Legal Services

Agricultural & Rural Law

The Rural Law Practice is our specialist branch office operating from J36 Rural Auction Centre

We are delighted to be the winners of the best Rural Professional Services Business, North Region, at the Rural Business Awards 2021!

Agricultural and rural issues are wide-ranging. We’re here to help with every legal need of the agricultural and rural businesses, families and individuals who make up our communities and countryside.

Farming isn’t just a job, it’s a way of life and that is why having the right legal advice to offer protection is vital. Thomson Hayton Winkley are local and have helped many generations of farming families.

Thomson Hayton Winkley have now merged with The Rural Law Practice, with director Nigel Davis joining us as a consultant. Nigel has almost 50 years’ experience of dealing with agricultural law and rural issues and the Rural Law Practice will continue to advise on all aspects of law relating to rural law, property and agri-business.

Ideally placed within the new J36 Rural Auction Centre off the M6 just outside Kendal, the firm meets the wide ranging needs of landowners and occupiers, providing access to a team of solicitors with hands on practical experience of the rural sector.


Our legal team has a wealth of expertise and practical experience of day-to-day farming and agri-business and our people are amongst the most experience lawyers in this sector – the best starting point to resolve your problems. The team are open, friendly and approachable and work together, using their individual knowledge, local understanding and extensive expert contacts to ensure that you get the best all round legal advice.


We believe that resolving our clients’ problems requires an understanding of their personal and business circumstances. We know that many farming and rural enterprises are family run and there can be issues which arise from this. Our knowledge assists us to provide a cost effective, sensible approach to help minimise the disruption of events such as death, divorce or retirement of a partner, and provide a smooth transition between generations as well as the successful continuation of the business. We understand that cash flow is a key consideration for many people and so guarantee not to land any unexpected bills on you. We will let you know every step of the way how much it is costing and what future expenses there may be – so you are in control.

  • Access Law more

    In many parts of the country there are increasing difficulties presented by access to land, whether by footpath and bridleways issues or the re-registration of common land. Our lawyers have the experience to help you work within the legislation and maintain control of your land.

    We are able to deal with:

    • Highways and footpaths
    • Commons issues
    • Village greens
  • Agri-business more

    Our team is experienced in acting for agri-business whether in the livestock or arable sector. We understand the importance of structuring your business dealings effectively and the prudence of careful planning for the future of your farm, your business and your family.

    We are able to deal with:

    • Partnership formation and dissolution
    • Alternative structures – joint ventures and share farming
    • Diversification schemes
    • Contracts
    • Professional negligence
    • Wills and Trusts
    • Compulsory purchase and compensation
  • Agricultural Dispute Resolution more

    We believe that litigation should be the last resort in any dispute. We understand that you have to live and work alongside those who occasionally cause you difficulties. Your issues need to be resolved sensitively and with a commercial reality that leaves your farm, your business and your family in tact.

    We are able to deal with:

    • Arbitrations and Tribunals
    • High Court and County Court claims
    • Public Enquiries
    • Mediation

    Read more about our Dispute Resolution services.

  • Agricultural Landlords and Tenants more

    Our team has unrivalled experience in acting for both Landlords and Tenants. Nigel Davis is the co-author of the Agricultural Precedents Handbook and regularly acts for clients in relation to tenancy issues.

    We are able to deal with:

    • Agricultural Holdings Act 1986
    • Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995
    • Grant and termination of tenancies
    • Succession
    • Alternative arrangements for your business
    • Residential tenancies

    Read more about our services on Property Matters and Dispute Resolution.

  • Rural Property more

    Our team has the experience to deal with all aspects of your property issues whether contentious or not. Our “hands on” experience of farming helps us to get to the heart of the issues quickly and effectively for you.

    We are able to deal with:

    • Sales and purchases of rural property
    • Restrictive covenant issues
    • Easements and boundaries
    • Adverse possession
    • Trespass
    • Planning/Tied Cottages
    • Contested probate issues

Your Local Experts

John Cooke - Director

John Cooke Director

Suzie Fisher - Chartered Legal Executive

Suzie Fisher Chartered Legal Executive

Nigel Davis - Consultant

Nigel Davis Consultant

Lauren Dixon - Legal Executive

Lauren Dixon Legal Executive

Heather Bland - Trainee Legal Executive

Heather Bland Trainee Legal Executive

Free Enquiries

Call us on 01539 721945 or complete our Free Enquiry Form and we will be in touch soon (no cost or obligation):

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Client Feedback

“ Very reliable and extremely efficient. Supportive and good to talk to. ”

Contact Details

Kendal Office: 114–116 Stricklandgate, Kendal , LA9 4QA T: 01539 721945

Windermere Office: 25 Crescent Road, Windermere, LA23 1BJ T: 015394 46585

Kirkby Lonsdale Office: 29 Main Street, Kirkby Lonsdale, LA6 2AH T: 015242 71222

J36 Rural Auction Centre: Crooklands, Milnthorpe, LA7 7FP T: 015395 67571

Financial Services: 114–116 Stricklandgate, Kendal , LA9 4QA T: 01539 815746