BURGES Salmon partner Stephen McNulty is off to the Ukraine in November to assist in a two-year project privatising and modernising the country's large state farms.
McNulty, head of an agricultural property team at the Bristol-based firm, will be working alongside management consultants and accountants in a consortium on a £3 million UK Government Know-How Fund contract.
Led by Surrey-based international agricultural consultants Cargill Technical Services, the team includes accountants Ernst & Young, a division of Lloyds Bank, the University of Wales and ADAS, the Government's agricultural advisory agency.
Bob Smyth, Burges Salmon international property partner, who recently returned from a similar project in Russia, said: “It helps to be involved in overseas projects. In the agricultural business you are either involved in agri-business or projects like this. It's in Eastern Europe and developing countries that our free-market expertise is sought.”
On the work in Eastern Europe, he said: “It's absolutely critical. You cannot over-emphasise the importance of restructuring the sector – so many people depend upon it.”
Burges Salmon has one of the UK's best-known agricultural practices, the international dimension of which includes the commodities markets.
The firm's main input on the Ukraine project will be on land-based issues, such as ownership, transfer, letting and use of land as security for loans.
“What they are seeking from their fellow Europeans is help on the market system, which they do not have, including distribution, marketing, business planning, accounting, and making a profit,” said Smyth.
Burges Salmon is actively involved in the Law Society's current exchange programme with Russia, and will take one of the 20 Russian lawyers expected to participate.