News

30 November 2021

Leading South West law firm Battens Solicitors are delighted to announce the expansion of their Agriculture and Rural Property team with the appointment of two new members of staff. Senior Associate Solicitor Rachel Saltonstall and Conveyancing Executive Michelle Lane are joining the team of agricultural law specialists at one of the area’s largest and longest-established legal firms.

Rachel and Michelle bring with them a wide breadth of experience in agricultural and commercial law. Rachel has worked in the South West for the past 17 years, acting for a diverse range of clients in the private, commercial, charitable and agricultural sectors. This includes sales and acquisitions, all aspects of non-contentious landlord and tenant matters, telecommunications, and renewable energy projects.

Rachel says “I have had a long association with Battens dating back to 2004 and I re-joined the company last year. I am very pleased now to be part of the agricultural team, which is very well respected in the area for both its in-depth legal expertise and its pragmatic advice on farming and rural estate matters.”

Michelle is also returning to the agricultural team after spending some time away to bring up her young family. She is a Graduate of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and has specialised in agriculture and rural property since 2014. She advises on matters associated with the ownership and occupation of land and rural properties, such as sales, purchases, easements, tenancy agreements and borrowing secured on land.

Along with other members of the department, Michelle is very much involved in farming. Helping out on her parents’ dairy farm in North Dorset gives her a real insight into the issues farmers face: “When you talk to farmers during site visits, it definitely helps if you can speak the same language and understand the challenges they have to deal with. Most farms are family businesses, some going back for generations, so it is important to understand the family dynamics as well as the complexities involved in rural land transactions and negotiations.”

James Owen, of the Battens’ Agricultural Rural Property team said: “Rachel and Michelle are a valuable and welcome addition to the team, strengthening the expertise and service which we can offer to all our clients and helping us to build the best and most knowledgeable agricultural legal team in the area.”

(From left to right - Michelle Lane, James Owen, Rachel Saltonstall and Tracy Neal)