CPD Hours Level
Conference expert panelInformation 6 UpdateInformation
SRA Competency B


Chaired by George Laurence QC, this conference will examine a range of topical issues through its expert panel of speakers.

Covering such topics as the deregistration of common land, farm business tenancies, agricultural policy changes in light of Brexit and a review of farming partnership disputes, it is the ideal opportunity for delegates to keep up to date with the latest developments.

9.30am - 10.15am: Deregistration of Common Land and Trigger Events under the Commons Act 2006

George Laurence QC, New Square Chambers

This session will discuss applications under the Commons Act 2006 to deregister land currently registered as common land. It will cover the following:

  • Deregistration
    • The scope of section 19 (the Leigh Common case)
    • The scope of para 6 of Schedule 2 (the Blackbushe Airport case)
    • When does waste land of a manor not subject to rights of common cease to be common land? (the Warcop MOD case)
  • Trigger events under section 15C of and Schedule 1A to Commons Act 2006:
    • How exactly do trigger events operate? (The Cooper Estates case in the Court of Appeal)
    • What are the duties of a Registration Authority on receipt of an application to register land as a TVG? (The St John’s College case)
    • The distinction between (i) an application which is not duly made and (ii) an application which, though duly made, is caught by a schedule 1A trigger?
    • How should a RA respond procedurally to an application to register land as a town or village green which may: have been caught by a trigger event; or have not been duly made; or be subject to a fatal legal flaw?

10.15am - 11.00am: Farm Business Tenancies

Sarah Denney Richards, Thursfields Legal

This session will look at the conditions and clauses that are required for all farm business tenancies (FBTs) and taking into consideration both the landlord and the tenant's requirements. It will also consider the impact of Brexit.

  • Review the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995
  • Explore the basic requirement of a farm business tenancy
  • Examine the impact of ‘diversification’ on the ‘agricultural condition’
  • Discuss the place of FBTs within the changing face of agriculture

11.15am - 12.00pm: Town & Village Greens Update

Paul Wilmshurst, 9 Stone Buildings

Despite recent changes, the registration of land as a new town or village green remains a 'nuclear weapon' for those seeking to oppose development of land.

For landowners the registration of land means the total destruction of any future value in the land as local inhabitants acquire rights over it.

This session will cover some of the common defences to village green applications made with respect to privately owned land. Also covered will be some of the procedural issues that often cause difficulty for practitioners.

  • How to spot a village green in the making. What quality of user will give rise to a registration?
  • What Defences are available to landowners: the latest cases on user as of right - permissive user, contentious user and signs
  • When should a non-statutory public inquiry be held? When would it be unfair to do so?

12.00pm - 12.45pm: Agricultural Policy Changes

Nerys Llewelyn Jones

This session will look at the changes to agricultural policy further to Brexit, the new Agriculture Act and the relevant delegated legislation that requires attention from a practitioner point of view.

We will consider in particular:

  • Agricultural Policy Consultations and Direction of Policy
  • Timeline in relation to changes
  • Impact on Basic Payment Scheme
  • Update on current Rural Development Grant Schemes
  • Things to consider in transactions and advising in Practice

12.45pm - 1.00pm: Questions on Morning Session

2.00pm - 2.50pm: Proprietary Estoppel - Promises

Nerys Llewelyn Jones

This session will consider the doctrine of proprietary estoppel and its utilisation in the context of farming families.

It will consider recent cases on the various elements of proprietary estoppel and how the Court will evaluate the value of the detriment.

  • The elements of proprietary estoppel
  • Case law on the various elements
  • How to value the detriment
  • Considerations in terms of case management

2.50pm - 3.40pm: Farming Partnership Disputes

Nigel Thomas, Maitland Chambers

In recent times there has been a notable upsurge in family farming partnership disputes, often caused by divorce or sibling rivalry.

The session will consider the particular issues and problems associated with farming partnerships which are invariably complicated by family relationships. The high value of the partnership capital and assets set against partnership income which is often modest and the issues arising from that will be considered.

  • The importance of the partnership agreement, the need to review its terms from time to time and the accuracy of the partnership accounts
  • Should the partnership agreement contain an arbitration clause? The soaring costs of agricultural arbitrations
  • Arbitration v Court action and the role of mediation
  • Protecting the family’s assets and the impact of divorce
  • How a proprietary estoppel claim can override the partnership agreement

3.55pm - 4.45pm: Closing Address - Contemporary Rights of Way Issues

George Laurence QC, New Square Chambers

This session will discuss ways for landowners to deal with unexpected applications to add new public rights of way to the Definitive Map. It will cover:

  • Recent developments in public rights of way including the implications of a way becoming publicly maintainable (the London Borough of Southwark case in the Supreme Court)
  • The scope of surveying authorities’ duty to investigate claims to add new paths to the Definitive Map (the Roxlena case in the Court of Appeal)
  • The interaction between sections 130A-D, 143 and 263 HA 1980 in relation to the erection of obstructions on highways maintainable at the public expense
  • What is the meaning of a ‘highway or other road to which the public has access’ in legislation governing illegal footway parking?

4.45pm - Close: Questions & Answers

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Conference | 19.11.2019

London | 9:30am - 5:15pm

Agricultural Law Conference 2019

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9:30am - 5:15pm
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