Lee & Pembertons poaches CLA's agricultural specialist

Lee & Pembertons has taken on the Country Landowners Association's (CLA)chief legal

adviser to strengthen its agricultural team.Anita Symington will join the leading

private client firm, based inLondon, as a partner in September.She has been chief legal

adviser at the CLA for three years. She wasformerly a private client partner at Lovell

White Durrant before quittingto go it alone for five years. She joined the CLA in

1996.Giles Pemberton, Lee & Pembertons' managing partner, says: “We did this toexpand

our agricultural law group. She takes on an inner specialist rolewithin the team.”She

is not the head of the team, Julian Whately is, but she is certainlygoing to be a key

player because she has the specialism we need to expandour agricultural practice and

make it all embracing.”Pembertons has “many clients who are members of CLA”, says

Pemberton, andSymington may bring her own cases to the firm.Pemberton says she is being

hired at a time when the political climate iscreating more countryside-related legal

work.He says: “This is a good marketing opportunity for us. We are seeing

moreagricultural work because of the Government's policies, and also because ofthe Human

Rights Bill and the way it affects rural people.”Bruce Monnington, Symington's

replacement at the CLA, agrees theGovernment is creating more work.He says: “It is going

to be an interesting few years. The Human Rights Actcomes into force in 2000. It is

going to add another dimension to the law.”Preparations must be done now. It will affect

countryside issues acrossthe board.”Its effects on rural property law, rights to roam

and suchlike, have beenunderestimated.”The bill will also affect existing legislation

that has been in place fora number of years. Much of it could be ruled illegal,” he

concludes.