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 […]
High-value country property transactions have enjoyed a boom over the past few months, leading to an increasing trend towards the use of Exclusivity Agreements, also known as ‘lock-out agreements’. An Exclusivity Agreement is normally a tool used by a buyer to provide them with an exclusive opportunity to do due diligence on a property, and […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
The Moss family has farmed Manor Farm for 150 years and is a highly respected local family. They’re just about to start the process of ensuring the farm and business move smoothly from one generation to another. They might wish to avoid the fate of a neighbouring farm, which is now on the market following […]
As I write this from my home office in the New Forest, I’m looking out on a picture-perfect postcard of autumn, with ponies grazing and squirrels gathering nuts in the oaks surrounding my home. Through the pandemic, the housing market has seen an exodus of people moving out of the cities, looking for their very […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
They are a strong firm and have a loyal following in the market with a solid client base.
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.
Moore Barlow LLP has an excellent pipeline of country wealth experience, with good knowledge of estates, agriculture and the surrounding trusts and tax issues.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Buying a house is often one of the largest investments that we make, making it one of life’s most significant decisions. Given the importance of buying the right property, the process is regularly fraught with stress and pressure, and often over a period of months. It is, however, possible to limit the length of time […]
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 […]
Technology has always played a vital role in the agricultural sector and it should be no surprise that Smart Farming is due to increase significantly in the coming years given the needs of a rapidly growing global population, the requirement for increased yields and global warming threats. What is smart farming? A group of technologies […]
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 […]
The whole idea of getting up at 6am on a dark winter’s morning to ride out in the pouring rain can seem quite baffling to non-horsey people but this is a normal way of life for many. Your horse is a much beloved member of the family, perhaps more loved then some relatives, and whilst […]
If you are in the process of considering disposing of residential property on or after 6 April 2020 new rules introduced by HMRC mean that if any gain is made you are under a duty to report and pay the Capital Gains Tax within 30 days of the disposal. The disposal is the date the […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
There is now less than a month before we hear what Rishi Sunak disclosures in his first budget. Here are some of the predictions on what he might say which will affect farmers and landowners: Personal Tax: For farm and estate employees, the level at which they start to pay National Insurance rises to £9,500 […]
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.
The Government has issued a Consultation Paper entitled “A New Deal for Renting”, seeking views on how to implement its decision to abolish Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and to improve the implementation of Section 8, grounds for repossession. It concentrates specifically on the circumstances in which landlords should be able to regain […]
On 25 June 2019 HMRC issued updated guidance on the meaning of ‘garden and grounds’ for the purposes of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). In considering whether or not a mixed-use rate of SDLT can apply to the purchase of a country house, questions are commonly raised by HMRC on the extent of land at […]
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.
Our insolvency & restructuring team sits within our Rural Sector team, working to warn farmers and encourage them to seek advice on potential cash-flow issues relating to the change in their grants and subsidies before restructuring or changing their businesses.
The New Forest National Park has adopted a new ‘Local Plan’ containing stronger policies to help safeguard the Forest’s landscape and natural beauty, yet incorporating policies to meet the needs of local people.
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 has recently responded to the Defra Consultation paper on proposed reform of agricultural tenancy legislation, based on our wide experience of tenanted agricultural land, acting both for landlords and tenants.
Hook and another v. Hawkins  UKUT 147 (LC)
A casual worker is entitled to paid holiday, and their entitlement pay is calculated pro rata by reference to the hours they work. The law on this calculation has developed and recently become complex. If a casual worker believes they have not been paid correctly for their holiday entitlement, they may bring a claim in […]
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 […]
Anita Symington has joined Moore Blatch as a consultant in the rural property team.
The New Forest National Park and Commoner’s Defence Association have launched the #grazingisgood campaign, which recognises the benefit commoning brings to the New Forest.
Professionals have insurance to protect them when accidents happen. If your local vet reversed their car into you, or you reversed your car into them, neither of you would feel embarrassed about shaking hands and passing over the respective insurance documents.
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 […]
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.
When you purchase property in the UK you will normally be subject to paying Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) on the purchase. Generally, your SDLT is payable 14 days following completion of the purchase.
At Moore Blatch, we regularly act for purchasers who are based in London and other urban centres who are looking to purchase rural homes and escape to the country. They may be relocating or looking to purchase a second property as an investment or lifestyle proposition.
We are regularly being asked to report on the status of agricultural tenants who occupy land required for development by the landowner, whether access can be obtained by a promoter and buyer for site surveys and investigations; and for providing a strategy for delivering vacant possession of the land in question.
Problems and confusion can often arise where someone is occupying an area of land without any written basis for doing so. Subject to the facts surrounding their taking up occupation of the land in question, many people immediately assume that the person in occupation is trespassing. This is not always the case.
The case of Jones v Oven  EWCA Civ 1895;  8 WLUK 105 looked at the effect of restrictive covenants on a transfer of land. The Claimant and the Defendant are neighbours and the case concerned a four metre strip of land (the “Strip”). This case is of note as it demonstrates that “retained […]
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 […]
Last week the government announced a new nationwide pilot scheme for seasonal agricultural workers from outside EEA countries to come and work in the UK. The scheme is aimed at alleviating the chronic shortage of workers in the farming industry following Brexit. Workers will be allowed to stay for up to 6 months before returning […]
We all work in the rural sector so the basics of AHA tenancies under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 (AHA) should be familiar territory.
Rural and agricultural properties and Estates often have boundaries that are not clearly demarcated by physical boundary structures.
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.
The New Forest was designated a national park in 2005 and is one of the most visited National Parks in the UK.
A Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can prove essential in helping to protect a farm should the farmer become unable to take an active role in its day to day activities, through old age, accident or mental/physical illness.
Evercreech Park Farms Ltd was recently fined £16,000 and ordered to pay legal costs of just under £3,500 for a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
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 […]
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 […]
Following the case of Mirvahedy v Henley in 2003, it is well known that if an animal causes damage to a property, the animal’s owner may be strictly liable for damages under the Animals Act 1971.
The issue of immigration has featured prominently in the Brexit debate. Following the decision to leave in June 2016, the UK Government announced it would establish new arrangements for controlling immigration. However, 18 months on and still no concrete plans have been announced.
The case of Sargeant v Sargeant 2018 EWHC 8 Ch focuses on the case of a farmer’s widow, Jane Sargeant, who tried to make a time-barred claim for reasonable provision from her late husband’s estate over a decade.
Exploring rural property issues and developments in the New Forest, Kerry’s Commoner’s Corner, is a new feature for rural news.
Many common law tenancies contain a little known or understood loophole that can cause a huge headache for Estate and landowning clients. Having personally come across this issue twice in the last year alone, below I have outlined what you need to know.
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.
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.
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.
A recent decision in the High Court, Fuller v Kitzing and another  EWHC 810 (Ch), will be of interest to our readers regarding the interpretation of shooting rights especially when they are reserved to third parties.
We all know farmers don’t like selling land to release capital. Re-financing is often the better option to raise cash to invest in your farming business. Whether it is to buy more land or convert redundant buildings, allowing a bank to take a charge over your assets is an obvious choice to release funds.
From oil paintings to period dramas to the Shooting Times, the shooting season is the inspiration for many quintessentially British countryside scenes. It is also a lucrative earner for landowners who licence their land for game bird shoots, game shooting and clay shoots.
Moving house is a tortuous process in every way, usually not helped by the legal process which can drag on for several months without any explanation whatsoever. It may therefore come as a surprise that it’s possible to conduct the entire process during the course of a day, without compromising either the buyer or seller’s […]
As Winston Churchill said; “the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man” – something that many readers no doubt happily agree with. Over and above the pleasure of riding, owning and maintaining a horse takes time. So, it’s not surprising that with life as busy as it is, many take […]
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 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 […]
At sunset, viewers are treated to the viewing of classic film favourites. I watched Notting Hill, but other films such as Jaws and Dirty Dancing are upcoming. It is all about the outdoor experience: picnicking outside in a beautiful part of the countryside, poshcorn, beetle cars, bbq’ing local meat and a great film.
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.
The Prime Minister’s announcement that the UK will not have a half-in, half-out deal, means the subsidies UK farmers currently receive from the EU will cease. Whilst the UK government has pledged the same level of support for farmers until 2020, no guarantees have been given beyond then.
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 […]
New Forest Commoner, Kerry Dovey who runs a herd of ponies and is also a highly experienced property lawyer has been recruited by Moore Blatch.
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.