Michael Bracegirdle


an image of Mike Bracegirdle, a Butcher & Barlow LLP employee

I am a Partner with over 40 years legal experience based at the firm’s dedicated agricultural and commercial office at Gadbrook Park, Northwich. I head the Agriculture Department, listed in the Top Tier Department of The Legal 500 2020 Private Client – Agriculture and Estates. I have been named as a Leading Individual in the listings, the only such named Agricultural specialist in Cheshire.

I pride myself on giving practical and straight forward advice, no matter how complex the clients problems or issues.

I was educated at Sandbach School, Warwick University and Chester College of Law (University of Law, Chester) I have an Honours Degree in Law from Warwick University and obtained a Distinction in Conveyancing and Property Law from the College of Law, Chester.

I specialise in:

  • Agricultural and Mixed-use Residential Property
  • Agricultural Holding Act and Farm Business Tenancies
  • Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Succession Planning
  • Inheritance Tax Mitigation
  • Administration of Estates – including Post Death Deeds of Variation

I have a personal interest in:

  • HS2 issues – I am a member of the firm’s committee and have dealt with numerous property/land sales.
  • Advising on the most tax-efficient Agricultural Business Structure, Partnership Agreements and Shareholders Agreements.
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax.
  • Planning – Agricultural Occupancy Restrictions.
  • High-value properties and Buy to Let portfolios.
  • First Registration of Title.

I act for charities, farmers and landowners at all levels.  Coming from an agricultural background (had I remained in farming I would have been a 17 generation Cheshire farmer), I have a detailed knowledge of all farming practices.

Client testimonials in the The Legal 500 say of me:

“We have a great deal of faith in his judgement”

“Strong on planning for agricultural clients – can explain legal procedure in a way which makes it easily understandable and therefore less stressful”

I am a member of the Country Landowners Association, Tenants Farmers Association, British Institute of Agricultural Consultants and Solicitors for the elderly.  I maintain close links with the Agricultural industry –being involved both in the family farm and assisting my relations all of whom continue to farm locally.  My daughter is a qualified veterinary surgeon and my son an accountant (with a particular interest in Agricultural Taxation).

I am involved in the local community, being Chair of the Parish Council in Smallwood, Trustee of the Smallwood Village Hall and a member of the Old Sandbachians Association.

I enjoy all forms of rural pursuits and have an interest in both classic tractors and motors vehicles (owning both).  I enjoy motoring in Europe, watching Formula 1 and tennis, off-road I am particularly fond of French red wine.



Legal Insights from Mike

Are Farmers Making The Most Out Of Agri-Environment Schemes and Diversification?

Time to revisit succession plans

Farm Worker Accommodation

Inheritance tax and the forgotten family unit

Employer-provided living accommodation: changes to tax treatment

Dairy Farming in crisis

Farming and farmworkers during the coronavirus pandemic

Funding Long Term Care

Farmers React to Coronavirus

Choosing the Best Business Structure for your Farming Enterprise

Machinery Share Contracts

Agricultural Property Relief – Making a successful claim

Succession Planning for Landowners

What can you do when someone loses capacity?

Mitigating Inheritance Tax via the ISA Allowance – The Quick Fix?

Worried by Leasehold?

A Guide to The Tenant Fees Act 2019 and The Home Act 2018 

Our Tenant Farmers’ Most Frequently Asked Questions

Funding Farm Diversification

Interpreting the New Rules for Farm Building Conversion

Use of Family Investment Companies as part of Succession Planning

Don’t Make HMRC Your Biggest Beneficiary

Farmers and Landowners, are you considering new agricultural buildings? 

Changes to Bird Control Licences

Gifting a Property: What You Need to Know 

DEFRA Tenancy Consultation: An Update

Inheritance Tax and The Nil Residence Rate Band

Who Will Succeed You in the Family Farming Business?

The Changing Structure of British Agricultural Industry

Reviewing Your Farm Lease or Tenancy Agreement – How Butcher & Barlow Can Assist

Government Plans to Restrict Visas for Low Skilled Workers

The Agriculture Bill – What does it mean for farmers?

Specialist Areas

a drawing of a farmhouse
an image of a sketched parent and daughter for the power of attorney logo
Powers of Attorney & Court of Protection
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Residential Property
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Wills, Trusts and Probate Solicitors


The Legal 500 Leading Individual 2021 logo The Legal 500 Leading Individual 2020 logo The Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer 2019 logo The Law Society Accredited Conveyancing Quality logo

What our clients say

V Phillips

Mike Bracegirdle has acted for us now on several occasions in respect of property conveyancing. He was recommended by a Surveyor well known to your firm and who we trust implicitly. Mike is a true professional and as clients, we feel completely safe and secure in his hands. His team are also very efficient but I suspect that he expects them to adopt the same standards as he does. He is very quick to respond to any queries and his answers are always pertinent. Despite whatever work pressures he may/may not be under, he always delivers the same standard of service and achieves the expected deadline.

Residential Property

Thank you for your prompt and kind attention at all times during this traumatic experience of buying and selling a house.


Thank you so much for all your help and advice through this tragic time. Just knowing you were at the end of the phone if I needed you was a huge relief.

Residential Property

We also want to express our thanks for all of your support with this purchase, particularly over the last couple of weeks when last minute queries arose - it’s greatly appreciated and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Butcher & Barlow to family and friends.

Many thanks for your help with this matter, and for making the process painless from our point of view.

I would just like to say a big thank you to Butcher & Barlow for all their work in resolving the estate and litigation of the recent bereavement. A special thank you to Mike Bracegirdle and Alex Sandland for their tireless work and help.

Many thanks for all your hard work in helping get the sale over the line. Your patience and perseverance has been appreciated.

Another Testimonial