Lodders has launched a new Rural Sector team of legal specialists dedicated to the agricultural and countryside sector.
Lodders, which has worked with farmers, landowners and rural businesses throughout its 230-year history, has brought together the team to reflect the modern and changing legal needs of businesses, families and individuals working and living in the rural community and countryside, as Lodders’ managing partner Paul Mourton, explains:
“Lodders’ portfolio of specialist legal services and sector teams work with every aspect of the rural community, from providing advice on farm sales and acquisitions, the development of land through strategic land options and promotion agreements, litigation, planning and highways, family and divorce, to support with succession planning, probate and wills, inheritance tax planning, care for the elderly, and renewable energy schemes.
At the heart
“More and more, when our rural sector clients are engaging with Lodders, they are looking to our legal specialists to support them with every aspect of their business and personal lives, and we always respond in an insightful way that is borne out of our inherent passion for and knowledge of the countryside, in a way that is so much more than an off the shelf legal solution.
“The firm was founded on work for businesses and individuals in the agricultural sector and rural communities when it started 237 years ago,” he adds. “These strong roots have transcended the many generations of the firm and agriculture remains very much at the heart of what we do and the type of firm we are today.”
Head of Lodders’ Agriculture team, James Spreckley, comments: “Lodders genuinely understands the nuances of agriculture and farming families and rural sector businesses, and from its knowledge and experience, very many of the considerations and challenges they face daily.
“The launch of the rural sector team is as a result of this recognition that the demand for legal services from within the rural and agricultural communities requires a multi-disciplinary, joined-up approach from specialists within different departments and areas of expertise to provide the best and most complete legal service.”
With Lodders’ top ranking agricultural sector practice at its heart, the rural sector team has more than 20 lawyers, including ten of Lodders’ partners and its ‘rural ambassadors’ David Lodder and Rod Bird, who between them, have been personally involved in working with the firm’s agricultural and rural clients for over 65 years.
Coordinated legal solution
James continues: “Every farming business and family is different and Lodders is taking the lead in helping them whatever their needs and evolving how legal services are delivered to the rural community, so the rural sector team has been created to bring together individuals from across the firm into a coordinated legal solution that is dedicated to providing the very best, relevant advice and service to the rural sector and agricultural communities.”
As well as agricultural and private client law experts, the rural sector team includes Lodders’ specialists in succession planning, probate, wills, trusts and estates, inheritance tax, dispute resolution, real estate development and strategic land, equine law, planning and highways law, charity law, and family law.
“Utilising our knowledge of the sector and ongoing focus and engagement with the rural and countryside communities, in the team we bring together our experts in each of the specialist legal services to assist Lodders’ rural sector clients, based on our focus, knowledge and engagement with the countryside, agricultural enterprises and rural communities,” explains one of the new team’s succession planning specialists, John Rouse.
Paul adds: “Agriculture is complex and there are always varying and unique implications for each business and family at every phase of their development, whether it be succession planning for the family farm, advice on diversification to generate additional revenue, or tax and estate planning implications.”