Leading regional law firm Thompson Smith and Puxon (TSP) is delighted to announce that Kerry Addison, a TSP director and solicitor in the Colchester office, has become a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association (FALA). Kerry is one of just 15 professionals nationwide to have been awarded this honour in 2018 having successfully completed the Fellowship examinations.

TSP Agriculture & Estates team leader, Stephen Firmin, is also a Fellow and he and Kerry, together with colleagues from the Wills & Estates and Corporate & Commercial teams, advise the Firm’s substantial portfolio of rural and agricultural clientele.

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.

Senior Partner, Mary Anne Fedeyko comments “Continuing to grow and develop our agribusiness work is very important to TSP. Agricultural is a significant sector for us regionally. As our clients have adjusted to the challenges and opportunities arising from diversification of their business, whether directly or from the significant redevelopment activity we have seen more locally, we have been alive to the need for our own practice to develop, and for us to build an experienced team capable of offering comprehensive specialist legal services across the disparate requirements our rural clients now have.

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 adds “On behalf of my fellow directors and the staff at Thompson Smith and Puxon I would like to congratulate Kerry. I know, from personal experience, how challenging these exams are and the level of commitment and knowledge that it takes to achieve this award. On a day to day basis Kerry and I work closely with fellow directors Fiona Ashworth (Wills & Estates), Mary Anne Fedeyko (Corporate & Commercial) and Richard Porter (Employment), and their teams, to ensure we are able to tackle all of the issues that today’s farming businesses face and can adopt a joined up approach to the advice we provide either directly or in liaison with other supporting advisers such as accountants, land agents and surveyors.

The Legal 500: In 2017 both the TSP Commercial Property and Agriculture & Estates teams were recommended by the Legal 500 and Kerry was highlighted as a Next Generation Lawyer. The Legal 500 said:

Stephen Firmin and Kerry Addison specialise in development and agricultural matters, supporting landowners, developers, housing associations as well as landlords and tenants regarding site transactions, land refinancing, agricultural tenancy, leases, and strategic land planning during rural housing projects.

Addison is recommended for her ‘excellent ability to structure development deals and her holistic advice’; she is ‘very practical, realistic as well as tenacious and patient in negotiations’

Thompson Smith and Puxon is also a corporate member of the Country Landowners Association (CLA) and a member of the Essex Agricultural Society.