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Saturday, 20 April 2013

The Model Trustee: a Roythornes podcast

Graham Smith speaking on "The Model Trustee"
Accepting an invitation to be a trustee is not for the fainthearted. Graham Smith, partner at Roythornes, and acknowledged expert in taxation and trusts, suggests you should think about it at least six times before saying yes! If, having thought about it, you do say yes, you will need to spend some time investigating and understanding what your duties are.
If you don't have time to spend hours reading learned tomes, this podcast is a good starting point. It is a short introduction to "The Model Trustee", a talk given by Graham (in his own inimitable style and in a tweed suit) at our recent Down on the Farm: Partnerships and Trusts and getting it right... seminar. The number of farmers and professionals who attended the seminar is testimony to how seriously people take their trustee responsibilities.

Enjoy the podcast. And if you have any questions, or we can help in any way on trust matters, get in touch with Graham directly on 01638 564130.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Renewable energy for all?

A few days ago we joined forces with Fisher German's renewables experts to run a seminar for our clients and others with a serious interest in renewable projects.

There was certainly no shortage of energy in the room. Far from it, almost everyone who came through the door had a particular project in mind, across the range of technologies.

That's hardly surprising. With the number of non-water industry anaerobic digesters now above the 100 mark, the National Non-Food Crops Centre is  upbeat about prospects for new plants, particularly where agricultural feedstock is concerned. On the solar park front, Roythornes acted for Lark Energy on their groundbreaking devleopment at Wymeswold in Leicestershire, the largest solar park in the UK, and which was connected to the grid earlier this month. As far as on-shore wind is concerned, Fisher German's Mark Newton - one of the experts at our seminar -  predicted as early as April  2010 that every farm would have a wind turbine within 5 years.

Not for everyone?
However, we acknowledge that not all landowners like wind farms. Some are genuinely worried about changes to our rural landscapes; others don't agree with the notion of subsidy for alternative energy.

As professionals - and subject to conflict of interest constraints -  we advise clients on the legal issues thrown up by their plans, or the plans of others, and then we fight their corner.

What's clear for now is that food and farming businesses across the country have an abundance of opportunity to develop alternative, diversified income streams and reduce waste. Without doubt there is still a head of steam behind renewable projects of different sizes and technologies. Our job, as and when we are instructed, is to pursue the best outcome for those who instruct us.

If you would like to discuss a renewable energy project, please call your usual Roythornes contact or, alternatively, get in touch with any member of our renewables team.