This firm is endeavouring to appeal penalties levied by the Rural Payments Agency against a farmer client by appealing to the independent tribunal. However, when we wrote to the agency it would not deal with a firm of solicitors unless it had a completed form SB9 authorisation. We utterly failed to convince the RPA that the farmer client would need to continue dealing with it on all other matters, but it insisted that without form SB9 it would not deal with this firm.

Therefore, with much covering information, form SB9 was completed and sent in. The RPA then commenced its complaints procedure, which we had not requested and we knew full well what the answer would be.

The purpose of this letter is to enquire whether other firms endeavouring to appeal penalties imposed against farmers have come across this problem.

Once the solicitors have completed form SB9, the RPA sends all future correspondence – whether relating to the next payment, cross-compliance and so on – to the solicitors, totally ignoring the presence of the farmer, who obviously wishes to continue to deal with the RPA on all matters other than the appeal against the penalties.

North Yorkshire Law, Whitby