The property team at law firm Viberts helped complete the purchase of one of the most southerly properties in the British Isles last week.
Advocate James Lawrence and Michael Falle, Senior Conveyancer, both travelled to Les Minquiers earlier this month to undertake a unique site visit and check boundaries for one of the huts on the Maitresse Ile. The contract of sale was then passed through Jersey’s Royal Court last Friday 17 August 2018.
There are fewer than 20 huts on Les Minquiers, most of which are closer in size to a garden chalet. Many of these properties have been formally conveyed by contracts passed before the Royal Court, some of which date back from 19thcentury, including two which belong to the States of Jersey.
Les Minquiers, officially a part of the parish of Grouville, is a reef of rocks (said, at low water, to be larger in area than mainland Jersey) which sits approximately 12 nautical miles south of Jersey and is officially the most southerly part of the British Isles.
The Sovereignty of the reef was the subject of a dispute with France which went to the International Court of Justice at the Hague in the early 1950s. It was settled that it was British territory and the established ownership of properties on the reef by Jersey residents who paid Parish rates seems to have been a deciding factor which lead the court to that outcome. Much of Fort Regent was built with stone which came from the main island.
The area is protected by the Ramsar Convention for its importance as a seabird habitat, and is also home to Grey Seals and Bottlenose dolphins.
Commenting on this rare transaction, Advocate Lawrence said:
“This was certainly a piece of work which neither Michael or I will forget. It’s not every day you take a boat to undertake a property site visit, but the process is ultimately the same as with any property – checking boundaries and the site generally. The actual transaction is interesting in itself too. Ordinarily, these beautiful huts are passed through families from one generation to the next, so the fact that one was subject to a transaction is rare.”
Senior Conveyancer, Michael Falle, added:
“We were pleased that Viberts was chosen to deal with this unusual conveyancing matter, which is testament to the firm’s strong local reputation and its clear focus on the importance of Jersey’s tradition and history.”