We were instructed by the owners of Tillypronie Estate, in the sale of their prestigious north-east residential and sporting estate property, which included a grouse moor, forestry and a portfolio of let and in-hand farms and cottages. 

The Estate was a traditional mixed estate with a range of different tenancies in place, which created several issues in preparing the property for market, and then negotiating the sales contracts for individual split offs and sale of the core.

Key highlights

  • We reviewed the title and agricultural and residential tenancy position and advised from the outset in preparation for the market with the marketing agents.
  • We dealt with the legal aspects of negotiations with sitting agricultural tenants, including complex agricultural holdings advice in relation to renegotiation or restructuring of leases prior to the property going to market. This included addressing reservation of sporting rights.
  • We advised on the negotiation of the legal contracts for sale and dealt with legal due diligence questions on title, forestry, water and other rights.
  • There were several sales to sitting tenants and a main sale of the core, and so it was essential to ensure that all these tied together and no one transaction could ransom another, in terms of reserved rights or timing.
  • We advised on dealing with offshore requirements where required, and employment law in relation to the estate employees.


The decision to sell any estate like this is a once in a lifetime decision for an owner, sometimes in generations. In this case the owner was a new client and so we had to rapidly understand the history of the estate, both in terms of its legal title and leases, and also in terms of culture and expectations.

Estates like this do not often come on the market and inevitably the preparation for a purchaser's due diligence is no simple task. Navigating the negotiations requires a detailed understanding of both the legal and commercial context. We worked closely as a team with the owner and trustees, as well as the sale and advisory agents. Collaboration is essential to deliver a transaction of this nature, with regular client reporting and management of the work stream.


Lynne Murray

Senior Associate

Andrew Askew Blain

Legal Director

Tony Hadden

Head of Employment & Partner