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Jonathan Cheal

Solicitor Agriculture | Wells
Direct: 01749 341803
Office: 01749 342323
Mob: 07901 332642

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AN AGRICULTURAL PROPERTY SOLICITOR WITH OVER 40 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE OF ADVISING FARMERS AND LANDOWNERS ON A BROAD RANGE OF LEGAL AND PROPERTY ISSUES.

My specialism is in public rights of way and access to land: guiding clients in the management of existing public access on their land, in the protective steps available to prevent public rights, and in dealing with claims to add new public rights. This is an area of practice rarely encountered in solicitors’ firms.

As well as that specialist work, I also have many cases involving private rights of way, and easements, and cases involving occupation of land; and have had much experience in agricultural holdings work, in town & country planning, and in farm conveyancing.

This work has come from all over southern and central England, as well as many cases in Wales.

Since the 1990s, the two main legal directories, Chambers UK and Legal 500, have been ranking me in the Leading Individuals lists. Since 2018, named in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame. Set out below are some of the testimonials published by those directories:

“He’s a first-rate agricultural lawyer of long standing and is hugely respected”
“An industry leader in his area of expertise”
“Jonathan Cheal is an asset to any rural company. His knowledge about law and history of the law and the
locations he has advised us on is staggering”
“He is incredibly knowledgeable and has huge expertise in his field. This, of course, gives his clients the comfort that they have the very best on their side”
“He is an outstanding solicitor and remarkably brilliant at public rights of way matters”
“His knowledge on rights of way is vast and his manner impeccable; you always feel you’re getting the maximum
value for money with his time and experience”

Among testimonials from individual clients, are these:

“It has been a pleasure working with you; and your professional competence and calm/firm advice has been an inspiration”
“We certainly would not have achieved such a satisfactory outcome without you, and we are deeply appreciative”
“It has been a privilege knowing you”
“You are just about the most efficient person I know. You always get on with it. You always do what you say you’re going to do, and when. You keep your word. I love talking to you”
“Thank you for dealing with all of this – please don’t retire yet”

Many interests and enthusiasms beyond work, and beyond family:

books (reading, collecting);
writing (wrote two best-selling books in 1980s under pen-name Pelham Witherspoon; published a brief Life of Capt Richard Austin, and drafted his Times Obituary);
military history (leading several individual battlefield tours - France, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Crete);
topography (close knowledge of geography of southern England and maps has helped in building a rural practice);
cricket history (Wisdens back to 1947; has given a speech in the Long Room; has done some ‘live’ radio commentary at Hove);
stage (has appeared in over forty productions, in Hong Kong, London, Warminster, and Frome, in a variety of roles e.g. The Major-General, Maxim de Winter, and Professor Higgins);
music (especially 18th & 19th century; a great love for G & S; and church music);
church (leads monthly Matins services at Cloford and Marston churches).

Admitted as a solicitor in 1976, practised in Hong Kong 1976 – 1982, CLA Head Office London 1983 – 1987, in practice in Somerset 1987 to date.

Memberships: IPROW (The Institute of Public Rights of Way and Access Management); GLEAM (Green Lanes Environmental Action Movement, of which I am an hon legal adviser); ALA (Agricultural Law Association); CLA (Country Landowners Association) (including ten years as President of the Somerset Branch Committee); Prayer Book Society; Royal Society of St George; Royal British Legion; P G Wodehouse Society; entry in Debrett’s People of Today since 2008.

 

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  • He's a first-rate agricultural lawyer of long standing and is hugely respected.

    Chambers 2020 UK guide
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