Thrings advises on complex part-purchase of the Figg-Hoblyn estate


Left in ruins after its previous heir refused ownership, the Figg-Hoblyn estate was held by the Hoblyn Trust – the last of its kind – and valued at £5m. Mr Hoblyn sought to purchase part of the estate from the Trust.

Recognising the complexity of the case, his pension provider, European Pensions Management Ltd, referred Mr Hoblyn to us.

Our involvement

Alex drew on his expertise acting for SIPP providers in property deals to advise Mr Hoblyn and his pension fund on the acquisition from the Official Solicitor. Alex also carried out due diligence on the property, and managed highly complex issues surrounding the title, rights of way, planning, environmental concerns and shooting rights.

With the property being split between pension fund ownership and Mr Hoblyn’s personal ownership, Alex was also mindful of the Pension Fund trustee’s requirements to ensure they fulfill their obligations to HMRC.

The outcome

With Alex’s guidance, Mr Hoblyn achieved a deal to fund the purchase of 20 acres of the estate himself, and use his SIPP to buy a further 38 acres. He secured the land, farmland and ruins of the manor house for £120,000. He has since created an eco-friendly tourist attraction to revitalise the historic site in time for the summer of 2017, and bought an additional field to develop the attraction further.

Mr Hoblyn described his experience working with Thrings as “really positive” and praised the fixed price he received, despite the complexity and uncertainty of the deal, and delays while the proposal was taken to the House of Lords. He said:

“Alex Pinhey was terrific. He was very tolerant of me, always responsive and very efficient in what was a difficult situation. Nothing was ever too much trouble for him.”

Who was involved

Alex Pinhey, Commercial Property Partner.

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