WELCOME TO CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS.
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Farms, rural businesses and landed estates face age-old challenges relating to succession, death and divorce.
However, they also face new challenges which range from new taxes (and reform of old taxes) to the changing economic environment. These challenges are often little different from those faced by owners of other private, multi-faceted and labour intensive businesses.
The Charles Russell Speechlys Rural Business & Landed Estates group acts for a broad spectrum of land owning clients, from the farmer client looking to consolidate his business and to reduce his Inheritance Tax exposure, to diverse, multi-business landed estates. They have many common concerns but these will be set against distinctive personal and family backdrops. Our role is to understand these and tailor our advice accordingly. Above all else we pride ourselves on being practical and commercial.
We provide our clients with a full range of services. These include:
We provide a sympathetic, commercial and highly experienced approach to dealing with the farming, rural and landed estate communities. The Charles Russell Speechlys team has been advising these communities for generations.
Sale of a farming company with a very significant land holding, as well as development land and residential accommodation for in excess of £40m. Having impressed the purchasers, we were appointed by the directors of the purchasing company in relation to future legal work.
A highly confidential purchase of an agricultural estate with numerous land law and water rights complexities.
We advised the owner of a large landed estate, his executors and the trustees of his Will Trusts in relation to, amongst other things, inheritance tax planning through careful Will drafting and a major trust reorganisation involving agricultural and business property, making appropriate provision for the surviving spouse, the tax treatment of disposals of valuable chattels, property sales and a significant and valuable dispute with neighbouring landowner.
We recently took over as solicitors to a substantial Midlands estate including a large scale Balfour inspired Inheritance Tax and trust review. This included a specific task of reviewing the trust entity owning chattels worth circa £40m.
We were recently instructed to acquire a farm bordering a client's estate. Among other matters, the due diligence exercise included reviews of existing agricultural tenancies (both AHA and FBT) and advice on how to integrate the new farm into the existing estate structure and farming operations. We also advised on VAT and the "transfer as a going concern" relief.
We advised a major institutional landowner on securing planning permission for a number of urban extensions in Ashford, Ely and Carlisle, involving over 3000 new homes and community facilities, with the subsequent sale of the land to house builders.
We have recently reached a mediated settlement in relation to a long running trust dispute (for which we developed a tax-efficient strategy to restructure the estate) and we have been involved in all aspects of its implementation. In addition to our strategic tax and trust advice, we deal with all significant decisions about the operational management of the estate.
We implemented, over seven years, an inheritance tax planning exercise (to prevent the loss of agricultural property relief) relating to an estate in England (including a manor house, significant chattels, a church and a farm).