At Thompson Smith and Puxon (TSP) we consider the Fellowship of the Agricultural Law Association (FALA) to be the accreditation all professionals who advise rural businesses should aspire to achieve.

For almost 40 years the Agricultural Law Association (ALA) has been a forum for professionals serving agriculture – solicitors, surveyors, accountants, bankers, farm business consultants and others – to support each other in their specialisms. The Fellowship is for those with more experience of working in the law of agriculture and the countryside; and covers a wide range of legal issues affecting the sector, including farm tenancies, farm sales and purchases, diversification, business structures and succession planning, as well as related trusts and taxation.

TSP has three Fellows, Stephen Firmin, Kerry Addison and Fiona Gibson. Stephen, Kerry and Fiona together with colleagues from the Wills & Estates and Corporate & Commercial teams, advise the Firm’s substantial portfolio of rural and agricultural clientele. In particular, Kerry and Stephen have extensive technical expertise in the handling of commercial and agricultural land transactions and during the last year have represented a wide range of farming families, businesses and organisations in relation to the sale, acquisition and refinancing of agricultural land, related diversification and development projects, including alternative energy, as well as advising on farming tenancy and related matters for a number of estates and trusts.

Stephen Firmin (FALA) says “Achieving ALA Fellow status was hard work but exceptionally worthwhile. Fellowship is extremely useful, not only for the continued development of technical skills, but also in bringing together professionals from so many different specialisms within the agricultural sector.”

Kerry Addison (FALA) adds “The opportunities provided by the ALA to meet up regularly with “fellow” professionals, to network and exchange experience is an invaluable part of the Fellowship experience.”