A solicitor who once challenged a Home Secretary on the need for legislation is about to take a back seat after 40-plus years in business.
Senior partner of Lancaster law firm Oglethorpe, Sturton and Gillibrand, Martin Gillibrand’s specialist legal expertise is renowned UK-wide.
And in his more recent career, he has undertaken high-profile, pro bono counsel which focuses on law formulation and implementation.
His advice will have a major impact on the content of the new Common Agricultural Policy which comes into force next year and on the roll-out of the Common Act in Cumbria and North Yorkshire.
Martin, who has headed up the practice’s Agricultural and Farming Law department for 41 years, said: “I have loved my work.
“My experience enables me to know how things work in practice and dealing with politicians can be great fun.
“I even challenged a Home Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, once on the need for legislation on aggravated trespass and persuaded him that his view on the issue was wrong.”
Martin will bid farewell to colleagues, clients and contacts on Friday May 30.
Born in the Lune Valley, he spent his early life in Harrogate and was educated at Shrewsbury. He 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 and a year after qualifying, he moved north and joined his father’s Lancaster practice, establishing himself as an expert in law relating to common land. Today he is one of 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.
Martin and his wife, Althea, whose home is in the Tatham Fells above Wray, have four children.
He adores gardening and all aspects of country life including shooting.
Martin will now take up a consultancy role to support and guide the practice.