The legal advice we have to offer is truly all-encompassing. Based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Knights Solicitors offer an extensive range of guidance and support, including peerless agricultural and compulsory purchase advice and assistance.
Resolving Your Issues
Please browse through our areas of practice.
Access - Arbitration - Boundaries - Breach of Contract re Horses – Charities and Voluntary – Company and Commercial – Commons and Greens – Compulsory Purchase and Compensation – Criminal and Regulatory – Employment – Equine and Equestrian – Family and Divorce – Fly Grazing-Gypsies- Motoring Offences – Planning – Political and Electoral Law – Possession – Private Rights of Way – Professional Negligence – Property Disputes – Property Transactions – Public and Administrative Law – Public Rights of Way – Sport and Leisure – Travellers –Trusts and Probate – Wills and Powers of Attorney
Click on the below headings to expand the section
Charities and Not-For-Profit Sector
Utilising our extensive experience, we act for charities in the health, housing, and education sectors both as retained solicitors and on a project basis. The charity work we perform includes chancery litigation and ongoing advice with particular emphasis on property management and matters of internal governance and legal compliance. In addition, we advise not-for-profit clients on their constitutional arrangements and compliance issues, including risk assessment and safeguarding assets against litigation risks. The partner to contact regarding this service is Matthew Knight.
Commons and Greens
At Knights Solicitors, we advise and represent landholders in a variety of matters relating to common land. This includes applications under Part 3 of the Commons Act 2006 for works such as fencing and surfacing in common land. In addition, we assist with access to commons and excepting common land from access under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. The partner to contact is Peter Burfoot.
Town and Village Greens
Skilfully and precisely, we advise landholders on various matters relating to town and village greens. This includes opposing applications to register greens based on historical evidence and/or long use, taking pre - emptive steps to protect against future claims for greens, and assisting with issues of liability for landholders. The partner to contact regarding this service is Peter Burfoot.
Compulsory Purchase and Compensation
Knights Solicitors are well-known for their compulsory purchase and compensation credentials. In this arena, we have experience of successfully acting for promoters of public works schemes as well as individual farmers, householders, landowners, and groups opposing development schemes and engaged in disputes regarding statutory compensation. Examples of this include:
• Acting for the PFI Partnership to Promote the A130 in Essex
• Acting for Wessex Water in Litigation Regarding Compensation for Works to Lay Drainage
• Acting for Farmers, Landowners, and Householders with Claims in Compulsory Purchase Compensation Relating to the A21, A27, and A259 Schemes
• Acting for Householders and Farmers Adversely Affected by the Bexhill-to-Hastings Link Road
• Acting for Farmers with Land Blighted by the St Mary’s Bay to Denge Trunk Main
Criminal and Regulatory
Environmental and Animal Health
Frequently acting for farmers and landholders, Knights Solicitors appeals against public nuisance abatement notices and those facing prosecution under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. In addition, we act for owners and managers of livestock, providing advice and representation in relation to animal tagging and movement records. Contact Matthew Knight as the partner responsible for this area of the law.
Knights Solicitors are well-known for defending animal welfare and related proceedings, including prosecutions under the Farm Animal Welfare Codes, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, for clients throughout England and Wales. Typically, we act for individuals in the agricultural sector as well as a variety of defendants ranging from circuses to individual pet owners. These proceedings are brought principally by the RSPCA™ and are frequently defended against a background of media interest. Contact Matthew Knight, the partner responsible for this area of the law.
Regulatory – Financial Services
Working indefatigably, we act for businesses and individuals regulated by the Financial Services Authority in relation to regulatory investigations under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. What’s more, we assist with clients under investigation and prosecution by the Crown Prosecution Service under the
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Contact Matthew Knight who is the partner responsible for this area of the law.
Regulatory – Disciplinary
The regulatory practices we offer include the provision of advice and representation for clients before disciplinary bodies and advising clients who discharge disciplinary functions. With particular expertise in this area relating to equestrian and sporting sectors, we also represent vets and farriers within professional disciplinary proceedings. Contact Matthew Knight who is the partner responsible for this area of the law.
We act for firearms licence-holders in appeals against revocation or variation in licences to hold firearms, including shotguns. Further, we act for individuals and businesses such as commercial and estate shoots in prosecutions brought under the Firearms Act 1968. Contact Matthew Knight as the partner responsible for this area of the law.
Public Order and Offences Against the Person
The legal advice and assistance we offer with legal advice and criminal practice encompasses a wide variety of areas. With over 20 years in our expansive experience, we defend prosecutions brought under the Public Order Act 1986. What’s more, we act for defendants accused of offences against the person, particularly in the context of country sports, including game shooting, and gamekeeping. We provide members of the National Farmers’ Union, National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, and the Game Farmers’ Association with advice via our 24/7 legal helpline. The partner to contact regarding this service is Matthew Knight.
Knights Solicitors are experts in dealing with contracts of employment, redundancies, dismissals, restrictive covenants, tribunal claims, and more. In addition, we offer a complete and accurate HR service. Working tirelessly, we’ll be by your side every step of the way to provide you with the assurance that your HR advice and procedures are current and compliant with all employment law updates and ACAS codes of conduct. Contact Matthew Knight the partner responsible for this area of the law.
Frequently, we act in unfair dismissal and discrimination matters in employment tribunals. Further, we act in wrongful dismissal and contractual disputes taking place in the High Court and County Courts. Particularly, we focus on claims to enforce and resist restrictive covenants. Contact Matthew Knight the partner responsible for this area of the law.
As retained solicitors, we advise a number of clients, including many national organisations, on non-contentious employment issues. This involves drafting and updating written guidance for employers and pro forma contracts and notices, while providing procedural advice for major organisational restructuring including redundancies and transfers of undertakings. Competently and astutely, we advise on compliance with working time regulations, national minimum wage regulations, health and safety at work legislation, and stakeholder pension schemes. The partner to contact regarding this service is Matthew Knight.
Equine and Equestrian
Christopher Hall and Matthew Knight possess extensive experience of equine and equestrian legal issues at all levels and across all disciplines. As well as dealing with equestrian-related civil claims and professional negligence claims against vets, we represent clients in equine and equestrian disputes of all kinds.
These include breach of contract and misrepresentation claims over the sale and purchase of horses, disputes regarding livery agreements, and disputes surrounding the joint acquisition and “bringing on” of horses, as well as problems relating to loan agreements and bailment. The partner to contact regarding this service is Matthew Knight.
Family and Divorce
When your relationship breaks down, we are able to help you with any issues that may arise. Whether you are married, in a civil partnership, or are simply living together, our firm will provide a personal service tailored to your needs and wishes. Our services include:
• Dissolution of a Civil Partnership
• Preparing a Separation Agreement
• Organising Financial Matters – including your home, the payment of maintenance and the division of assets
• Drawing up Financial Settlements, or 'Consent Orders'
• Making Court Applications – when it is not possible to reach an agreement
• Settling Disputes – between Cohabitees concerning property ownership
• Resolving Disagreements – relating to children, including where they will live and how much time they will spend with each parent
• Applications to the Court – for injunctions to protect you or your children from harm
• Pre-nuptial or pre-partnership agreements
Vicky Gallier runs the family and divorce practice.
As a member of Resolution, Vicky Gallier is committed to resolving disputes in a sensitive, constructive, and non-confrontational manner. That means you should expect nothing less than utmost professionalism from our approachable, personable team.
At Knights Solicitors, we also provide support with the more positive aspects of family law. We can also help you with more positive aspects, such as cohabitation agreements, and if you are buying a property with a partner and the two of you have agreed that you will own it in unequal shares, our Conveyancing Department can prepare the formal document setting out this agreement. Vicky Gallier will help you with this vital structure.
A Helping Hand
Motoring offences are thought of as open-and-shut cases. Usually, there is something a specialist road traffic solicitor may be able to do to help you. You should never plead guilty to an allegation until you have sought proper legal advice, because no matter how clear the case against you may seem, a specialist motoring lawyer may be able to do something that helps you avoid the usual consequences of a conviction. Points on your license, a fine, or a ban may sadly lead to unemployment and increase insurance premiums – so allow us to support you in steering the best course. Associate Richard Atkins is here to help you.
Listen to the Experts
Make no mistake – it is not only serious offences that carry disastrous consequences. Driving “without due care and attention” carries a penalty of up to nine points, disqualification, and a fine of up to £5000. Therefore, don’t rely on advice from a friend or something posted on the Internet. Much of what may be found online is inaccurate or incomplete and, when followed, may lead to extra court costs and the loss of the statutory discount in the event that you do plead guilty. Instead, call Knights Solicitors and speak to our expert motoring offence solicitor now. Associate Richard Atkins is here to help you.
We cover all courts and police stations in Kent, East Sussex, and Oxfordshire. What’s more, we are able to become involved at any stage of the process. Whether you require us to accompany you to the police station for an interview or advise whether you should pursue an appeal, our specialist road traffic advice will help you to better your position. The person to contact regarding this service is Associate Richard Atkins.
Putting Plans into Action
Knights Solicitors advises and represents farmers, householders, landholders, developers, and local planning authorities in relation to a variety of planning and planning-related matters. These include:
• Planning Applications
• Enforcement Notices and Proceedings
• Certificates of Lawful Use and Development (CLEUDs) and Certificates of Proposed Use and Development (COPUDs)
• Permitted Development Rights
• Environmental Impact Assessments
• Local Inquiries and Informal Hearings
• Appeals Against Refusal of Permission and Enforcement Notices
• Judicial Review Proceedings
• Proceedings Under S.288 and S.289 Town and County Planning Act (TCPA) 1990
The planning practice we offer is unique in that it has grown from our public law litigation practice rather than as an extension of our transactional property service. Therefore, we are particularly well-poised to advise and represent clients not only at the initial application stages, but before public and local inquiries and in the administrative and higher courts. Examples of our planning work include:
Advice and Representation in Linked Judicial Review Proceedings Provided to the Court of Appeal: two S.288 TCPA 1990 appeals and an S.289 TCPA 1990 appeal before the Administrative Court in relation to a major farm diversification scheme
• Promoting a Planning Application for a Visitor Centre with Educational Facilities for a Major Equine Welfare Charity
• Advice and Representation in Appeals Against Refusal of Retrospective Planning Permission and Against an Enforcement Notice in Relation to the Only Curling Rink in England
The planning work we offer is informed by an all-encompassing, multifaceted expertise. The Partner to contact regarding these services is Matthew Knight. The particular areas of expertise we possess include:
• Promotion of Farm Diversification Projects
• Waste Planning and Management
• Animals –particularly agricultural, equestrian, and avian land use
• Gypsies and Travellers
• Costs Including EIA and Compliance with the Arhus Convention
• Renewable Energy
• Water Levels
• River Maintenance
Political and Electoral Law
Knights Solicitors draws upon a wealth of experience to accommodate a variety of contentious matters in the area of political and electoral law. These include:
• Passing Off Claims in the High Court and Court of Appeal to Prevent Rival Bodies Using the Names of Established Political Organisations
• Judicial Review Claims Against the Boundary Committee in Respect of Its consultation Process for Reorganisation of Local Government Under the Local Government Public Involvement in Health Act 2007
• Investigations of Criminal Conduct Alleged Contrary to the Representation of the People Act 1983
• Potential Challenges to the Vires and Human Rights Act 1998 Compatibility of Proposed Referenda
Offering trusted guidance, our firm has advised a number of national, political, and commercial organisations. The partner to contact regarding these services is Matthew Knight. These compliance issues are typically related to:
• Controls Under the Political Parties, Elections, and Referendums Act 2000
• Restrictions on Foreign Donations Under the Political Parties, Elections, and Referendums Act 2000
•The Establishment of Political Parties
• Participation in Mayoral Elections as a Means of Advertising
The possession work we perform ranges from commercial and residential property to unbuilt urban and rural land occupied by gypsies, travellers, and, frequently, their vehicles and animals. When acting for private individuals and undertakings, our usual approach to the repossession of unbuilt land is to instruct specialist bailiffs, with whom we have an established working relationship, to remove vehicles and animals without issuing civil proceedings. Matthew Knight is responsible for this.
In addition, we have established arrangements for dealing with fly-grazing horses after their removal. This relates to the acquisition of their passport and subsequent sale either by way of distraint to cover awards, damages, and costs, or simply because their owners cannot be traced. The Partner to contact regarding these services is Matthew Knight
When you engage professionals to work for you, you are entitled to expect them to work to the standards of a reasonable professional in their line of work. We are often called upon to advise, assist, and represent clients in claims for damages against professionals including accountants, solicitors, surveyors, and vetinary surgeons, for losses caused by their professional negligence.
Resolve Negligence Claims
The professional negligence pre-action protocol provides a platform for trying to resolve professional negligence claims without resorting to court proceedings. However, when a claim is not settled under the pre-action protocol procedure and court proceedings are necessary, we have an excellent track record of resolving the claims by means of negotiation, mediation, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution without the need to proceed to a formal court trial. What’s more, we assist clients in formulating complaints issued to professional bodies. The Partner to contact regarding these services is Peter Burfoot.
Property - Disputes
The ownership or occupation of a property is part of everyday life. Unfortunately, other people – whether they are landlords, tenants, neighbours, or total strangers – frequently interfere with the peaceful ownership or occupation of our clients’ property. As a result, we have established a bank of expertise that enables us to advise and assist clients in a wide variety of disputes while deftly representing them before courts and tribunals. The Partner to contact regarding these services is Peter Burfoot, who accommodates the following areas of the law:
• Private Law
• Freehold Ownership
• Easements Including Access and private Rights of Way and Light
• Profits-á-Prendre Including Sporting Rights
• Restrictive and Positive Covenants – enforcement and modification or discharge of restrictive covenants pursuant to S.84 Law of Property Act 1925
• Exercise of Squatter’s Rights – adverse possession and boundary disputes on registered and unregistered land; dispossession and property estoppel
• Local Authority Gypsy and Traveller Sites
• Disputes Relating to Title and Trusts
• Party Walls etc Act 1996
• Trespass and Nuisance Including Environmental Claims
• Possession Proceedings Against Tenants and Unlawful Occupiers
• Leasehold Ownership
• Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 Part II
• Reinstatement of Alterations and Statutory Liability
• Rent Review
• Breach of Covenant and Forfeiture or Relief
• Residential – Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976 and Rent Act 1977 tenancies; assured (short hold) tenancies under the Housing Act 1988 as amended, disrepair claim; local authority housing
• Agricultural – Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 and Farm Business Tenancies/Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995
• Possession Proceedings
• Contractual and Other Disputes
• Vendor and Purchaser Disputes
• Misrepresentation and Undue Influence Claims Relating to Sale of Property
• Professional Negligence Related to the Sale and Purchase of Property
• Breach of Contract Claims for Unpaid Commission
• Private and Public Law Overlap
• Public Rights of Way and Public Access
• Heritage Property Regulation and use
• Disputes Over Listed Monuments
• Reservoirs Act 1975 and Flood and Water Management Act 2010 Controls on Lakes, Reservoirs, and Dams
• Obligations Regarding the Maintenance and Rebuilding of Piers
• Railway Regulations Act 1842, Railway Clauses Consolidation Act 1845, and Light Railways Acts 1896 and 1912 – rights of entry for works and compensation; compulsory purchase and accommodation works
• SSSI Designation and Regulation Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
• Applications to DEFRA for Permission for Works to and Fencing of Common Land Pursuant to the Commons Act 2006
The partner responsible for all these areas is Peter Burfoot.
Property - Transactions
Residential Property Services
At Knights Solicitors, our residential property team provides a comprehensive London-level service at provincial rates. The unrivalled services we offer include:
• Sales and Purchases of Freehold and Leasehold Property
• Preferred Buyers Solicitors Service for Off-Plan and Completed New Developments
• Secured Lending and Remortgages
• Leasehold Extension and Leasehold Enfranchisement
• Tenancy Agreements Including Landlord and Tenant Disputes
• Voluntary and Compulsory Land Registration
• Home Equity Release
• Transfers of Equity and Declarations of Trust
Partner Graham Dorman runs our residential property team.
Because we know that buying and selling property is a potentially stressful experience, we aim to assist our clients through the home-buying and selling process by explaining procedures in plain English. What’s more, we work to keep customers informed and involved at all stages. Matters will be dealt with personally by a qualified and experienced solicitor. The conveyancing practice we operate is supplemented by our contentious property team. Their details are as follows:
A Senior Partner, Matthew Knight may be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org. His expertise includes:
Planning and Development – Compulsory Purchase – Boundary Disputes – Landlord and Tenant – Other Contentious Property Law
A Partner, Graham Dorman is the head of our Conveyancing Department. He may be reached at email@example.com
and his expertise includes:
Conveyancing – Other Non-Contentious Property Law – Wills and Probate
Public and Administrative Law
The main focus of our public law practice is judicial review proceedings within the Administrative Court and Planning Court. Dealing with matters of land use, our skilled team also accommodates issues as diverse as electoral law and criminal procedure. In addition, we are familiar with the enforcement regimes under highway and environmental legislation as well as routes of appeal to the Administrative and Planning Courts. The partner to contact regarding these services is Matthew Knight.
Knights Solicitors advises a number of regulatory and representative bodies on their own constitutional arrangements. In particular, we focus on public law and Human Rights Act 1998 compliance issues.
Constantly vigilant, we keep a watching brief on relevant legislative developments for all of our clients. Further, we provide advice and representation to stakeholders involved in government consultation exercises and those lobbying for legislative change. Our company has been instrumental in the drafting of the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, Part V Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, the secondary legislative schemes under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and access and land use provisions in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. Members of the firm have also appeared before Parliamentary Select Committees. The partner to contact regarding these services is Matthew Knight.
Public Rights of Way
Know Your Rights
Frequently, Knights Solicitors advises and represents farmers, landholders, and home owners in relation to public rights of way and highway issues. In particular, we make submissions to and liaise with local authorities, local public inquiries, and the courts. This service is led by Peter Burfoot, whose work in this arena includes:
• Opposing Applications to Modify the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way – based on historical evidence and/or long use, such applications are made by user groups including the Ramblers
• Promoting Schemes for Extinguishment and Diversion of Public Rights of Way
• Advice and Representation in Relation to the Implications of Part 6 Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 on Byways Open to All Traffic
• Promoting Traffic Regulation Orders Under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
• Advice on Liability of Highway Authorities for Maintenance of Highways and Structures such as Bridges
Knights Solicitors has a long history of assisting agricultural clients. In the past, we were instructed by successful farmers and landholders in Kent and Sussex to oppose the Ramblers’ Association’s flagship footpaths application.
At Knights Solicitors, we advise on land management issues and in disputes relating to other forms of public access. The partner to contact regarding these services is Peter Burfoot. This work includes:
• Access to Open Country and Common Land Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
• Access to Land in National Parks Under the National Parks and Access to Countryside Act 1949
• The Implications of Coastal Access under Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009
• Specific Statutory Regimes for Public Access Such as Those Relating to the Peak National Park, New Forest, Ashdown Forest, and Epping Forest
Sport and Leisure
With particular focus on the country sport and target sports sectors, Knights Solicitors acts for a number of national governing bodies. The emphasis in this area is on game shooting, rifle shooting, fishing, and equestrian sports including racing, events, and show-jumping. Much of our regulatory practice has a sports dimension. Our consultant, Christopher Hall, is a former disciplinary steward of the Jockey Club and possesses particular expertise in the Rules of Racing and legal issues relating to the management of race courses. What’s more, we provide members of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation with a 24/7 legal helpline. Please contact Matthew Knight regarding these services.
Trusts and Probate
Swiftly and resolutely, we act for executors and beneficiaries in probate litigation, including under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Our emphasis in these matters is early resolution by means of negotiation whenever possible. We also have extensive experience in advising clients on
High Court applications for the variation of Trusts. The partner to contact regarding these services is Graham Dorman.
At Knights Solicitors, we accept instructions to obtain grants of probate or letters of administration including the preparation of inheritance tax returns and the subsequent administration and distribution of estates. Please also contact Graham Dorman for assistance with these services.
Wills and Powers of Attorney
In addition to our other professional services, we accept instructions to draft wills and codicils. Further, we assist with the preparation, execution, and registration of lasting powers of attorney dealing with both property and financial affairs. Graham Dorman is the partner to contact in relation to these services.