Services for rural

Rural Disputes

Why use mfg’s Rural Disputes Team?

Our Rural Dispute team includes individuals who are each recognised for their specialist knowledge and expertise in their particular area and together cover all matters which may arise within the niche practice of contentious agricultural law and disputes arising in rural areas.

How can mfg help our farming and land owner partners?

We are well aware of the fact that the parties in a rural dispute may be neighbours or family members, and so matters have to be dealt with in a way that not only achieves the best possible outcome for our clients but is also mindful of the parties’ relationships and the long lasting effects that such actions can have.

Whilst our primary aim is to achieve a resolution agricultural dispute as quickly as possible without having to resort to the court or tribunal, we appreciate that at times, litigation is inevitable.  We thoroughly explore the options available to our farming and land owner clients to formulate a plan of what action will be taken in your particular case and spend time explaining what is involved and exploring possible alternative methods of dispute resolution if appropriate. If court, tribunal or Land Registry Adjudication action is the right option, then you can rest assured that you will be guided through it every step of the way and we will apply our expertise to get you the best possible result.

What aspects of rural and agricultural disputes to mfg deal with?

We deal with all aspects of rural and agricultural disputes including:

  • Landlord and tenant -
  • AHAs, FBTs, Regulated Tenancies, ASTs
  • Succession Claims
  • Security of tenure issues 
  • Appeals against the Rural Payment Agency and BPS matters
  • Regaining possession of (all) agricultural property
  • Negligence
  • Trespass and nuisance claims
  • Property rights and access
  • Environmental
  • Contract disputes
  • Disputes with DEFRA and other public bodies/regulatory matters
  • Drainage works disputes
  • Equine issues
  • Riparian rights
  • Title to and interests in land
  • Adverse possession
  • Boundary disputes
  • Common land and village greens
  • Highways and rights of way disputes

What is meant by a rural dispute?

Rural disputes can be wide and varied but more often than not linked to the land. The team act in Court and Tribunal matters often in high value and complex land actions. Recent cases have involved issues such as: adverse possession of farming land; nuisance due to flooding and contamination; breach of contract as to farming subsidies; negligence; proprietary estoppel and a disputed trust of land action.

I have a dispute over the boundary. What would I look for?

You would look first at the original conveyancing document and plan but often these can lack sufficient certainty and the topography of the land can assist. A dispute over a boundary in a rural setting may also be established by rural conventions and presumptions for example the hedge and ditch presumption, which subject to evidence to the contrary generally means that the far side of the ditch belongs to the owner of the mound and hedge.

Someone is claiming to have been in occupation of land that is part of my farm. What can I do about it?

This will depend upon whether the farm land is registered or not and whether the person claiming ownership by adverse possession has been in occupation for 12 or 10 years. These seem like long periods of time and often prevention is better than cure it is generally worth farmers and estate owners, keeping an eye on their land and field boundaries.

There is in an issue with access over my land. What can I do?

First you would look at the conveyances and or HM Land Registry Registers and Title Plans for what rights affect your land, the extent of those rights and whether there are any limits on the use and compare this to what is happening. If the actual use is beyond the scope of the right, depending upon the scenario this might mean that the use outside of the scope is a trespass or an intensification of the use.

Who do I speak to if I think I have a rural dispute?

Rural disputes are complex and require expertise to be resolved. If you find yourself in an agricultural dispute, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible

mfg Solicitors is a regional law firm based in the West Midlands. We have a wide range of commercial and corporate law expertise, including the effective resolution of rural and agricultural disputes.

When it comes to rural land and agricultural matters, we are more than just legal advisors. Our team are members of the Property Litigation Association and the Agricultural Law Association and each is a specialist in their field with the business acumen, strategic insight, and negotiation skills to find a resolution which works for you. mfg’s Rural Disputes team resolves disputes involving businesses and individuals, in matters affecting farms and Estates.

Get in touch with our rural dispute solicitors for further information and specialist advice. We have local branches across the West Midlands in BromsgroveKidderminsterLudlowTelfordWorcester, and Birmingham. Alternatively, please feel free to fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

You can also email us or phone us on 0845 55 55 321.