Farming & Rural Land

Wiltshire’s expert agricultural solicitors

Wiltshire’s expert agricultural solicitors

Legal services for farming families

Farmers and rural land owners need specialist advice tailored to their needs.  The current political and economic situation makes the need for such advice even more important.

At Goughs we have a long history of acting for a wide range of clients within the agricultural sector both within the South West and beyond.  We act for farmers and rural land owners both as individuals and businesses. 

We work with like-minded professionals to ensure that we can meet all of our agricultural clients’ legal requirements.

Specialist farming and agricultural law solicitors, Wiltshire

Expert advice tailored to you

At Goughs we understand what is important for our clients and take pride in adapting our services to achieve the best outcome for them.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Buying and selling agricultural land

  • Agriculture succession planning

  • Farming and employment law

  • Agricultural employment 

  • Farm and land estate and tax planning

  • Farming inheritance disputes

  • Farming and family law

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Supporting Wiltshire’s farming community since 1882

Putting your trust in Goughs Solicitors

Many of the lawyers at Goughs Solicitors are from farming families themselves, meaning we fully understand the concerns our clients may have, as well as how to ensure you are protected for the future of your family and of the farm itself. 

Your Farming & Rural Land team

Elsie Lyford


Elsie specialises in the sales and purchases of businesses and also works with clients helping them set up their businesses.

Juliet Gordon


Juliet qualified in 2018, and joined Goughs in April 2022. She always strives to provide calm, empathetic advice, and prioritises ensuring that her clients are updated throughout the process, aiming to exceed their expectations.

Luchia Hirst

Associate Solicitor

Luchia has been practicing Private Client law for close to 8 years, and really enjoys the client contact and hands-on nature of this area of practice.

Phillip Bolton

Partner & Head of Private Wealth

Phillip is a Partner and Head of the Private Wealth Team at the firm. His practice encompasses all aspects of private client work, with a particular interest in complex Wills, wealth preservation, tax mitigation, and estate planning.

Thomas Boyce

Head of Family
Head of Farming & Rural Land

Thomas joined Goughs in April 2015, was made a Partner in 2016, and is Head of the Family department. He is an experienced family law specialist and advises a wide range of clients, both married and unmarried, on the implications of relationship breakdown.

Rebecca Bailey

Senior Associate Solicitor

Rebecca joined Goughs in 2014 having previously spent 15 years at two major law firms in London and Leeds and advises on all aspects of property and construction.

Gemma Sumsion

Head of Real Estate & Corporate

Gemma is a Partner and Head of Real Estate & Corporate. She specialises in commercial property and corporate matters, acting for a wide range of clients.

Our clients rate us excellent

Sue Greenman

Everything was completed professionally and within my tight time scales. I would like to say thank you and would definitely go back to Goughs should I need help in the future.

Ali McBrine

Thank you Alice Blackmore for your fantastic professional support, with care, compassion and kindness, of our need for explanation and understanding of the system and language in a lot of correspondence. Thank you too for being always being honest and empathic of our feelings.

Andrew Alvis

Another well-managed transaction handled promptly and professionally by Nadine Cook and her team. We have used Goughs before, will use again and would not hesitate to recommend their services to anybody.

Phil Carter

Goughs Solicitors provide a friendly, professional and extremely reassuring service. The whole team, especially Georgina Catlin, are empathetic and provide sound advice when required, you definitely feel you are in safe hands.

Legal services for farming families FAQs

At Goughs we encourage all farming families to carefully consider how their estates and farms will be treated in the event of their death. It is imperative that farming families take specialist legal and tax advice in relation to their farms and land. Goughs are delighted to offer such a service as farms and land are often valuable, both in monetary terms and emotionally.

Inheritance tax reliefs are available in respect of farming and agricultural assets. To obtain such reliefs it is very important that farms and estates are structured in particular ways. Advice must, therefore, be sought on how farming estates should be structured to maximise the inheritance tax relief available to protect your farm for future generations.

Relationship breakdowns are always a stressful and difficult time for those concerned. However, for those in the farming community, it has the potential to have particularly damaging implications. The farm is often both the family home and a business and in many cases there is an emotional attachment to both, especially where the family have been involved in the farm for many generations.

As such, advising farmers and their families on the issues arising from a separation requires an appreciation of the matters that are specific to the farming way of life. Of course, not all farms are the same and each situation will be different but having an understanding of the issues that are faced in the rural community is vital to ensure that the advice is tailored and focussed.

At Goughs, we have a longstanding history of working with the rural community. We build relationships with our clients, we get to know what is important for them and we look to provide them with solutions to the problems they are facing using our experience and technical knowledge.

We also provide advice to those looking to obtain some protection from a future relationship breakdown, through cohabitation, pre and post marital agreements.

Farmers must consider how their business will survive when they want to take a step back, invite someone to join the business or an illness halts the farm working as it always has. Succession planning is a huge headache for any business owner, but, with a number of young farmers either wanting to exit the business altogether or not wanting to take on the same type of responsibility this leaves farmers who want a break or exit strategy in an impossible position. Most do not want to just sell up and leave everything they have worked for.

It is therefore essential that proper advice is taken regarding how the future of a farming business will continue to go from strength to strength and with the right partnership or alternative structure put in place.

As family partnerships become increasingly less likely it is essential to explore all options available. For example, joint ventures, which are a very popular solution, whether the family decide to move away from the business and sell the land on, it allows farmers who don’t have the family in the background to gain access to farming land and the business.

All too common succession planning is looked at far too late making it a very difficult time for all. For example, should it be the case that as a farmer you have no one to take on the property and there is no one who has shown an interest in taking the land on as an opportunity for future farming there are only really a few options available such as selling the farm or letting it with potential licences, or seeking a shared venture through the right contacts.

We also are acutely aware that you cannot always plan for everything, but sensible, pragmatic planning is absolutely essential. What if the family unit sadly dissolves? Perhaps there is a divorce, or someone becomes injured and they can no longer work? Debts can spiral out of control or there might be a disagreement between siblings or partners. Since so many businesses are family orientated it is worth preparing for these potential eventualities, which hopefully will never happen.

We can put you in touch with the right people to help in these situations and of course time is of the essence. The sooner you plan the better for everyone. The problem is finding the time. We all know how long the hours are and how much time needs to be put into run the business. Another reason to instruct a Solicitor and a team of specialists who will work with you along the way.

Your farm may have been in your family for generations and will be seeped in family history. Therefore any sale of land associated with it, or the purchasing of additional land, will be difficult decisions to make, both emotionally and financially.

Here at Goughs we have many years of experience in supporting Wiltshire’s farming community in transactions such as buying and selling farms and farmland, rural planning and development and farm tenancies.

Our experts will offer bespoke advice, after having taken the time to get to know you, your family, your business and of course, your property. As farm and rural specialists, we understand that every farm is completely unique and therefore comes with unique challenges.

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