Case study

Hidden assets: protecting the Church Commissioners’ valuable minerals

Posted by : Simon Pring

Farrer combines their expertise in manorial law with a pragmatic and commercial approach to the issues.

Client

Manorial minerals are mineral interests attached to the lordship of a manor. Since 1925, these rights have not needed to be registered at the Land Registry in order to bind the owner of the surface title (they have been ‘overriding interests’). However, from 12 October 2013, these rights will cease to override and must therefore be registered in order to be secure. If they are not registered, they risk being lost when title to the surface changes.

Farrer’s Estates & Private Property team has been advising the Church Commissioners for England in connection with the registration of their manorial minerals. With Farrer & Co’s help, the Church Commissioners are leading the field in meeting the complex legal and practical challenges imposed by the obligation to register manorial rights for over 300 manors over very extensive areas of land.

“We turned to Farrer to guide us through this process as they are the market leader in providing legal advice to owners of rural estates,” explains James Howe, Rural Asset Manager for the Church Commissioners for England. “They combine their expertise in manorial law with a pragmatic and commercial approach to the issues. This has been invaluable in helping the Commissioners protect their interests following the change in the law.”