‘It’s been a strange year,’ says Hoskyns-Abrahall. Properties and agricultural lands have slipped below the market radar, and the bulk of his deals have been private.
‘We’ve been lucky, I think, in that we have kept ourselves busy doing rather unusual tasks — buying grouse moors, acting for overseas purchasers who don’t seem to be affected so much by the vagaries of our own markets, and helping our long-standing farming clients with matters that affect them on a day-to-day basis,’ he says. One buying agent says the lawyer has been advising on transactions worth over £180 million, which includes 28,000 acres of land and sporting rights.
Hoskyns-Abrahall, a partner who heads Withers’ real estate team, chose a career in property law at the age of fifteen and has been with the firm since his training days. Being a judge of the prestigious estate-keeping Purdey Award, he shares a passion for country sports with his clients.
He empathises with clients, asking himself all the way: ‘If I were buying this, what would concern me? How would I deal with this particular issue if it were me and my money?’