Best Lawyers works with leaders in the legal marketplace to keep our practice area lists current, allowing clients and referring lawyers to more easily locate the precise expertise they are seeking.
View region-specific practice areas by first selecting a country from the drop-down below.
Agriculture Law Definition
Agricultural law encompasses a vast group of specialties applied to the complex and ever-changing market, business, and regulatory concerns faced by individuals and businesses in the food and agriculture industry. Agriculture and food law clients range from crop producers, livestock producers, dairy producers, and cooperatives; to the businesses that serve producers’ needs such as agricultural equipment manufacturers and dealers, agricultural finance and equity capital providers, animal health innovators, crop input providers, transportation firms, and energy producers; to the grain handlers and processors, food technology companies, and even restaurants, creating, using, and distributing the end products of agriculture. Given the broad range of agriculture and food client types, the concerns faced by those different client types vary, and agriculture law reflects the application of transactional, strategic planning, and litigation legal work to those concerns.
Food and agriculture industry clients frequently have questions in diverse legal areas such as real estate, contract, environmental, import/export compliance, tax, insurance, estate and succession planning, intellectual property, labor and employment, equity funding, legislation, business formation, and litigation. Agricultural law also encompasses assisting clients to influence the creation of policy and to navigate existing regulations administered by various federal, state, and local agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, local soil and water conservation districts, and state boards of health. Agricultural law addresses international concerns such as govern livestock import, grain and other processed food export, patent and trademark protection in foreign jurisdictions, foreign business licenses and taxation, and immigration of skilled workers.
Attorneys practicing in the food and agriculture industry may have a diverse range of experience in many of these legal and regulatory fields. More likely, however, agricultural law attorneys focus on one particular type of law and concentrate on assisting food and agriculture clients with needs in that focus area. Agricultural law attorneys also may focus on helping clients deal with issues raised in particular areas of food and agriculture, such as confined feeding operations, food labeling, water rights, or competitive advertising. Food and agriculture clients with sophisticated legal needs can benefit from a team approach in which a group of attorneys experienced in particular areas is assembled to ensure that all aspects of a client’s legal needs are met, while minimizing the chance that a decision in one particular legal area or jurisdiction will negatively affect the client’s position in another.
These practice areas are open for nominations but are not yet included in our publications.
Click here to download a PDF of all Practice Areas.