Despite the uncertainty surrounding the future, farmers and agricultural businesses need to seize the opportunities that come their way – that’s the message from an experienced legal specialist as he joins a Shropshire law firm.
Lanyon Bowdler has strengthened its agricultural team with the addition of vastly experienced lawyer, Steven Corfield.
Steven, a Shropshire native, has built up a highly-respected reputation over many years and is one of the two leading individuals for the West Midlands in the prestigious Legal 500 directory for his work in the agricultural sector.
Brian Evans, managing partner and head of agriculture at Lanyon Bowdler, said: “We are delighted to add Steven to our team, alongside fellow agricultural law specialist, Nick Playford, who joined the firm earlier in the year.
“Steven is a very experienced solicitor and well known for his work with farming and estate clients.
“He was raised on the family farm at Bridgnorth, has retained strong ties with Shropshire and surrounding areas and knows the area and people very well – making his level of expertise an invaluable asset to Lanyon Bowdler and our clients.”
Steven joins the law firm from FBC Manby Bowdler, where he was an agricultural consultant, and specialises in providing professional advice in areas including freehold and leasehold matters, tenancies, partnerships agreements, inheritance and capital taxation, mineral rights, sporting rights, telecommunications and renewables.
He said: “Practising agricultural law could be compared to working in a James Herriot-style veterinary practice in that you have no idea what job is coming through the door next.
“For instance, on one occasion I was working on a multi-million purchase and a dairy farmer phoned to say a bailiff was trying to take away one of his milking cows. I downed my pen and drove out to meet the client, cow and bailiff.
“It turned out the cow had been sold to my client by a farming company which was in receivership and had no right to sell. A deal was done and the cow was kept.”
He added: “I have worked in agricultural law since 1993, and doubt whether I have seen the sector face such a period of turbulence as now.
“However, as one of my mentors in the law would remind me, there is a proverb that change means both uncertainty and opportunity. That is how I see farming in the UK at present and we should all look to make the most of the opportunities that will be out there.”
Steven qualified as a solicitor in 1981, working in general practice before specialising in commercial property at Telford Development Corporation, followed by working as an assistant solicitor in Birmingham and London, before moving into agricultural law in 1993.
For any advice on agricultural legal matters, contact Steven on 01584 872333 or visit the Lanyon Bowdler website at www.lblaw.co.uk
Pictured: Steven Corfield.