Paintings not fixtures and fittings

Posted: 29th May 2012

PaintingThe Earl of Cardigan, in the press recently because of his daughter’s appearance on the TV pr0gramme “The Voice”, has lost a case he brought against the trustees of his family estate at Savernake Forest in Wiltshire.

The Earl tried to prevent the sale by the trustees of some family paintings that were as much as 500 years old and which the trustees wanted to sell to raise money for the estate.

One of the arguments put forward on the Earl’s behalf was that many of the paintings had been leased to him in 1999 together with Savernake Lodge, which he occupies.
The lease to the Earl included the 'furniture, fixtures and fittings' in Savernake Lodge. The court held that paintings did not fall within that definition.

In any case, the trustees were entitled to have the lease set aside as at the time it was granted the Earl was a trustee of the estate and so was prohibited from selling or leasing trust property to himself (the 'self-dealing rule' intended to prevent conflicts of interest).