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Farming Law Blog

   

What is going on with Brexit and our Farming Regulation?

Paul Burkinshaw
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Despite tumultuous world events, post-Brexit negotiations have been ploughing on, including those in the agricultural sector. In the background British farmers have continued to fight their corner, seeking to protect the industry from a drop in food...

Reviewing your contracts given shortcomings of the Dairy Hardship Fund

Matt Rowley
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With restaurants and cafes closed across the UK during the Covid-19 lockdown the dairy industry took an almost immediate ‘hit’ in sales and revenue, with the price per litre plummeting, milk uncollected and a significant drop in demand resulting...

Rural Payments Agency publishes guidance about hedges

Paul Burkinshaw
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The ongoing problems faced by land owners in relation to hedges has been addressed by the Rural Payments Agency which has published new guidance titled 'How to Check and Change your Hedge Information' . The guidance reminds farms to check...

How can landowners protect their property from the wandering public?

Katie I'Anson
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Across the country, landowners have seen public rights of way used more than ever in the last couple of months due to the country’s population exercising from home and exploring their local areas because of the lockdown restrictions. Whilst some...

All our offices are open for pre-arranged appointments

Peter Mills
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All our offices are open for pre-arranged appointments as well as for telephone or video meetings. Contact us as normal by phone or email and we will happily arrange a scheduled meeting to discuss your matter. Please bear in mind that, with...

What are the legal rules about witnessing Wills?

Ed Ryder
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Currently you need to sign your Will in the presence of two independent witnesses. Obviously the pandemic has made it more difficult for people to comply with this and, as a result, there has been quite a lot of discussion amongst lawyers about...

Recent drop in probate applications may mean executors face delays in the months ahead

Ed Ryder
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The Courts Service recently reported that probate applications have dropped by 50% during the current lockdown. Consequently there is concern that there will be a large upsurge in applications as lockdown starts to ease. This will almost inevitably...

What makes a contract legally valid?

Susie Mortonson
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Whether you engage in business-to-consumer or business-to-business transactions, a contract that is subsequently found to be legally invalid can be a financial disaster for your business. This poses the question: what makes a contract valid? In simple...

Mud on the road! Liability and the farmer

Paul Burkinshaw
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With the return of wet weather, we are likely to experience mud on roads as a by-product of normal farming operations. This is both unfortunate and inevitable as farm units have sought to catch up with necessary work after the very wet winter...

The Agriculture Bill and the Environment Bill

Jenni Bartram
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Even prior to the arrival of Covid-19 in the UK, concerns were raised that the Agriculture Bill and the related Environment Bill did not strike the right balance between food security and environmental issues. Given recent market shocks, we examine whether...

Distance Selling rules concerning contracts made online, by telephone, fax or email

Matt Rowley
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The Covid-19 lockdown has seen many small businesses rapidly adapt their business models to distance selling in order to continue to trade, adopting either a model of pre-ordering with collection or full delivery services. Orders can be provided...

How can the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act help my business?

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If you run a business, you will be having to respond on many different fronts to the challenges of the lockdown. But how do we respond to bad debt? The answer is be proactive, review your debtors, maintain your cash flow and, in doing so, give your...

Can you create a contract by email?

Susie Mortonson
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The traditional view of ‘a contract’ tends to be that reams of paper with “wet ink” signatures, amongst other formalities, are required in order for the contract to be valid. However, this is far from the case as the courts have...

How pre-nuptial agreements can preserve family farms

Lucy Phipps
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Although farming families are often close-knit, the long-hours and pressures of running a business can take their toll, leading to relationship breakdown and divorce. The often complex nature of farming partnerships, land holdings and other business assets...

Jenni Bartram joins Harrowells Solicitors

Peter Mills
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One of Yorkshire’s best-known agricultural solicitors has joined Harrowells Solicitors. Jenni Bartram, a long-standing member of the Agricultural Law Association and former president of the Yorkshire Law Society, joined Harrowells in February...

Agriculture Update

Paul Burkinshaw
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Agricultural Tenancy Reform We have been involved in a consultation with DEFRA in relation to a possible agricultural tenancy reform. The government has confirmed that it expects to publish its response to the consultation “later this year”....

The Agricultural Bill

Paul Burkinshaw
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It was announced that the Agricultural Bill was not scheduled to be debated during the final session of Parliament which had commenced on 9th September 2019. As everybody is now aware Parliament is currently prorogued until 14th October 2019....

How buying rural land can throw up legal complexities for the unwary

Stephen Proctor
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One of my recent cases threw up a multitude of legal issues in a single project. A long-standing farming client was buying 40 acres of ancient woodland dating from the 17th century and wanted to set up a shoot. This sounds straightforward, how complicated...

Farming partnership agreements

Ed Ryder
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Partnerships are still by far the most popular business structure for farming businesses. Across North and East Yorkshire there are four times more farms operating as partnerships or sole traders than are incorporated as limited companies. However, as...

Pigtail docking: Farmers must keep ahead of regulatory curve

Paul Burkinshaw
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This article appeared in the January 2019 edition of Northern Farmer Regulation in the pig industry is not insignificant. The industry is, however, rightly proud of its welfare standards which lead the world with more than 90 per cent being parties to the...

Draft Brexit legislation for farming and equine sectors

Paul Burkinshaw
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Despite, or should I say in spite, of the Brexit issues that have been dominating the media the draft Common Agricultural Policy (Direct Payments to Farmers) and (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 was laid in draft for sifting on 29th November 2018 and...

Template Terms and Conditions

Matt Rowley
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If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are searching for a template set of terms and conditions to use for your fledgling business. The reluctance to spend money on legal advice that is not immediately going to bring you a return and help...

Legal 500 recognition

Peter Mills
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Every year Legal 500 assess the reputation and quality of client service of the top 10% of UK law firms using a mix of primary research and feedback from a sample of law firms’ clients. The latest report has just been published and I am pleased to...

Rural land access rights for horse riders

Paul Burkinshaw
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Nothing beats a hack in the countryside but it’s easy for the fun to be spoiled by an angry landowner complaining that they have horse riders disturbing their livestock and damaging their land. In this part of Yorkshire we are lucky enough to have...

Farming and potential Brexit turbulence

Stephen Proctor
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In an earlier blog , Paul Burkinshaw summarised the Government’s current position in relation to a No Deal Brexit and farm payments, rural development funding and organic food production and labelling. The general thrust is that the government is...

No Deal Brexit - Digesting the DEFRA papers

Paul Burkinshaw
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We have all become a little Brexit weary during the course of the last 12 months. The newspapers provide us with a seemingly shifting commentary on a daily basis. At present we appear to be  bound for the Chequers Brexit or nothing. In response to the...

The importance of a shareholders' agreement

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People go into business together to create something positive, not to fall out. Nevertheless, misunderstandings and differences of views can and do arise as businesses evolve. If you are a shareholder in a company, a shareholders’ agreement will help...

Brexit - Making your business resilient

Matt Rowley
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We are all aware that the process of ‘Brexit’ is likely to involve considerable change whatever the short term and longer term outcomes. The challenge for business owners and senior managers is deciding how to prioritise and plan. Trying to...

Why 'evidence of effort' matters

Matt Rowley
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We all tend to think of ‘regulated industries’ as those where safety or financial stability is critical – for example airlines and banks. The reality is that all businesses are exposed to regulation, ‘red tape’, bureaucracy,...

Farming: Developing resilient businesses

Stephen Proctor
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Individually and collectively, farmers are obviously thinking about Brexit and the likely transition and ultimate outcome. Will many farming businesses need to reconfigure radically? Will there be major consolidation? How will supply chains and markets...

Your Farm - Your Future: Getting on the front foot

Paul Burkinshaw
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Whatever form Brexit ultimately takes, opportunities and threats will be thrown up along the way. To ensure a viable business post-Brexit, farmers need to ensure their business is fit for purpose now. In our experience, those farmers who ‘get on the...

Useful GDPR summary aimed at smaller businesses

Gillian Markland
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If you are responsible for HR in your organisation, you will hopefully have locked onto the fact that new data protection rules (GDPR), coming into force on 25 May, have an impact on how you store and use employee and other personal data.  There is a...

Can an employer monitor content of employee personal messages?

Gillian Markland
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Can an employer monitor the content of an employee’s personal messages sent from a work email account? Probably not. A recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of Barbulescu v Romania has overturned an earlier...

Specialist estates planning lawyer joins Harrowells

Ed Ryder
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We have expanded our Private Client Department with the appointment of a new partner. Philip Nelson (pictured left with Head of Department Ed Ryder) lives near York and joins from specialist national private client law firm, Wrigleys, Leeds....

Narrative, people and innovation

Peter Mills
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Advice from successful local business owners and key national and international players teased out three big ingredients to business success at the 2017 York Food and Drink Festival. Have a narrative about your business and products that customers,...

Powers of attorney for your business

Ed Ryder
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More and more people are familiar with the idea of Lasting Powers of Attorney – a document that appoints attorneys to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself in the future because of mental or physical incapacity. Often these...

Take full advantage of Companies House online filing

Susie Mortonson
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I’m surprised that more businesses do not take full advantage of Companies House online filing service. Whilst many accountants file accounts online on their clients’ behalf, organisations need to file an additional Confirmation Statement each...

Social media and your business

Susie Mortonson
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Social media can be a really powerful tool for promoting your business and, as with many other things, it pays to understand your legal obligations when posting content online. Many businesses assume that online activity is not really...

Celebrating local food producers in the Dales

Peter Mills
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The Dales Festival of Food and Drink (Leyburn 17-18th June) is a fantastic celebration of the vitality of food production in the Yorkshire Dales. Always an important feature of the Dales' economy, the range and quality of local food and drink...

If I make an LPA do I instantly lose control over my affairs?

Pamela Precious
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A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can have immediate effect if you specifically want this to be the case but otherwise, no - making an LPA will not mean you lose control over your affairs straight away. LPAs allow you to choose and appoint one or more...