TSP has long-standing and strong relationships with the rural community in Essex and the surrounding counties. Headed by Stephen Firmin, a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association, the Agriculture team is familiar with the specific issues and problems that the sector has and can advise on all matters that concern farmers and landowners.

From radio mast leasing to managing your commercial land and property, TSP have the knowledge and experience to offer sound, practical advice, together with a comprehensive understanding of local planning and property markets.

Fiona Ashworth who heads the firm’s Wills and Estates team, has extensive experience in the often complex law and tax rules surrounding Agriculture, including; trusts, estates and inheritance. She is a member of the Agricultural Law Association and her farming background (she is a farmer’s daughter and married to a farmer) has helped her to develop an agricultural client base which she advises on estate planning and farming family succession. She is a past Trustee of the Essex Federation of Young Farmers Clubs and is also a council member of the Essex Agricultural Society.

Solicitor, Kerry Addison, who is also a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association, undertakes all types of general commercial property work but specialises in development and planning, rural matters for farmers and landowners (such as promotion and option agreements), and property portfolios and refinancing.

Together with Robert Ashworth and Nicola Healy,  Stephen Firmin, Fiona Ashworth, Kerry Addison, Alex Butler- Zagni and Fiona Gibson advise the firm’s substantial portfolio of agricultural clients in connection with property and commercial questions as well as estate planning, taxation and succession issues. Our friendly, flexible and approachable style, together with a real commitment to support you and your business, makes TSP your partner of choice for:

Property and land

  • Acquisition and disposal of estates, farms, properties and land
  • Agricultural tenancies and farm management agreements
  • Access to land, rights of way and wayleaves
  • Sporting rights, mineral rights
  • Radio and telecommunication infrastructure leasing

Business development

  • Diversification
  • Employment and health & safety
  • Environmental and planning issues
  • Tax planning and succession
  • Dispute resolution
  • Rights of way
  • Tenancies
  • Arbitration
  • Compensation

TSP Senior Partner Mary Anne Fedeyko adds “Continuing to grow and develop our agribusiness work is very important to TSP. The repositioning of the firm over a number of years has meant that we have been able to attract experts in this area, including Fiona Ashworth and Kerry Addison. A number of our clients with traditional farming backgrounds have developed into diversified businesses and TSP now has the experience and expertise to offer these clients, both locally and internationally, a full service.”

Stephen says “I am delighted to hold the Fellowship of the Agricultural Law Association. The Association plays such a very important role in bringing together leading practitioners in rural affairs from across the UK and Europe and provides excellent academic support to its Fellows and Members. As a practice TSP holds an annual Agricultural Law Workshop at its Colchester Office, to which we invite our fellow Professionals, such as Land Agents and Surveyors, who also serve local agriculture.”

In 2022/23 TSP’s Agriculture and Estates Practice was recommended by the Legal 500. Stephen Firmin and Kerry Addison are both recommended for their work in this area. The Legal 500 said: Thompson Smith and Puxon handles estate and succession planning, agricultural acquisitions and disposals for clients across the South East. The Colchester-based practice is led by Stephen Firmin, who is a property specialist and a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association. Kerry Addison handles development and planning and is praised for her ‘deep agricultural knowledge’. Wills and estates team leader Fiona Ashworth is decribed as ‘a force of nature’.

Client Testimonials: 

‘We found the team at TSP very knowledgeable on all aspects of our purchase and provided sound advice where needed. Combined with always making themselves available nothing seemed a chore to them.’

‘Our contact Kerry Addison was a pleasure to deal with, very efficient and made the whole process very smooth from start to finish.’

‘Deep knowledge of the agriculture and estates sector. Particular expertise in development and promotional agreements. Estate and inheritance tax planning a speciality.’

In 2021/22 the Legal 500 said: Located in Colchester, the agriculture team at Thompson Smith and Puxon is regarded for its estate and succession planning for farming and estate-owning clients in the South East, as well as its expertise in commercial and agricultural acquisitions and disposals. Practice leader Stephen Firmin has an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of land law’ and focuses on property portfolios and strategic land planning, while Kerry Addison specialises in development and planning for farmers and landowners. Wills and estates team leader Fiona Ashworth is a ‘force of nature’; she deals primarily with succession planning and administration of estates.

In 2020/21 the Legal 500 said: The agricultural team at Thompson Smith and Puxon advises clients on commercial and property issues, alongside tax and estate planning. The team has additional specialisms in land and property acquisitions, option agreements, refinancing, and development transactions and disposals. Practice head Stephen Firmin has expertise in strategic land planning, property portfolios, and the acquisition and disposal of high-value farming estates. Kerry Addison comes highly recommended.

In 2019 the Legal 500 said: Thompson Smith and Puxon’s agricultural team assists clients with property and commercial issues as well as estate planning, taxation and succession matters. With a strong relationship with the rural communities in Essex and neighbouring counties, the team specialises in commercial and agricultural land and property acquisitions, disposals and related development transactions, as well as in development and planning, promotion and option agreements and property portfolio management and refinancing. Stephen Firmin heads the practice. Kerry Addison is also recommended.

In 2018 the Legal 500 said: “Clients rate Thompson Smith and Puxon as ‘a professional firm with an excellent knowledge of all matters relating to agriculture and estates’, with Kerry Addison singled out for her ability to handle matters with ‘the utmost tact and diplomacy’. The practice’s agricultural law expertise encompasses advice on commercial and real estate issues, as well as estate planning, taxation and succession issues. In 2017, the team acted for landowners and developers on site acquisitions and disposals totalling £120m in value; assisted with agricultural tenancy matters including surrenders and regrants; and advised farmers and agribusinesses on employment issues ranging from restructuring and redundancy exercises to disciplinary procedures. Practice head Stephen Firmin ‘takes the time to ensure that the client’s objectives are fully understood and tailors advice to achieve those objectives’.

Thompson Smith and Puxon is a member of the Country Landowners Association (CLA). The CLA lobbies the Government on matters that are important to farmers, landowners and the countryside. They have recently (July 2018) highlighted the often forgotten problem of fly-tipping 

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