- The landed estates co-head has extensive experience with the acquisition and sale of estates, country residences, farmland and grouse moors, for both portfolios and first-time buyers: ‘Taking the year as a whole we have transacted our greatest ever acreage — in excess of 30,000 acres — which is fantastic,’ he says.
‘We approach landed work in a commercial way and we are a relatively big team so we can handle complex projects. It is a reputation we worked hard to earn,’ he says.
‘No other firm has a dedicated top flight rural practice and the international expertise that we do. When you think about it, that might look like an eccentric coupling, but I believe we are extremely well placed to make the most of the current market.’
‘Withers is a true one-stop shop for HNW clients and I feel greatly reassured by the intellectual capital we have in our building when a wealthy client needs our help.’
While agricultural subsidies face an uncertain future, affecting the investment appetite of a certain profile of buyer, the fundamentals that make land an attractive asset class (and the UK an attractive destination for investment) remain: ‘In the last recession we were fantastically busy — £350 million of land deals in twelve months from 2011 to 2012, so we are expecting to be busy again if there is economic uncertainty. Land remains a safe haven asset class.’
‘I think we will see country houses coming back to fore after several years when it has been all about London, and while they have been the “poor relation” good ones will sell well, blighted properties might not sell at all.’
Hoskyns-Abrahall interned with Dickinson Dees (as it then was) at age fifteen, where he met his mentor Simon Kirkup — a frequent counterparty to this day.
Passionate about country sports and conservation, he studied countryside management at Newcastle University, joined Withers in 2001 and was made partner in 2008.