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High Season for Agricultural Disputes

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The UK agriculture industry is no stranger to challenge. High land prices, fewer and fewer young people getting involved in farming and recent reductions in farming subsidies make for tough business.

However, for many farmers the toughest challenges do not come from high level national or regional difficulties but from more local problems.

With land in the UK at a premium, agricultural disputes relating to land are common. Where agricultural land is involved it can be critical for a farming business to have boundary or other land disputes resolved as quickly as possible to avoid affecting business income.

The Agricultural Land Tribunal

Typically, agricultural disputes are between landlord and tenant and for this reason the UK has a specialist Agricultural Land Tribunal to deal with agricultural landlord and tenant disputes.

The Tribunal often hears disputes in relation to tenancies coming to an end, applications to install drainage or tend ditches on neighbouring land, applications to carry out improvements on land and disputes relating to good husbandry.

Other Common Agricultural Issues

In addition to the usual commercial challenges and the common land disputes between landlords and tenants, those in agriculture face some more specific legal issues.

Issues might include the spread of disease among animals, such as foot and mouth which hit the courts in 2007; issues arising around the sale and purchase of livestock; claims against DEFRA, the RPA and other bodies in relation to the single farm payment and other subsidies; contractual agricultural disputes with suppliers, for instance in relation to contracts for machinery and grains; as well as employment disputes with agricultural staff.

Agricultural disputes are dealt with in a number of ways, depending on the circumstances and nature of the dispute. Usually, expensive court action can be avoided and experienced agricultural lawyers will always work to resolve disputes by other means through dedicated tribunals or mediation where possible.


Working in the agricultural industry brings with it all the usual commercial challenges of running a business but also many more considerations and difficulties specific to farming. Therefore, it is important that any legal advice takes into account the specialist nature of agriculture.

Our agricultural lawyers expertly combine their experience in dispute resolution with an in-depth knowledge of the agricultural industry, to ensure you get the practical, specialist advice you need. Contact Peter Gourri today by email  or telephone 0207 611 4848.

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