Given the level of diversity across the agriculture industry, it is no surprise to hear that disputes will often arise. These can be contract disputes, professional negligence claims against advisers, boundary and access disputes, ownership of land, adverse possession, and farm tenancy disputes to name but a few. As we have seen in the courts all too often recently, farming partnerships can and do fall out about the future direction of the business, succession or inheritance.
With our knowledge of the agriculture industry, and by getting to know your business, we can advise you on strategies to resolve your agricultural dispute. That may be by way of a negotiated settlement, but if court proceedings are required, (and they are usually the last resort) then we are here to guide you through the court process.
Many contracts, in particular contracts for the purchase of commodities, have their own specific rules for the resolution of disputes. For example the British Potato Trade Association (BPTA) deals with potatoes, while the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) is concerned with grains. Our advisers have represented both farmers and merchants at arbitration, and are often invited to give presentations of the dispute resolution provisions of these specialist contracts.
Our specialist advisers, with their litigation experience and knowledge of agricultural disputes can assist you from the outset to help achieve your objectives.
Areas of specialism
We specialise in a number of different areas, so whatever issue you’re having with your agricultural business, the team at Coffin Mew can help.
- Contract disputes (including specialist contracts)
- Access and boundary disputes
- Professional negligence
- Farm tenancy disputes (AHA and FBT)
- Partnership/company disputes
- Inheritance/succession disputes
- Employment disputes
- EU Schemes – disputes with DEFRA/RPA
- Regulatory investigations – e.g. livestock welfare, transport, identification and movements
Examples of previous cases
We have been involved in a number of previous cases, with positive outcomes for our clients. Below is just a small handful of the matters the Rural & Agricultural Business team have dealt with.
- Resolved a £3m dispute regarding failed seed crop (BPTA contract).
- Arbitration under AIC rules – grain dispute.
- Actions against agronomists for negligent advice leading to reduced yield/failed crop.
- AHA 1986 – we successfully represented an applicant for first succession where the landlord was resisting the application.
- We have acted for a purchaser of development land in a dispute over the correct method of calculating, and ultimate valuation of, an overage payment.
- We advised on the early termination of a dairy contract, which lead to significant losses.
If you have an agricultural dispute that you need advice on, or would like more information on the team and how we can help, please contact us today.