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  • Overview

    Our advice enables you to comply with the ever-changing requirements in the food and drink sector sector, which demand greater quality and transparency about where our food comes from.

    The team works with all businesses in the food & beverage sector ranging from owner managed business, large corporates, international subsidiaries and PLCs. Our experience spans the whole sector from advising seed developers, growers, producers, packers, transport & logistics to restaurants and retail. We provide astute, commercial advice allowing you to concentrate on growing your business.

    Corporate & commercial

    Advising on:

    Commercial property

    Advising on:

    • Selling land and agricultural buildings
    • Agricultural and farm business tenancies
    • Grazing agreements
    • Share farming agreements and contracts
    • Property development & construction
    • Planning and land promotion
    • Sporting rights
    • Mineral leases, borehole leases
    • Renewable energy projects e.g. solar farms and wind turbine developments.

    Dispute resolution

    We have extensive experience in cost effectively resolving disputes through litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, ensuring minimal disruption to your business.

    We advise on:

    • Disputes with suppliers, manufacturers, traders, producers or other trade partners
    • Insurance disputes
    • Shareholder and Partnership disputes
    • Commodity trade arbitrations involving grain, edible oils, sugar, coffee and other products
    • Debt collection, recovery and enforcement of Judgments or Awards
    • Regulatory compliance and risk management
    • Insolvency
    • Shipping, warehousing and logistics disputes
    • Intellectual property including brand protection, exploitation, and reputational issues
    • Property Litigation (including landlord and tenant issues and planning and environmental disputes)
    • Health & safety and defence of criminal investigations, prosecutions and inquests

    Our employment dispute resolution experience includes:

    • Managing disciplinary, grievance and other internal staffing issues
    • Managing dismissals
    • Carrying out negotiations and preparing settlement agreements
    • Defending Employment Tribunal claims, ranging from unfair dismissal and discrimination to whistle blowing claims
    • Defending breach of contract claims.


    The services that we offer are:

    • Employment advice and support on all aspects of employment law
    • Employment audits of terms, conditions, policies and procedures
    • Annual fixed price advice and support telephone line
    • Employment Insurance protection
    • Defending employment tribunal claims
    • Collaborative and constructive resolution of employment and workplace disputes
    • HR Consultancy Services
    • Immigration compliance audit services
    • Employment training
    • Advising on post-termination restrictive covenants, confidentiality and team moves.


    For enquiries and legal advice for the food and beverage sector please do not hesitate to contact our food and drink solicitors today.

  • Related Client Stories

    Settlement of guarantee claims

    Young couple taking over the farming family business

    We have recently helped a young couple who have taken over the farming business set up many years ago by the husband’s family in East Sussex.

    Acting for growing restaurant chain, Sticks’ n ‘ Sushi

    Since January 2015 our commercial property team, (with input from our construction team), have been acting for restaurant chain, Sticks’ n’ Sushi UK Limited (SnS). SnS have a strong base of 9 restaurants in Denmark, and are moving steadily into the UK lucrative but highly competitive restaurant market.

    Acting for a large salad and cereals producer

    Our employment team have been acting for a large salad and cereals producer since February 2015.

    Acting for a well known cheese manufacturer

    Our employment team have acted for a well known cheese manufacture since January 2015.

    Acting for a company who specialise in the development, marketing and sales of hops

    Our employment team have been acting for a company who specialise in the development, marketing and sale of hops and hop based products since 2003.  

    Acting for a large fresh fruit, vegetable & salad producer in the UK

    Our employment team have been acting for a large fruit, vegetable and salad producer since 2008.

    Acting for a leading berry & stone fruit production and marketing group

    The work undertaken for this company by the employment team over the last 7 years included..

    Acting for a leading sandwich manufacturer and distributor

    Our employment team have been acting for a leading sandwich manufacturer and distributor since December 2014.

    Frontier Agriculture v Bratt Brothers (a Firm) [2015] EWCA Civ 611

    A farmer acting in person has successively persuaded the Court of Appeal to set aside an order of the Commercial Court made against him which granted permission to enforce an arbitration award under 66 of the Arbitration Act 1996.

    Advising the insurers of cheese importers found to have illegal immigrants within the container

    We acted on behalf of the insurers of the leading importer of speciality cheese into the UK.

    Advising Swiss commodity traders in a dispute over rice with Indian buyers

    We acted on behalf of Swiss based commodity traders in a dispute with Indian based buyers arising from the sale of 10,000 MT of Indian White Rice.

    Advising the insurers of fruit destroyed whilst being shipped

    We represented the insurers of a cargo of fruit destroyed by a fire on a vessel shipped from Cameroon.

    Advising Russian frozen fish distributors

    We acted on behalf of the Russian sellers of various consignments of frozen fish which were shipped from Murmansk in Russia for distribution to customers in Portugal.

    Managed exit of a director and employee in the horticulture sector

    Nick Hobden, in the employment team was instructed by a family agricultural business in the managed exit of one of its senior employees who was also a shareholder.

    Managed exit of a CEO of a UK subsidiary of a European parent company in the drinks sector

    Nick Hobden acted for a company in the drinks sector in relation to the managed exit of a senior executive. The company specialised in drink flavourings.

    Compagnie Fruitiere

    Compagnie Fruitiere is a large producer, distributor and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables.

  • Latest Updates

    Making Connections - Food and Drink Networking

    This month saw the second meeting of The Food & Drink Networking Club – and what a meeting it was! The event, sponsored and organised by Thomson Snell & Passmore, was kindly hosted by Will Edge at his beautiful distillery in Shipbourne,

    Autumn brings… the Tunbridge Wells Harvest Food Festival

    “Autumn,” says Julian Leefe-Griffiths, “is when there is a marked change in the food that we eat.  We put away the barbecue and look forward to more game, winter root vegetables, mushrooms & the like. 

    How networking should be! The Food & Drink Networking Club.

    A beautiful summer’s evening; a community- orientated, independent venue; local food and drink producers; a bar, BBQ and curry.  This was the inaugural Food and Drink Networking Club, hosted by Thomson Snell & Passmore alongside fellow founders, Matthew Sankey of Sankey’s fish restaurants and fishmongers, Caroline Kings of blog, Eat Around Tonbridge & Sam Goode from Tonbridge Old Fire Station, our venue.  We were thrilled at the diversity and numbers of attendees for our first networking event in this sector: there was great representation from the food and drink industry including Kent restauranteurs, café owners, artisan producers and breweries who networked alongside bloggers, photographers & journalists from the world of food and drink

    Cutting through the competition

    If there was a prize for the ‘Best reaction to winning’ at this year’s Taste of Kent awards, Matt Sworder of The Corner House restaurant, Minster would win hands down! He and his team were visibly delighted at winning the Thomson Snell & Passmore sponsored award for Kent’s Restaurant of the Year, enthusiastically wrapping his arms around the presenter of the award, Thomson Snell & Passmore partner & award judge Alisa Sweeney.

    New rules preventing Venture Capital Trust investment to acquire businesses...

    Susanna Rynehart, Partner and Head of our Food and Beverage sector, comments on the implications of the new rules which ban venture capital firms from investing in existing companies.

    Closure in the UK food and beverage sector and the impact on commercial property

    The food and beverage sector has often been viewed as the darling of the retail property world but now the director of the Local Data Company, Matthew Hopkinson, has voiced concerns that the growth in this sector in the UK is unsustainable and huge closures are to be expected in the restaurant field in the next 15 months.

    Auto-enrolment for deputies - No opting out

    All professional deputies and attorneys are undoubtedly aware of the increasing complications that can arise when administering a client’s property and financial affairs.

    Compliance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.

    The Groceries Code Adjudicator (the GCA) has released the results of its latest survey into retailer compliance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (the Code).

Get in touch

Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP's highlights include representing an importer of fresh produce in its claim against a customer for unlawful termination of contract.

Legal 500 2015 food and beverage

Meet The Team

Jargon Buster