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Succession planning in the spotlight as Rural law team launches service

The Rural team at North West law firm Napthens has launched a specialist, tailored service designed to help farmers plan for a successful future for their business and their family.

The department provides a range of advice covering agricultural law and legal issues affecting farmers, their families and employees, landowners and rural businesses.

A specialist in the rural sector, Napthens is also one of 15 NFU panel firms in the country, and has launched the fixed-cost Farm Future service to meet demand from clients who need advice on their business, property and family issues, with an emphasis on safeguarding the future of the farm and succession planning.

Andrew Holden, partner and head of Rural at Napthens, revealed the service is thought to be the first time a dedicated service for rural and agricultural clients covering both personal and business legal matters has been made available in this way.

He said: “Rural businesses are unique in that they have both business and family issues interlinked so thoroughly, and farmers need good advice on all these areas and how they can work together to safeguard the farming business both now and for future generations.”

“Our long experience of advising the rural sector has given us a deep insight into the practical issues and challenges of developing and running a successful business and of the issues facing farmers and their families.

“As an NFU legal panel firm, we have seen first-hand how changes in traditional family partnership structures, along with a changing economic and political climate, have made it increasingly important to have well-structured business and succession plans in place.

“Farm Future is designed to be different by looking not just at the current farming arrangements, but also discussing future plans for the business and comes with the benefit of fixed-cost access to expert commercial and personal legal advice.

“The service includes a range of issues important to farmers, from a full audit of property interests such as the farmland, buildings and land options. This is followed by a detailed review of a business structure from employment issues to supply chain matters and tax affairs.

“Then the service takes a look at the whole family; from Trusts and life time giving, to wealth management issues.”

Andrew Holden, Rural Solicitor for Cumbria and Lancashire