If there is one sparsely populated area of this green and divided isle that is not a legal advice desert, it must be Radio 4’s fictional village of Ambridge. Down the years partnership and director disputes, murder, divorce, contaminated land, drugs offences, appeals… Obiter imagines local The Bull must resemble the old Wig & Pen Club some days.
And so to Tom Archer, the sausage-producing scion of Tony and Pat. With succession being front of mind for farming families, the breakneck speed (barely over a week-long engagement) with which Tom married Natasha surely didn’t allow time for a pre-nuptial agreement to protect the farm’s succession. Now their marriage is going through a rocky patch, and if they are headed for a split, Tom is not just heir, but a partner in the farm.
And then there is the employment position of Ambridge’s token Scot ‘Jazzer’. Jazzer was Tom’s pig-man, and Tom’s decided to get rid of the pigs, promising there will be other, non-porcine, work on the farm for Jazzer. As a pig-man through and through, Jazzer left – but having met a solicitor ‘down the tea room’ who tells him he has a case, he’s considering a claim against Tom.
All of which may explain why the village solicitor Usha Franks has been one of the series’ mainstays for decades.