Rural and Estates

Agricultural law specialists, top-ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners independent legal directories, advising on all aspects of rural law, from estates, forestry and farming to crofting, renewable energy and more.

Our expert team of lawyers advises across all farming and land management issues, sharing our clients’ passion for rural business development and land and countryside management. We understand where rural land use and business intertwine. Our approach is based on getting to know you and working in partnership, anticipating the challenges you face, now and in the future.

We make it our business to understand our clients’ needs, providing high quality advice to consistently deliver successful outcomes.

We are recognised as market-leaders for the diversity of our expertise. Specialising in rural matters means we maintain technical prowess across a very broad range of legal issues, and take pride in the breadth of our key strengths. Working closely with our tax, planning, health and safety, construction, corporate, litigation and employment specialists, we provide a complete service to our clients.

In addition to the team’s extensive experience in rural property, we are also renowned for our expertise in renewable energy and environmental issues.

Individuals in our team work alongside members of relevant cross-party policy committees of the Scottish Parliament on Rural Affairs and Renewable Energy, ensuring we keep our clients fully apprised of proposed legislative changes.

We also have specialist expertise in agricultural tenancies and a deep understanding of this highly regulated area of law, with unrivalled experienced in both contentious and non-contentious agricultural tenancy advice. A key strength is our Scottish Land Court Practice, and members of the team regularly appear in the Court representing landlords and tenants in a wide variety of disputes.


  • Buying and selling all types of property: estates, farms, fields and agricultural buildings; farmhouses, country houses and cottages; and sporting and crofting estates, fishing rights, forests and woodlands.
  • Setting up shared farming and contract farming agreements.
  • Dealing with agricultural, sporting, minerals, commercial and residential tenancies.
  • Conducting agricultural tenancy litigations in the Scottish Land Court.
  • Acting on behalf of clients in agricultural subsidies appeals in the Scottish Land Court.
  • Acting for lenders and borrowers in relation to taking/granting security over rural assets.
  • Assisting on other projects on rural land, including holiday lets, caravan sites, outdoor activity centres, cafes and shops, plot sales, telecoms leases and dealing with management agreements.
  • Advising on general estate management, subsidy queries, and further countryside-specific issues.
  • Dealing with, and advising on, rights of access, drainage and services, mineral rights and title conditions.
  • Acting for landowners on renewable energy projects (including wind, hydro and solar schemes).
  • Advising on succession planning, tax reliefs (Agricultural Property Relief and Business Property Relief), and settling up and drafting partnership agreements.
  • Dealing with land promotion agreements and property developments.

For more information on how our agricultural and rural property lawyers can help you, please get in touch. 

A wide spectrum of expertise to deal with complex matters, with good communication.
Client testimonial, The Legal 500 2023

The Woodland Trust

Advising on the purchase of the Ben Shieldaig Estate, which is worthy of protection by the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity. Challenges included crofting, planning, environmental designations, restricted access rights, problems with mooring boats and salmon fishing rights.

Eskdalemuir Forestry

Acted for client in the purchase of Kirk Hill Forest, including a review of a previous draft wind farm option agreement and completion of a clawback agreement and security in respect of any future renewables development. There were also complications regarding rights of access, which are always a key concern for forestry properties, as well as third party services across the property.

The Firm of Malcolm G D Morrison

Acted on behalf of the sheep farming firm of Malcolm GD Morrison in relation to a subsidy appeal, which arose as a consequence of a stock transfer form not being lodged with Scottish Animal Movement Unit (SAMU) timeously. The appeal was heard in the Scottish Land Court and our argument was upheld.

Private Estate Owner

Acting for a private estate owner in entering into a joint venture arrangement with a hydro operator, leasing land to the joint venture company for the construction of a hydro electric scheme with associated security transaction and subsequent sale of the estate.

A Pension Scheme

Acting for a pension scheme in relation to its forestry portfolio, including sales, acquisitions, management matters and renewable energy projects.

Family Farming Partnership

Acting on behalf of a family farming partnership in rent review negotiations with their landlord and subsequent purchase of the farm from the landlord with associated security work.

Tenanted Borders Farm

Acting in the sale of a tenanted Borders farm in two parts, including all negotiations with the outgoing tenant and the two purchasers.


Acting for the Trustees of a traditional lowland estate in putting in place new agricultural tenancy arrangements.

Highland Clan

Acting for a Highland clan in the disposal of consented land for development purposes.

Various Estates

Acting for various estates in relation to negotiations with developers for wind and hydro projects.

Castle in Angus

Sale of a Castle in Angus to an overseas buyer.