released his first book on ‘Farming Partnerships’ – a must read for anyone working with farming clients. You can read all about Philip’s book later in this newsletter. Plus, Anita Symington considers the legal practicalities of working a […]

How to buy your own plot of woodland

Philip Whitcomb, partner at Moore Barlow specialising in rural matters, explains how to buy your own plot of woodland and the legal obligations. Read here for the the full Times article. Why is the purchase of woodland increasing in popularity? The coronavirus pandemic has led many to readdress their priorities, particularly when it comes to […]

Agricultural tenancy reform update

In an earlier edition of Rural News, we considered the proposals put forward in the Defra Consultation Paper on Agricultural tenancies. The most controversial of these proposals were: for AHA tenancies to be assignable by a Tenant at a premium where no eligible successor remained; the extension of the category of eligible relatives to include […]

Legal guide to buying a farm

The pandemic has led to greater appreciation of the countryside and of shopping locally, which is good news for the agricultural sector. Agriculture has long been seen as a secure investment, but now with so many companies encouraging home-working, we’re seeing a bubble of buyers deciding to relocate to rural life on a farm. If […]

Family law and property transactions – unregistered land

As family lawyers, we work closely with colleagues in other teams to provide expertise to our clients going through relationship or marital break-up. This work could relate to company affairs, or ensuring our separating clients have their Wills and estate planning in order. Such matters often involve our property team. In most relationship breakdowns there’s […]

Holiday time for stamp duty

In his Summer Statement the Chancellor announced a temporary reduction in residential stamp duty land tax (SDLT) rates in England and Northern Ireland. The reduction applies to contracts exchanged between 8 July 2020 and 11.59pm, 31 March 2021. It means that the nil-band rate (below which no SDLT is payable) is increased from £125,000 to […]

Rural news – Issue two

Welcome to the second issue of our rural newsletter, I am delighted to report that our Rural Services team achieved Band 1 status for Agriculture and Rural Affairs work in the legal directories, Chambers & Partners and Tier 1 status for Agriculture and Estates work in the national Legal 500 rankings of top teams. It’s […]

Moore Barlow partner authors new definitive legal guide to farming partnerships

Top 100 UK law firm Moore Barlow today announces that partner Philip Whitcomb has authored a new book which is set to become the definitive legal guide for farming partnerships in England and Wales. Philip’s book – entitled “A Practical Guide to the Law of Farming Partnerships” – explores the myriad legal issues faced by […]

Rural 4

They are a strong firm and have a loyal following in the market with a solid client base.

Rural 3

Certainly far more efficient and professional than several other firms that I have recently had dealings with. The advice given has been more specific/appropriate and hence more useful. They clearly think the issues through more carefully.

Rural 2

Moore Barlow LLP has an excellent pipeline of country wealth experience, with good knowledge of estates, agriculture and the surrounding trusts and tax issues.

Rural 1

This is a medium/large firm, but treats clients in a personal, non-corporate manner that the clients like and allows trust in the legal advice to grow. The quality of the legal work and document drafting is excellent. Their knowledge of the agricultural and rural world is also excellent as is their knowledge of the tax […]

Restructuring a family business for the third generation

Moore Barlow has many clients who are family businesses. From entrepreneurial investment vehicles, to landed estates and rural businesses, to thriving privately-owned software and manufacturing companies, we walk alongside our clients as they hand down their businesses through their generations, helping them to flourish, change, restructure and take advantage of opportunities, capital injections, tax and […]

Harry Jones

Commercial Property Rural Property Private Wealth I am a trainee solicitor in the Rural Property team based in Richmond. I primarily support other solicitors, working within a team for six months at a time. I gain valuable experience working within a range of different teams at Moore Barlow, supporting them in providing the high level […]

What is Occupiers’ Liability and how can you protect yourself against it?

If a visitor on your land or premises falls or injures themselves, what occupiers’ liability might you have? There are two acts you need to be aware of, Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and Occupiers Liability Act 1984 (“the Acts”). These Acts impose a duty of care on occupiers to both lawful visitors and trespassers respectively. […]

The Agriculture Bill

At the time of writing this article (the end of February), the Agriculture Bill is wending its way through the parliamentary process and is expected to receive Royal Assent in June or July 2020. There are few surprises in the Bill which constitutes enabling legislation and which will be followed, in due course, by the […]

Lifetime farm valuations; ‘hope’ value and the importance of getting it right

Lifetime valuations can be a useful strategic tool for landowners. A forthcoming succession, pre-death tax planning when creating a Will, the anticipated sale or development of land, changes in tax reliefs and when considering using land for secured borrowing are all potential triggers for requiring a lifetime valuation. In the context of succession, a valuation […]

Caring for farmers with dementia

It is generally accepted that the health and social care sector is facing some of its greatest challenges to date. People are living longer; there has been an increase in the number of people suffering from diseases such as dementia; and there is a general lack of funding for community services. The impact on society […]

UK points-based immigration system policy update

On 19 February, the government published the first details about its proposed new Immigration system planned to be operational on 1 January 2021. The government’s new system is designed to attract “highly skilled workers”, rather than the low skilled workers. Under the new system, employers will have to hold a ‘sponsor licence’ to employ all […]

Seasonal worker scheme multiplies by four

Following concerns over a lack of migrant labour as a consequence of Brexit, the government is significantly expanding its Seasonal Workers Pilot, which was first announced in 2018, in order to boost the UK horticulture sector for the 2020 harvest. The scheme, which permits agricultural businesses to take on seasonal migrant workers from outside the […]

Farming divorces

Dealing with a divorce is stressful enough but when farmers divorce there are usually additional considerations. It is not uncommon for both spouses to work on the farm, for their matrimonial home to be on the farm, for wider family members to work or live on the farm and for long working hours to be […]

Rural news – Issue one

Read our first issue of Rural News as a new firm, Moore Barlow. Our newsletter is dedicated to providing articles and news that is focused on legal rural matters. Featuring articles from names of old and names of new, as well as featured guest writers Sophie Grenville-Baring of The Grange Estate in Winchester and her […]

COVID-19: how to make your house move happen

The UK government has now issued guidance to those buying or selling their home during the Covid-19 lockdown. This update clarifies what you can do now – whether you are considering buying or selling, already have an offer accepted or have already exchanged contracts and are waiting to complete your transaction. The key message, that we are […]

Anita Symington

Sales and purchases of farms and estates Agricultural tenancies , succession planning and proposed tenancy reform Diversification enterprises on farms and estates Wind energy options and leases Agricultural secured lending I have over 30 years experience in private practice in advising farms and estates on a wide number of matters relating to farming and rural […]

Rebecca Langmead

Farms and Agriculture Estate Management Land Transactions Commercial Property Landlord and Tenant I act for a mixture of both private and commercial clients. I offer clear and practical advice to my clients to ensure that the deal gets done. I want to ensure that my clients feel supported throughout the transaction and that they are […]

Philip Whitcomb

Drafting complex wills Inheritance and capital gains tax planning Farming partnerships Succession planning for farmers and landed estates Heritage law I work in the firm’s private wealth team and specialise in succession planning, asset protection, heritage law and tax advice for individuals, trusts and family businesses. My clients include owners of landed estates, farmers, high-net-worth […]

Sarah Jordan

A trusted legal adviser to the rural sector,  my client base is focused on acting for families of landed estates, farms, landowners, equestrian businesses and lifestyle clients looking to set up home and connections in the country from a city base. I head up the Rural Services team at Moore Barlow and we are able […]

Edward Whittington

I am privileged to lead Moore Barlow, a dynamic and forward thinking law firm based in London and the regions. Everyone in the firm focuses on guiding and giving people confidence through complex opportunities, challenges and crises to the best possible outcome. I graduated with a history degree and became interested in the law, but […]

Steven Watts

Land development Land promotion I am a senior associate solicitor in the firm’s land development team. I advise residential and commercial developers in connection with land acquisitions, options, conditional contracts, overage agreements and development agreements. I have developed particular expertise in working with land promoters and landowners in connection with strategic land opportunities. I also […]

Christopher Ward

I am a specialist in property law, working as a consultant to the firm’s property team. Most of my clients are high net worth individuals looking for expert advice regarding the management of their property portfolios. My clients are looking for a proactive approach and excellent attention to detail, with any legal issues resolving quickly […]

Rural news – edition 9

This edition features articles from other teams across the firm involved in our rural sector work. Most notably, we’ve had the first trickle of Brexit-fear, farm-related insolvency enquiries through.

Putting unused buildings to good use

There are many ways of putting redundant agricultural buildings back into use. Diversification can help stabilise the farm across the calendar year and boost income. At Moore Blatch we regularly advise clients on diversification, which can range from barn-to-office conversions for activity farms, to more ambitious schemes such as holiday parks.

Funding care for farmers

For anyone requiring long-term care the impact on family can be devastating, but for farmers it can affect their business as well as their home life – and often the two are intertwined. The financial implications of a farmer unable to work the land, or a family carer having to run the farming business at […]

Moore Blatch sponsors 2019 Royal County of Berkshire Show

The leading firm is a Gold sponsor at the annual agricultural event Moore Blatch, one of the largest law firms in the South of England, is sponsoring a key event in the farming world. The Royal County of Berkshire Show will take place from the 21st to 22nd September 2019, of which the firm will […]

Rural news – edition 8

In this edition we introduce you to members of our wider rural team and have included their articles on immigration solutions for farm workers post-BREXIT and professional negligence. As well as up-to-date information and articles on rural property and private client matters: mixed use advice for SDLT, assets of community value, tips for succession planning […]

Assets of community value

The recent case of Banner Homes Limited v St Albans City and District Council illustrates how the Asset of Community Value scheme can cause problems to development. In this particular case, a field was listed as an Asset of Community Value (“ACV”) – despite its use by the local community having been unlawful.

Succession Planning for Farmers – Top tips for success

Farming succession is absolutely imperative to the success of individual farmers, but it is also integral to the overall agricultural picture in the UK. Factors such as falling revenue across the rural sector, increased competition from foreign competitors and the evolving nature of the ‘modern farmer’ all contribute to the importance of planning correctly for […]

Rural news – edition 7

In this edition, we feature an article on the £16,000 fine for breach of Work at Height Regulations received by a Somerset farming company and our private client team highlight why every farmer should have a Lasting Power of Attorney.

Moore Blatch announces 17 firm wide promotions

Moore Blatch solicitors, which has offices in Southampton, Lymington, the City of London and Richmond, has announced 17 firm-wide promotions including four partner promotions, three new partners and six new associate solicitors. Moore Blatch is one of the largest law firms in the South of England, employing around 300 people. It reported income of almost […]

Rural news – edition 6

In this edition of rural news, we feature an article on the possible solutions of recruiting seasonal workers after Brexit, details on a farming dispute following a family bereavement and we look into the loophole giving an Estate’s residential tenants the right to enfranchise and buy. We also feature a piece on GDPR, which comes […]

Town and country homes

Your legal advice on your dream home or investment should come from those with expert knowledge of law and who genuinely understand you and your aims.

Landed estates and farming

Your legal advice on rural, farming and family affairs should come from those with expert knowledge of law, combined with a genuine understanding of life in the country.

Moore Blatch signs up to Shared Forest Business Group

During the course of 2016, nearly 100 New Forest animals were killed by vehicles travelling along roads through the New Forest.  Moore Blatch is one of several local employers that has signed up to the Shared Forest Business Group, a charter where members agree to promote safe driving on Forest roads.

Rural news – edition 5

In this edition we feature a guest article from Alan Riley, property law consultant at Property PSL limited. He provides an update on restrictive covenants which featured as part of his monthly commercial update. As it is shooting season, the team look at licensed shoots and shooting rights. We also have articles on why landowners, […]

The Digital Economy Act: introducing the “New Code”

The 27th April 2017 brought the Digital Economy Act, a refreshed version of the previous Digital Economy Act of 2010. As well as updating sentencing for criminal copyright infringement, the most interesting aspect is the so called “New Code”, which replaces the existing electronic communications code found in both the Telecommunications Act 1984 and the […]

Rural news – edition 4

Our team has already had a busy period of events this summer and we are looking forward to supporting more. Our event sponsorships this year include The Hampshire Farmers Club annual walk and dinner, The CLA New Forest Awards, Harry Whittington Racing Owners Day and ALA South Central events.

Septic tanks a dirty word

When you are marvelling in the peace and tranquillity of having bought a home in the countryside, you are unlikely to find yourself in your new garden, enjoying the spring blossoms whilst considering the subject of sewage.  Although a dirty word, come 2020, ‘sewage’ will be at the forefront of the minds of most sellers […]

Moore Blatch solicitor awarded highest accreditation in agricultural law

Philip Whitcomb, a senior solicitor in wills, tax and trusts at Moore Blatch has been awarded fellowship status by the Agricultural Law Association, one of only 127 across the UK. This is the highest qualification of the UK’s leading independent organisation devoted to the law of business of the countryside.