St John’s Chambers is a strong set with strength in depth in relation to agricultural matters on the Western Circuit, with members representing landowners, estates, trustees, tenants, developers and local authorities, among other interested parties, in relation to a wide range of issues.”

Legal 500 2024, AGRICULTURE

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

One particular case of note is Habberfield v Habberfield, a Court of Appeal case centering around the initial decision to order compensation of a farmer’s daughter who had been promised her parent’s farm; Leslie Blohm KC led Christopher Jones to successfully defeat the appeal brought by the surviving parent. Alex Troup is another key figure within the team, with recent cases involving contentious probate, proprietary estoppel, and family disputes concerning the sale of farmland.

Another member of the team, Adam Boyle, recently acted in a week-long hotly contested trial concerning a Farm Business Tenancy (under the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995). This case involved complicated issues regarding lease/licence distinctions, the nature of a “grass keep” agreement and implied surrender in an agricultural context. You can read more about this case here.

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 landowners, farmers, estates, trustees, land agents, chartered surveyors, tenants, developers and local authorities.

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

Our expertise includes:

  • 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
  • Town or Village Green applications
  • Representation at tribunal, arbitration and in court
  • Mediation


As the number of cases being dealt with by way of mediation increases, our mediation team are on hand to help, be it by providing the advocates, mediators or both. Our facilities are specifically designed to meet with clients’ needs for a mediation venue. Read more.

Public Access

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

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, for specialist organisations such as the Agricultural Law Association, and in conjunction with solicitors’ firms. In addition we can give tailored in-house training for particular firms. If you would like any further information please contact Paul Bennett on 0117 923 4793 or email: [email protected].

Agriculture & Rural Affairs Team


Alex Troup KC

  • Call: 1998
  • Silk: 2023

Alex is ranked as a “star individual” in chancery matters. He frequently acts for farming clients and is experienced in dealing with a wide range of cases involving agriculture and rural affairs, including in particular property disputes, agricultural...

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Richard Stead

  • Call: 1979

Richard specialises in matters concerning agriculture and rural affairs, and has extensive experience of working on cases relating to property damage, defective equipment, accidents on farmland and with farming machinery. Property damage may arise from flooding, landslip and subsidence...

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John Dickinson

John Dickinson

  • Call: 1995

John’s specialism in real estate work includes conveyancing disputes, boundaries and easements, in particular disputes over easements and rights of way in both civil and tribunal proceedings. John has dealt with many such cases in a rural context....

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Christopher Jones

Christopher Jones

  • Call: 2004

Christopher is a member of the Agricultural Law Association and has extensive expertise in a wide variety of agricultural issues. Acting for farmers / suppliers in connection with the sale and supply of seed and animal feed Farm...

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Oliver Wooding

Oliver Wooding

  • Call: 2009

Oliver acts for and advises landowners and farming tenants in a wide range of agricultural and rural affairs matters, and other incidental legal disputes. Recent cases include: Defending a claim for possession of land whether the existence of...

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Adam Boyle

  • Call: 2012

Adam is a member of the Agricultural Law Association and is a well-respected barrister with significant experience of farming and agricultural matters. He is one of the leading Property Law practitioners in the South West and Wales, so...

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Joss Knight

  • Call: 2014

Having grown up with a rural background, Joss regularly advises in agricultural matters and has particular experience of farming partnership disputes. Recently he has been involved in a long-running dispute between neighbouring farmers involving allegations of trespass, interference...

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Annie Sampson

Annie Sampson

  • Call: 2015

Annie enjoys applying her knowledge of areas such as real estate, commercial disputes, wills and trusts to cases arising in an agricultural context. Annie’s recent cases include: Assisting with the case management of a series of complex claims...

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Brittany Pearce

Brittany Pearce

  • Call: 2015

Brittany is a member of the Agricultural Law Association with experience in a wide variety of agricultural issues, and is regularly instructed by landowners and farming tenants in connection with leasehold matters and real property disputes. With regard...

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Guy Adams

Guy Adams

  • Call: 1989

Guy has extensive experience of issues affecting farmers in relation to property, partnerships, mortgages, landlord and tenant and family disputes. He has encountered many problems that arise in an agricultural context and thoroughly understands the issues facing farmers...

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Directory Quotes

St John’s Chambers is a strong set with strength in depth in relation to agricultural matters on the Western Circuit, with members representing landowners, estates, trustees, tenants, developers and local authorities, among other interested parties, in relation to a wide range of issues.”

The Legal 500 2024, Agriculture & Rural affairs

A leading set in the South West for this type of work”

Legal 500 2023, Agriculture

Members have expertise across a wide spectrum of agricultural issues, including sales and purchases of land, inheritance disputes involving farmland estates, and proprietary estoppel cases.”

Legal 500 2023, AGRICULTURE

St John’s Chambers is home to several experienced agricultural practitioners with practices that include property litigation, trusts and estates, and tenancy disputes.”

Legal 500 2022, AGRICULTURE

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