• Office
  • 1 Amphora Place
  • Sheepen Road
  • Colchester
  • Essex
  • CO3 3WG
  • Tel: 01206 217300

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Caroline Dowding

Partner, Head of Agriculture and Estates

I lead the Agriculture & Estates team, ensuring that the team offers a wide range of advice to suit all our clients’ needs, from simple will provisions to complex tax planning and succession advice, option agreements, tenant and partnership agreements, land transactional work and advice, development and diversification. I advise in relation to taxation and succession, partnership agreements, wills, powers of attorney, trusts and probate administration.

I love being able to help and guide a farming family through the different chapters in their life from building their futures, to moving towards retirement and bringing on the next generation. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing a family grow and the English farming community continuing to thrive through the ups and downs beyond our control.

I am empathetic and able to see how to structure advice to meet client’s aspirations, from those wishing to retire to those hoping or just coming into the business. I love helping farming families make the right choice, so that their lifetime of hard work and commitment can be passed onto their loved ones as they would wish whilst also ensuring that these loved ones have the support as they begin their journey.

In order to tailor advice, I have undertaken further training and am a full professional member of Solicitors for the Elderly, Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners and a member of the Agricultural Law Association and CLA (Country Land and Business Association).

I am a mother of two so spend much of my own time being quite simply a “mum”: cooking with them, doing other activities with them supporting their interests as well as walking my dog and trying to attend the gym!

I support local charities, volunteering at community events where I can.


  • wills, trusts and probate
  • powers of attorney
  • inheritance tax planning – including agricultural property relief and business property relief
  • succession planning
  • tax returns for individuals and trusts
  • trust administration
  • partnership agreements


  • Solicitors for the Elderly
  • Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners - What is STEP?
  • Agricultural Law Association
  • Country Land and Business Association

Agriculture & Estates team

Our Agriculture & Estates team understands farming from a personal and professional perspective, taking into account that farming is more than a business, but often a whole generational way of life. We listen to the needs of each farming family and often work with them generation after generation to ensure that we can tailor advice to meet their, and their successors, wishes and aspirations.

What our clients say

  • I feel it is incumbent on me to write and tell you how very happy we have been with the services of Caroline. She has been incredibly helpful, ever courteous and always patient and at the end of the day has given us very sound and professional advice. She really is a credit to your firm.
  • The service provided was from start to finish of a high professional standard. The work was done promptly, in a friendly and helpful way, giving one full confidence in its integrity.
  • We simply can't thank all at Birkett Long enough, your support throughout this process has been absolutely first class.
  • The department is run by Caroline Dowding, who combines technical knowledge with a pragmatic approach to finding solutions. She is particularly adept at grasping the family dynamics when executing partnership agreements, which can be so important. She is a very safe pair of hands and a pleasure to work with.
  • Birkett Long have assisted with a number of matters. These have all been dealt with very efficiently and in a timely manner. It has always been very easy to contact the team members.
  • For a regional practice Birkett Long has one of the largest and best known private client departments in the Essex area.Client testimonial from the Legal 500
  • I do want to thank you for the exceptionally kind, efficient and patient way you clarified what, to me, were the complicated matters in hand. I would not hesitate to come back to you should the need arise. It was a pleasure to meet you.
  • A sound knowledge of clients' affairs and prepared to advise on all matters relevant to the client - bringing in specialists for detailed work.Client testimonial from the Legal 500
  • Fantastic all-round team which have superb technical knowledge but more importantly offer a great service and know the importance of maintaining the client relationship with the clients we recommend.Client testimonial from the Legal 500
  • I always feel they act in my best interests when they are dealing with any matter - large or small. I feel I am treated like an individual that matters and the attention to detail is excellent.Client testimonial from the Legal 500
  • I have always found Birkett Long to be first rate. I was very sorry when Bruce Ballard retired but find Mrs Dowding to be very patient with my queries and instructions. I have recommended your firm to four other people who have all been very grateful. Being over 90 it is a comforting thought that as executors of my will you will obviously be a great help to my daughter as co-executor when the time comes for a great deal of help.
  • Practice head Caroline Dowding is very approachable, knowledgeable and capable of explaining complex concepts in layman termsThe Legal 500
  • Caroline Dowding is approachable, empathetic, supportive, and explains things in a way the lay person can understand.Client testimonial from the Legal 500