Agriculture & Rural Affairs

“An excellent chambers. It is a go-to choice for counsel outside of Cardiff or London.” Chambers UK (2016)


St John’s is the leading barristers’ set in the South West in the field of Agricultural Law.  Our members understand the needs of the agricultural sector and offer a specialist service which covers all aspects of rural land ownership and farming.

We are able to respond quickly and provide specialist, practical and cost-effective advice and representation at a level that is appropriate to your requirements, however large or small.  We regularly work with land owners, farmers, estates, trustees, land agents, chartered surveyors, tenants, developers and local authorities.

Some of our team are members of the Agricultural Law Association:

What we do

We can help on a broad range of matters including:-

  • Farm and agricultural land sales and purchases
  • Options and overage agreements
  • Farm tenancies and agricultural holdings
  • Trusts and succession disputes/planning
  • Water and drainage rights
  • Public and private rights of way
  • Rights of common and profits a prendre
  • Boundary disputes
  • Planning permission, enforcement and permitted development rights
  • Environmental responsibilities
  • Contentious and non-contentious tax matters for farming families,  agricultural/farming/rural/landowning businesses, enterprises and individuals.


The clerks are happy to suggest appropriate members for any particular case, depending on its complexity and value.  Fees are calculated according to the anticipated time taken to do the work and in almost all cases are agreed with our clients in advance.

All our team members can accept instructions direct from industry professionals under the Licensed Access scheme.  This allows members of licensed organisations – for example ‘RICS’ to instruct us in a cost-effective way without having to go through a solicitor.  This can be particularly useful where the dispute turns on the construction of a document or the application of legislation

Some members of the team are also available to act, where appropriate, for members of the public, as well as commercial and non-commercial organisations, under the Public Access scheme.

Examples of recent agricultural cases involving our members

Publications and training

Some members have published books and articles on issues relevant to the agricultural sector.  The team delivers workshops and seminars in Chambers and regional centres.   We also provide training on behalf of local Law Societies and in conjunction with solicitors firms.  As well, we can give tailored in-house training for particular firms.

If you want to discuss training then please contact our clerks.

“The clerking is amazing. You only have to phone them up and things just get done.” Chambers UK (2016)