Lodders’ Rural sector team adds agricultural law specialist
- Credit: Archant
With Nicola’s appointment, the firms’ Rural sector team becomes one of the largest in the region, with more than twenty legal specialists providing advice to the agricultural sector
Law firm Lodders’ expanding team that is dedicated to the Rural Sector, has made a key senior hire, recruiting Nicola Smith, a leading light in agricultural, equine, commercial and rural property law, as a Senior Associate.
With Nicola’s appointment, the firms’ Rural sector team becomes one of the largest in the region, with more than twenty legal specialists providing advice to the agricultural sector and agri-businesses covering farms and landed estates, succession planning, strategic development land advice, as well employment, family and planning matters.
Based in the firm’s South West regional office in Cheltenham, Nicola has consistently been recognised by the legal profession’s independent guide to lawyers, Chambers UK, being named as an ‘Associate to watch’ in each edition from 2014 to 2016, and described as delivering ‘good, honest, accurate advice’.
A legal specialist in all aspects of rural, land and agricultural law, she is known for her expertise in advising farming and agricultural clients, with extensive experience in a range of land transactions, from farms to equestrian operations and properties, rural property transactions, commercial development, diversification, tenancies matters, and in equine law, spanning livery agreements to Polo yard contracts.
A Member of the Agricultural Law Association and an Associate Lecturer at University of West England, Bristol, Nicola has gained experience in the agricultural teams of some leading South West firms and joins Lodders from Bristol firm Metcalfes.
Prior to that, she led the creation of a specialist Agricultural law team for a Dorset-based firm, which was shortlisted for Regional Team of the Year in the Solicitors Journal Awards 2016, and where she advised farmers on a range of matters, including commercial land and property development deals.
Commenting on the move to Lodders, Nicola says: “The agriculture and rural sectors have always been central to Lodders’ business and its specialist legal offering, and the firm works for many notable farming, equestrian and landed estates operations, organisations, business, and private clients.
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“The agriculture sector demands a unique way of working, something which Lodders’ rural sector team clearly understands, consistently demonstrating an appreciation of the business climate, and providing the broad range of legal advice required by farmers and farming businesses day to day. This is also evident in Lodders’ focus on the rural sector and on client service.
“I am really looking forward to working in an environment that understands and empathises with the entire farming community in this way,” she adds, “and with a firm and team where my experience and specialisms have the chance to shine, and to add value to the firm and its clients.”
Head of Lodders’ Rural sector practice, partner James Spreckley, explains that Nicola’s appointment signals the firm’s continued commitment to the agricultural sector: “Our strategy is clear - to continue to invest in top quality legal experts and deliver an unrivalled breadth of service to the rural and agricultural sectors.
“Nicola’s appointment is significant for the firm but also specifically our Cheltenham practice, once again demonstrating our commitment to the town and the region, and our undisputed and continued impact on the Gloucestershire and South Cotswolds legal and agricultural markets.”
For more information about Lodders, visit the website here.