Esther Round

Senior Associate, Biodiversity Net Gain Lead
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Esther qualified as a Solicitor in September 2002 and, after working at two large international law firms, joined Birketts in January 2016. She is a Senior Associate in the Agriculture and Estates Team in our Norwich office and Head of our Biodiversity Net Gain Team, within the Natural Capital sector.

Esther specialises in mainly non-contentious agricultural and real estate law but has over ten years’ previous experience in real estate litigation and dispute resolution management; including arbitration, mediation and more informal alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Esther has a particular specialism in advising and guiding clients through the complex but rewarding challenges which newer Natural Capital projects bring with them: including Biodiversity Net Gain sales and leases of land facilitating the creation, enhancement and management of habitats for the generation of saleable biodiversity units; woodland planting and carbon sequestration schemes and nutrient neutrality mitigation agreements. Esther has significant experience in advising landowners in entering into long term arrangements with Habitat Bank investors to provide land for and management of the enhancement of biodiversity gain sites.

Esther acts for high net-worth individuals, institutional, charitable and corporate clients on a wide variety of transactional matters, and is experienced in dealing with acquisitions, disposals and re-financing of farms and estates with (or without) subsidies and environmental scheme agreements. Esther’s experience also extends to overage agreements, options and conditional contracts, easements and landlord and tenant concerns. Esther also advises on complex private rights of way matters, commons law and boundary queries.

Esther advises on diversification projects, including commercial lettings and renewable energy projects (such as wind farms and anaerobic digestion plants). She has also acted for a number of landowners in relation to sales of land and options for commercial and large scale residential development, including new garden towns.

Esther’s experience also extends to advising on agricultural tenancy matters both under the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986 and the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995. Esther has acted for clients at the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (Agricultural Land and Drainage) in relation to succession applications and land drainage disputes. Esther produces a series of podcasts addressing key questions arising out of the occupation of land by agricultural tenants.

Esther grew up in the South West. Before qualifying as a Solicitor, Esther studied Linguistics at Durham University and then completed her Common Professional Examination and Legal Practice Course in Bristol.

Esther is a member of the Agricultural Law Association. She has spoken on easements, restrictive covenants and termination of agricultural tenancies at various client-focussed training events.

Esther was one of 20 selected nationwide to attend the Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s inaugural Returning Talent programme. Outside of work, she volunteers for a local animal charity and reads as much as her two children allow.

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