One of Wales’s leading law firms has recruited a new solicitor to expand the services it provides to the agricultural sector.

Gabb & Co, which has offices in Abergavenny and Crickhowell, has hired agricultural law specialist Anthony Mears.

He becomes the sixth member of the firm’s property team which enjoys a strong reputation in advising the farming, land-owning and rural communities in Mid and South Wales and in the border counties and further afield.

Mr Mears grew up on a livestock farm in Herefordshire and went on to study modern history at Oxford University. Before qualifying as a solicitor he spent 18 years running a beef, sheep and arable enterprise. He was elected chairman of the National Sheep Association Wales and was part of a campaign that successfully lobbied for a fair deal for new entrants and farmers who had expanded their businesses when the Common Agricultural Policy was reformed in 2004. Mr Mears continues to farm sheep on a part-time basis near his home in Brecon.

David Lloyd, senior partner of Gabb & Co, said: “Our firm has a long and proud history of working in the heart of our rural communities on both sides of the border and this looks set to continue and grow with our latest appointment. Anthony has invaluable practical farming experience, insight and connections which means he brings a new dimension to the professional services we are able to offer. Clients will benefit hugely from this and we’re delighted to have him on board.

“At Gabb and Co we ensure that our clients’ interests and legal needs are met at all times and Anthony’s appointment will help us continue to provide a friendly, efficient, first-class service which draws on our local and agricultural sector knowledge.”

Mr Mears will advise on a range of rural matters including property sales and purchases, the new Basic Payment Scheme and farm diversification projects, estate management, rights of way, common land, boundaries, tenancies and quotas.

Mr Mears said: “Gabb & Co has a loyal client base that extends across Wales and well beyond the borders, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the expansion of its rural services. As the firm continues to consolidate its presence in Brecon and Radnor, I am looking forward to getting to know clients and to drawing in others from further afield.”

Gabb and Co employs 43 people at its offices in Abergavenny and Crickhowell.