Equine Law

Our specialist Equine Law team is truly passionate about horses. Sarah Swarbrick, Livingstons Legal Executive, is a keen horse rider and carriage driver and understands the needs of horses and their owners. More importantly, she is legally qualified to help you resolve problems which could cost you time, money and emotional stress. Whether horses are your business or your hobby, this area is often a potential minefield of legal dangers. Insurance can mitigate these risks but there are many issues that cannot be insured against such as contractual disputes on a sale or purchase, unpaid livery bills, co-ownership disputes – the list is endless.

Historically, equine business transactions have been conducted with little more than the strength of a handshake. Sadly, this well-meaning but informal approach has led to an increasing number of legal disputes. Livingstons’ dedicated Law team provides a wide range of solutions to all Equine Law problems and can assist in resolving legal disputes. We provide a free initial interview at which we can take your instructions and offer preliminary advice. Telephone and email enquiries are welcome from anywhere in the UK and because we are horse riders ourselves, our passion for bringing justice for our fellow riders is truly unrivalled.

Equine Legal Problems
• Contractual disputes — Misrepresentation on the part of the vendor in the sale or purchase of a horse or equipment.
• Veterinary negligence — Where a vet has failed to notice a significant defect in a horse’s health or has mistakenly certified it to be fit for its intended purpose.
• Liability arising under the Animals Act 1971 — Injury or damage to a third party or a third party’s property caused by your horse.
• Other equine commercial disputes; you are always welcome to contact us regarding your specific horse related problem. With a view to minimising the risks of litigation in the first place, our Law team can assist you in drawing up specific agreements to cater for most types of equine transactions.

We can help you with the following critical areas:

• Purchase and Sale Agreements – When Livingstons are acting for the purchaser, we will ensure the vendor’s representations as to character, soundness, fitness for purpose and other material warranties are legally binding. When Livingstons are acting for the vendor against potential claims, specific representations and warranties given to the purchaser will also be legally binding and defined precisely.
• Loan Agreements – Livingstons can define both parties’ respective risks and responsibilities such as insurance, livery costs, accident and injury (prohibiting use of the horse in competition) and agreements outlining options to purchase the horse.
• Livery Agreements – Livingstons can define the full extent of the livery services and both parties’ responsibilities and liabilities should things go wrong. Livingstons can also create a legal lien against the horse and equipment for security when livery bills remain unpaid.

The Livingstons Equine Commitment
If you’ve been a victim of a riding accident or equine dispute, Livingstons may be able to provide a no win, no fee solution for your compensation, and we offer a top class personal service which is quick and efficient.

Quality Nationwide Service
Free Initial Equine Legal Advice

The Livingstons Equine Law team is here to help you with any contractual disputes, veterinary negligence, damage to a third party or a third party’s property caused by your horse, livery agreements, loan agreements, ownership disputes, riding accidents and much more. We will ensure you are looked after at all times by offering free home and hospital visits where appropriate. We offer a free telephone assessment to assist you from day one.


Our employment team has received (and continues to receive) a large number of requests for help from companies who would like assistance with interpreting the ongoing changes to the furlough scheme and/or who are advance planning for when the furlough scheme comes to an end.  Some of this planning may involve consideration of short-time working or even redundancies and some involves dealing with specific concerns that returning employees may have about health and safety or about childcare and other obligations.

We have produced a number of factsheets for our employer clients which explain the Government guidance and which provide some practical guidance on how to deal with some of these matters.

If you have any specific queries about ending your furlough scheme or need any assistance with restructuring your business in light of the ongoing economic difficulties caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, please e-mail Steve Walker at s.walker@livingstons.co.uk or Gail Black at g.black@livingstons.co.uk.

Full details of how we are dealing with Coronavirus are available here.

We will do everything possible to keep disruption to a minimum during this difficult time.