Luggala owner: Art-loving aristocrat who values his privacy

Elusive Italian has many business interests and owns Rubens and Michelangelo works

Padulli’s connection with Luggala was revealed in July of last year when a company called Luggala Estate Limited was registered

Born in May 1955, Count Luca Rinaldo Contardo Padulli di Vighignolo is an elusive character. In one profile, he is described as Britain's biggest landowner. In another, he is said to control 106,000 homes across Britain.

The Italian property magnate previously worked with investment fund Camomille LLP, but has since resigned as a director. He has served as a director of a plethora of other companies registered in England.

Noting his control over 106,000 homes, one reputable publisher, Tortoise, noted also the Italian's collections of prized drawings by Rubens and Michelangelo.

In 2017, Tatler magazine reported he’d bought a village in North Yorkshire called West Heslerton. And Tortoise notes that he lives in a 16th-century moated manor in Norfolk.


His fondness for art became clear in 2017 after the US-based Getty Museum announced its most expensive acquisitions ever, paying an estimated $100 million for a collection of master drawings.

The trove included works by Goya, Degas, Rubens, Michelangelo and Lorenzo di Credi. Padulli was quickly unveiled as their former owner, referred to at the time as a "mysterious Italian aristocrat".

His business interests are controlled by Wallace Partnership Group Limited, which underwent a reorganisation with a newly incorporated company last year called Albanwise Wallace Estates Limited.


Last year, Wallace paid a £140 million dividend. To whom those funds were paid is not clear. In its accounts, the company said “this dividend formed part of the group reorganisation”.

While the company had no turnover in the year, its investments were valued at £232 million. It's worth noting that Wallace's ultimate parent company is Perseverance Limited, which is registered in Gibraltar.

It worth noting, too, that Padulli is listed a person of significant control of the Albanwise entity. Though it did not trade in 2019, it is likely to become more prominent in Padulli’s operations this year.

His connection with Luggala was revealed in July of last year when a company called Luggala Estate Limited was registered. His wife, Carolyn Dolgenos, is one of the company's directors. The company's beneficial owner is listed as Romito AG, a company registered in Switzerland.

When the Paradise Papers were leaked, the Padulli family group was linked in the papers to companies called Codelouf Limited and Parsimony Limited, companies themselves which were linked to both Guernsey and Jersey.

There is nothing wrong, it should be said, with registering an entity in jurisdictions like those. From his extensive company holdings, it quickly becomes clear that Padulli is fond of seclusion.

Whether the illustrious Luggala estate, known for its lavish parties under the ownership of Garech Browne, will persuade him to shed that desire for privacy remains to be seen.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business