Supporting growth in the rural North East

June 4, 2019

Tom Wills, head of agriculture and estates at Sintons law firm, reflects on the region’s growing rural economy

With the North East thriving in sectors like tech and digital, with its cities being growing hubs of activity for such industries, the ongoing progress of the region’s rural communities and businesses is also playing a key role in its development as a place to live, work and invest.

The region’s rural offering is a vital factor in many people’s decision to visit the North East, with its impressive countryside and coastline being key attractions in inbound tourism. Many existing businesses are growing on the back of such popularity among tourists, and many others have been established in response to demand.

Rural-based businesses of all types – from working farms and holiday lets to commercial ventures – are located across our region.

Many are turning to the expert advisors at law firm Sintons to help with their progress. The specialist team at Sintons has the expertise and experience to advise such businesses on a host of requirements, while being mindful of the unique complexities rural ventures experience.

And, as well as the business aspects, Sintons is a long-established advisor to families, many of whom have been with the law firm for generations, trusting Sintons to act for multiple generations in planning for their future and ensuring their families are provided for.

The specialist rural team at Sintons has grown significantly recently, in response to growing instructions from across the region.

The team, led by Tom Wills, has been involved in some of the most complex matters of ownership and land rights, and has established such a reputation that most of its work comes via referral and recommendation.

The team, which includes Alan Dawson – chairman of Sintons and a leading private client advisor for over 30 years – senior associate Louise Kelly, associate Emma Gilboy and consultant Angus Collingwood-Cameron. Solicitor apprentice Saffron Sinclair is also training within the rural team, under the supervision of Tom Wills.

Tom, one of only a few Fellows of the Agricultural Land Association (FALA) in the North of England and himself recognised as a leading advisor to rurally-based businesses and families, says: “For generations, Sintons has been highly regarded as an advisor to families in rural communities, with many of our clients being with us from inception or original purchase, and it is a joy to see their businesses grow and thrive. The relationships we build here often last for generations, such is the trust that our clients place in our team and the advice we give.

“Over the last ten years in particular, we have made great strides in becoming regarded as a leading advisor to both rural families and businesses, and we are winning work from across the whole North East region and into Cumbria and Yorkshire. We have a strong team who can handle the most complex of matters, and I myself have recently been involved in many highly significant transactions.

“Our team continues to grow, and we have many years of legal experience and expertise in the team. As the advisor of choice for many rurally- based businesses and families across the North East and beyond, we are proud of our reputation and the quality of advice and service we deliver.”

Photo: Tom Wills (third from left) with the rural estates team
Contact Tom Wills on or 0191 226 3796.

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