Trainee 2015 - 2017, Associate 2017
Departments to date: Construction, Commercial Property
University: Cardiff University
Degree: Law and German LLB (1st)
9.00 am: On my way into the office I use the train journey to check the news headlines; working at a specialist property law firm, it’s particularly important to keep up to date with what’s happening in the UK real estate market as well as the economy in general.
9.30 am: I have a voicemail to go and speak to a Senior Associate who then explains the background to a long leasehold interest purchase we are currently acting on. We have received the searches back and I am now to draft the report on title for our client.
10.00 am: I am negotiating a deed of variation and take a call from a client in relation to an email we have received from the tenant’s solicitors. I discuss this call with the Partner I am working with on this matter and we decide on a course of action. I draft a response email. This is excellent experience of negotiating a document, communicating with our client and understanding our client’s requirements so that we can best protect their interests.
10.45 am: We have been asked to tender for a piece of work so my supervisor asks me to visit the site of the potential purchase. I take pictures of the site and the surrounding area to use in the tender pack which has to be sent out the same day. When I return to the office I report to my supervisor on the boundaries of the property, rights to light issues and any potential rights of way. It’s fantastic experience going on site visits; you gain a better understanding of the property and any potential issues which may cause problems later on. It’s also important to show the client that we take the time to understand each matter we are instructed on.
12.00 pm: As it is a Wednesday we have an internal Know-How training session. These sessions are a great way to keep up to date with changes in the law and current issues.
1.00 pm: I have lunch with the other Trainees and Associates. We are entering a team into the London Legal Walk so I have organised a charity bake sale and all the cakes are set out in the kitchen.
2.00 pm: I start to go through the searches and title documents in relation to the leasehold title purchase. I make a note of any enquiries to raise of the seller and start to draft the report on title. This is an important process as it informs the client of the key points in relation to the purchase which may affect their enjoyment/ ownership of the property. The property forms part of a much larger site so it is a big task going through the documents and working out which rights and burdens will be relevant to the purchase.
3.45 pm: Trainees are in charge of Maples Teesdale’s social media and so I check and update our twitter account. I also proof read an article on recent case law to be published and put on our website and various media platforms. At Maples Teesdale, you are involved in marketing and promoting the firm’s brand from a trainee which really helps you feel part of the development of the brand and you start to form ideas as to how to raise awareness of the firm.
4.15 pm: I sit in on a conference call with a client with the Real Estate Finance department regarding a large upcoming finance deal which I will be involved in. I take notes in the call and then type these up and distribute them amongst the team. Large property transactions often involve more than one department in the firm and they are a great opportunity to work with other teams and gain an understanding of what they do.
4.50 pm: My supervisor has finished checking a lease that I drafted the day before and I go through the amendments with him. It’s a renewal lease so I have to check the terms of the existing lease and ensure the renewal lease is consistent. I make the amendments and draft an email sending the lease out to be negotiated. Being a trainee in commercial property means you get a lot of responsibility at an early stage but are still supported so it’s a very ‘hands-on’ learning experience.
6.00 pm: I check my emails and make my to-do list for the next day, prioritising any urgent matters.