Furley Page expands Agriculture and Rural Business team to meet growing demand for specialist legal services

Sarah Webster

Partner & Head of Agriculture & Rural Business

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August 30, 2022

Leading South East law firm Furley Page has expanded its Agriculture and Rural Business team in order to meet growing demand for its specialist legal services.

The firm has recently appointed several key members to the team, including Associate Daniel Bridgland and Partner Sarah Webster, who serves as the new Head of the Agriculture and Rural Business team.

The nine-strong multi-discipline team now comprises five Partners, a Consultant, a Senior Associate, and two Associates, with more than 140 years’ combined experience working for clients in the agriculture and rural business sector.

Sarah Webster said: “The demands on modern agricultural, food and rural businesses are complex and prone to constant change. Having acted for farmers and rural landowners for generations, Furley Page has gained extensive insight into their special requirements, both professionally and personally. The team benefits from being able to draw on a huge variety of different legal specialists with vast experience working for farmers, landowners and rural businesses.

“As such, we are able to advise on the full range of legal matters, including the sale, purchase, and letting of farmland, as well as the property rights and interests that are incidental to land ownership, and we have considerable experience in planning and land development schemes. We also advise farm businesses diversifying from pure agricultural production into other areas, and help farmers with succession planning to ensure a smooth transition to the next generation.”

Furley Page’s Agriculture and Rural Business team is recognised for its expertise in advising farmers and rural landowners and businesses by independent legal guides The Legal 500 and Chambers UK.

The members of Furley Page’s multi-discipline Agriculture and Rural Business team have a wide range of specialisms, enabling them to provide comprehensive solutions to help clients meet the complexities and challenges faced by the modern agricultural sector. The team comprises:

  • Sarah Webster, Partner & Head of Agriculture & Rural Business: Sarah joined the firm in June after almost nine years as Partner and Head of Agriculture at another leading Kent law firm. She advises on a full range of commercial and agricultural property matters and has acted for a number of farming families and landed estates in Kent, Sussex and further afield.
  • Daniel Bridgland, Associate, Real Estate: Daniel specialises in supporting rural business clients with a range of matters including development land acquisitions and disposals, agricultural land transactions, option agreements and leases, and commercial lease transactions.
  • Christopher Wacher, Consultant, Real Estate: With an agricultural background, Christopher has particular expertise in dealing with rural matters and issues affecting farmers and landowners. His main areas of practice are, agricultural and commercial property, development contracts, joint ventures and charities.
  • Tony Chester, Partner, Corporate: Tony advises agriculture and rural business clients on a wide range of corporate matters, including sales and purchases where the farming business is held in a company structure, partnership agreements, shareholdings and corporate structures, demergers in the context of succession planning, joint ventures and project finance, and on all sorts of commercial contracts.
  • Darren Philpot, Partner & Head of Residential Property: Darren acts for a number of high-net-worth individuals and landed estates. He handles a wide range of agricultural and rural issues, from buying and selling farms, to handling issues involving rights of way, development, options and overage agreements, to stamp duty land tax.
  • Aaron Spencer, Partner & Head of Private Client: Aaron advises clients in the agriculture sector on succession planning and tax.
  • Jeremy Ferris, Partner, Dispute Resolution: Jeremy heads our Real Estate Disputes team and regularly advises on agricultural property disputes. He is a CEDR Accredited Mediator and also a member of the RICS.
  • Sarah Woolnough, Associate, Dispute Resolution: Sarah Woolnough advises agricultural landlords and tenants on property matters and in relation to agricultural property disputes for example rights of way and boundary disputes.

For more information about Furley Page’s Agriculture and Rural Business services, please telephone 01227 763939 or email Sarah Webster at sw@furleypage.co.uk