Top Five Property Lawyers
While some say Hoskyns-Abrahall’s star is rising, we say it’s already pretty elevated. Withers’ landed estates co-head is an expert in the acquisition and sale of estates, country residences, farmland and grouse moors, both for portfolios and first-time buyers.
Few in the field could call 2016 a barnstormer as Hoskyns-Abrahall seems to. ‘Taking the year as a whole we transacted our greatest ever acreage — in excess of 30,000 acres — which is fantastic,’ he says.
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,’ he adds (the former has been something of a ‘poor relation’ of late). ‘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. A lifelong country sportsman and conservationist, he studied countryside management at Newcastle University, joined Withers in 2001 and was made a partner in 2008 — a role he continues to relish.