P v D [2021]

10 May 2021

Adam Boyle acted in a week-long trial in front of HHJ Mitchell which involved various complicated agricultural law themes.

The backdrop to the dispute was one of agricultural landlord and tenant, but the purchase of a farm was at the centre of the proceedings too. The main thrust of the issue concerned a Farm Business Tenancy (under the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995). The parties were in dispute about:

  • whether a tenancy had ever been created (when farmers who owned farms adjacent to one another came to an agreement about the use of one of the farms by the adjacent farm);
  • whether their historic agreement constituted a tenancy or merely a “grass keep” licence;
  • what happened to the tenancy when the “landlord” farmer sold the tenanted farm;
  • whether the actions of the “tenant” farmer constituted an implied surrender at or around the time the farm was sold on to the new “landlord”.

The case raised numerous complex and involved property law and agricultural law issues and the facts were hotly contested too. All in all, it was an excellent example of the multi-faceted nature of agricultural property work.