Region’s solicitor appointed to Law Society Committee to play an influential role ahead of Scotland’s Land Reform Bill

A solicitor from Dumfries & Galloway has been appointed to join the Law Society of Scotland’s Rural Affairs Committee and will play an influential role on informing the Scottish Government’s Land Reform Bill.

David Hall, from Kirkcudbright, is the only solicitor to be appointed from south west Scotland and will travel regularly to Edinburgh throughout the year to represent the needs of Scotland’s land owners and farmers at the Rural Affairs Committee.

This week also sees the opening of his law firm that services agricultural and land owning clients throughout Scotland, many of them from Dumfries & Galloway.

Hall Baird Solicitors, a partnership between David and fellow Solicitor Karen Baird, focuses heavily on the requirements of those working in one of the region’s most vital industries of farming and agriculture, as well as servicing commercial, individual and forestry concerns. They offer clients a considerable breadth of experience in both general legal practice and on specialist, agricultural matters.

The function of the Rural Affairs Committee is to provide specialist legal input to the Scottish Government on proposed legislation which will have an impact upon rural affairs.

The Scottish Governments Land Reform Bill, currently being discussed in The Scottish Parliament, will impact on rural affairs in south west Scotland and there will be significant changes for landowners and agricultural businesses operating in Dumfries & Galloway.

The Land Reform Bill proposes to end tax relief for shooting estates and force the sale of land if owners are believed to be blocking economic development. The additional money raised by tax exemption, labelled the Scottish Land Fund, will help support community buyouts of land, from £3m this year to £10m next year.
Government targets include more transparency in land ownership, to be detailed in the Land Register for Scotland, and one million acres of land to be in community ownership by 2020. Thus the concerns and representation of agricultural businesses and land owners is at the forefront of thoughts for David who hails from a farming family and along with Karen has shared passion and lengthy experience of working with rural based clients.
David Hall, Solicitor and Director at Hall Baird, said:
“I am delighted to be appointed to the Rural Affairs Committee and represent the needs and concerns of Dumfries & Galloway at a national level. There are huge changes afoot for Scotland and indeed Dumfries & Galloway, with the Land Reform Bill which is well underway. As a farmer’s son I have a particular interest and passion in rural matters and the rural community and therefore I want to offer a bespoke, legal practice which focuses significantly on agricultural and rural clients and my new business with Karen will enable this.”

Karen Baird

Karen Baird, Solicitor and Director at Hall Baird, said:
“Law and agriculture can both be perceived as male dominated areas however, I believe I’m changing that perception through my experience and practice in rural law which has been greatly influenced by being in a farming partnership with my husband. We personally have successfully moved from being tenant farmers with the right to buy scheme to owning our farm. My personal experiences gives me an insight and understanding of the legal needs of agricultural families in Dumfries & Galloway. ”

Hall Baird Solicitors begin operating this week from the outskirts of Castle Douglas and will act as advisories in areas such as; agricultural law and leases, forestry and farm purchase and sales, partnership matters, telecoms masts, renewable energy projects, as well as residential conveyancing, wills, power of attorney and executries.

For more information on Hall Baird Solicitors and the services they offer visit www.hallbaird.co.uk or contact them at [email protected] or [email protected] Tel: 01556 502 764

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