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The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has appointed Colin Hall as chief legal adviser, three months after the departure of Richard Vidal to the department of agriculture.Hall will be the main point of contact between the legal department and NFU members. He is responsible for the general management of the department and for handling liaison with external lawyers.Hall said that although crises such as the foot-and-mouth outbreak were “ongoing”, the department was taking steps to deal with them.He said: “We’ve taken external advice from counsel in order to pre-empt problems with our members, particularly for foot and mouth. We’re trying to be as proactive as possible in an environment where unfortunately you often have to be reactive.”The department is looking to add at least one more junior lawyer in the near future.Hall began his career with Tunbridge Wells firm Cripps Harries Hall. He moved to the south-east office of the NFU in 1997, and was made head of the legal team six months later.The NFU has seen an increase in its legal workload thanks to successive health scares and falling incomes for farmers.External advisers to the NFU include Brachers, Bond Pearce, Morgan Cole, Knight & Sons, Napthen Houghton Craven and Jacksons.

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