james brooke
Partner, Head of Specialist Services, Cambridge/Norwich

James has worked in the rural property industry for 28 years and specialises in advising land owners and occupiers on a wide range of rural property
related issues.

James has a wealth of experience in the rural sector and is the lead Partner in a number of sales and purchases of farms and Estates.

He has developed a lead Partner role in long term client relationships over the country for traditional farming estates and investment clients, as well as private and overseas families.

He is the Partner responsible for a number of retained clients across the region, overseeing the strategic development of their assets and the implementation of management structures that ensure overriding objectives are achieved, returns maximised and opportunities captured.

James’ experience in the Agency sector has seen him lead on the purchase and sale of a wide range of rural property over the country, including commercial farms, family farms, traditional estates, and high grade environmental assets.

James’ strategic approach has enabled the team to deliver some outstanding results for clients, often in complex circumstances, liaising closely with lawyers and other advisors, with whom strong relationships have been made and developed to enable objectives to be fulfilled.

James is a Registered RICS Valuer and has provided expert valuation evidence for disputes and secured lending purposes, including negotiations with HMRC regarding eligibility for Inheritance Tax Relief.

He has advised on the restructuring of a number of substantial farming businesses as a result of family reorganisation, purchases or sales, changing economic situations and structural changes within the Rural Business Sector.

James acts as Trustee to established family Estates and farming businesses. 

James has been involved in a number of high profile recreational planning applications, including advising on the strategic positioning of the Estate on which the Internationally recognised BeWILDerwood attraction was developed.

In many instances, he liaises with other advisors and funders in order to ensure that purchases are structured correctly.

Key recent and past projects

  • Purchase of Co-op Farms for the Wellcome Trust
    - James played a lead role in the acquisition of the Co-op Farms portfolio by the Wellcome Trust, inspecting, valuing and reporting on the £250 million portfolio on a national basis.

  • Rushbrooke Estate, Suffolk
    - James acted for the Rothschild family, in the sale of a £24,000,000 Suffolk mixed Estate, securing a local purchaser at a value in excess of the Guide Price, in what was a highly complex transaction.

  • Poslingford Hall Farm, Suffolk
    - James successfully led a search on behalf of the family, which required the purchase of farmland and then implemented it by an on and off market transaction, delivering 1,200 acres in a single block.

  • Hengrave Estate, Suffolk
    - James lead in the purchase of an additional 1,200 acres for an overseas family, and developed and implemented a revised management strategy for the combined ownership.

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