Rural Disputes

A market-leading team which resolves all manner of rural disputes swiftly and efficiently. 

Our rural disputes team is part of Shepherd and Wedderburn’s wider rural property and business practice, and our specialists work together on all potentially contentious matters. Our aim is to resolve disputes with the minimum of fuss, without involving the court, and we are experienced in all alternative methods of dispute resolution.

Where it is necessary to litigate, we have extensive experience in the Court of Session, the Scottish Land Court, the Lands Tribunal for Scotland, and the sheriff courts throughout Scotland.

Our expertise encompasses the following areas:

The estate and farm

We have experience of farming partnership disputes, grazing licence disputes, actions of division and sale, farming succession disputes, rent disputes and rent determination, as well as removal of tenants and unlawful occupiers, including animals. We have advised extensively on rights of way affecting land, the right to roam and servitudes and wayleave disputes.

We have unique experience of agricultural law matters with Hamish Lean being recognised as one of Scotland’s leading experts on agricultural law. Hamish has particular experience of subsidy appeals and agricultural tenancy disputes. 

We also regularly deal with boundary disputes and give advice on title conditions.

The farm shop

Diversification means that land owners and tenants are now more than ever involved in non-core agricultural activities. We have experience of matters that could affect the farm shop, including licensing, food safety and health and safety, as well as employment and contractual and supplier disputes.

Estate residential properties

For those land owners with residential properties or for tenants occupying such properties, we have experience of lease disputes, termination of leases and recovery of possession, as well as debt recovery and advising on property damage.

Development land and planning

Working with our property and planning teams, we have experience in disputes relating to missives, discharge and variation of title conditions, ransom strips and encroachment, planning applications and appeals, waste management and judicial review.

Neighbouring properties 

Our practice includes advising on boundary disputes and encroachment between neighbouring properties, high hedge disputes, nuisance, title rectification and access disputes. 


Crofting is a complex area of law where specialist legal advice is essential. We advise on a wide variety of crofting matters, including options for removing land from crofting tenure, succession to crofting tenancies, rectification of the Crofting Register and common grazing apportionment.


Rivers and lochs are an integral part of our rural landscape. We have experience in disputes involving riparian rights, environmental issues and water pollution, fishing and sporting right disputes and fishing timeshares.


Our firm is known for its extensive renewables practice. We have experience in wind turbine development disputes, rectification of wind farm leases, disputed compensation claims, planning applications and appeals and hydro scheme disputes.