What can I do for you?
I act for a diverse range of clients in relation to the purchase, sale and management of their respective estates, farms and land holdings.
The breadth of my client base across the private, institutional, corporate and public sectors means that I can probably help you with any property dealings that you are contemplating, whether you are a pension fund, farming company, investor, farmer, local authority or utility company. Because I head up one of the largest agriculture and estates teams in the country, there is always the right specialist that I can put you in touch with to deal with any specific needs that you have.
By way of an example, we are currently undertaking for one our institutional clients, a multimillion-pound project in raising the level of a reservoir. This project involves dealing with Compulsory Purchase Orders, agricultural and residential tenancies, acquisitions and disposals of freehold interests, infrastructure work, funding agreements and most importantly of all, coordinating all the respective professionals involved in the property aspects of the project. As you would appreciate, coordinating teams of lawyers, agents and engineers to ensure that we achieve the results required within the clients timescales, requires meticulous organisation and interpersonal skills.
On a slightly different but equally challenging project for another client, I dealt with the acquisition of a large agricultural estate that involved challenging deadlines, complexities in addition to the usual purchase issues (if there is such thing) such as clawback, transferring water abstraction licences, agri environmental schemes, as well as commercial and agricultural tenancies. Above all, the parties confidentiality had to be assured. It is always pleasing to not only achieve clients expectations but in this case exceed them.
Supporting my clients’ ambitions
A real highlight for me was the work we did acting for a farming company in relation to sale of six farms jointly with its landlord. This involved prior to any sale negotiating with the landlord an overarching agreement to deal with issues such as employees, division of proceeds of sale, single farm payment issues, agri environmental schemes, pollution and residential properties. Once this aspect of the transaction completed, it then involved a joint sale with the landlord of the various properties and the complications that this brought up.
What do others say?
Legal 500 says: "Mills & Reeve LLP goes the extra mile to deal with any situation thoroughly. Michael Aubrey has a very good client manner, negotiating skills and strategic approach".
Chambers UK writes: "Mills & Reeve enjoys a nationwide reputation for acting for traditional landed estates as well as companies and charities that own farming and land-based interests. It is considered "a timely, responsive group that has a deep bench." Michael Aubrey heads the agriculture and estates team and is known as "a good lawyer who can help with all sorts of issues.".
What else should you know?
I am a committee member of the Country Land & Business Association, a member of the Royal Forestry Society and a member of the Royal Agricultural Society of England.
I write a quarterly article on agricultural law for the Solicitors Journal, commenting on the implications of the latest case law, which helps keep other practitioners up to date with that case law and the relevance of it to their day to day practice. I am also an editor of numerous articles and briefing notes prepared by the team always ensuring that they remain client focused and relevant to your business.