Land expert set to say goodbye

Experience: Martin Gillibrand

Experience: Martin Gillibrand

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A Lancaster-based solicitor whose specialist legal expertise is renowned UK-wide is about to take a back seat after more than 40 years in business.

Martin Gillibrand, senior partner with Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale law firm Oglethorpe, Sturton and Gillibrand, will bid farewell to colleagues and an extensive list of clients and contacts on Friday.

Martin has headed up the practice’s Agricultural and Farming Law department for a remarkable 41 years.

Born in the Lune Valley, he spent his early life in Harrogate.

In the 1970s the family returned to Lancaster when Martin’s father joined long-established Lancaster lawyers Sturton and Gibson which became Oglethorpe, Sturton and Gillibrand.

Martin was educated at Shrewsbury and then read law at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and Guildford College of Law.

He joined top City law firm Allen and Overy as an articled clerk ultimately working in litigation.

A year after qualifying, he moved north and joined his father’s practice, establishing himself as an expert in law relating to common land and is today one of very few such experts in the UK.

In 1986 he formed, and is still secretary of, the Moorland Association, representing 95 per cent of heather moorland owners in England and Wales.

He also sits on a number of Government and Natural England consultative and working groups.

“I have loved my work,” said Martin.

“My experience enables me to know how things work in practice and dealing with politicians can be great fun.”

Martin and his wife, Althea, have four children. Martin will now take up a consultancy role to support and guide the practice