Two directors from a Darlington firm of solicitors are celebrating successfully passing the Agricultural Law Association Fellowship exam.

Solicitors Gillian Ibbotson and Adam Wood from Latimer Hinks have both now earned the prestigious title of Fellow of the ALA.

The ALA is the UK's largest inter-professional organisation devoted to the law of agriculture and business of the countryside.

Gillian, who trained with Latimer Hinks and became a director this year, specialises in trusts, estates, and tax planning. She is experienced in dealing with succession and growth planning for clients with business and agricultural assets.

Gillian said: “I am delighted. This is a real achievement for us, and also demonstrates the depth of knowledge here at Latimer Hinks.

“It is crucial, as solicitors who work in such a varied sector that we continue to develop our understanding of issues relevant to agriculture, the environment, food and other related matters. It has been really valuable to have the opportunity to spend time with other professionals in this sector, gaining insight from their experience.”

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Gillian is also a member of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and a fully accredited Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).

Adam said: “It reinforces Latimer Hinks' commitment to grow and build upon our strengths, which allows us to provide legal expertise to our clients in the rural sector across the region and beyond.”

Adam specialises in commercial and agricultural property law within the Darlington-based firm and is one of only two solicitors in the town who also practice as a notary public.

Alex Carson-Taylor FRGS, Chair of the ALA, said:  “The Fellowship of the ALA is open to all rural professionals and is holistic in approach covering relevant law, taxation, business structures, diversification and policy issues in a detailed scenario-based environment. The Fellowship builds strategic and technical competence, enabling successful candidates to better advise those in the rural sector.”

Elizabeth Armstrong, Manager Director of Latimer Hinks, said: “Gillian and Adam have demonstrated fantastic knowledge and dedication, and to be two of the only 200 professionals in the country to hold this accreditation is incredible.”