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Trainee seat with the property department's development team

22 March 2011

What does the team do?
A wide variety of work including: complex development transactions; projects for Natural England; purchases of investment properties; overage agreements; business property sales and purchases; corporate support work; leases and transfers of part of large estates.

What type of work does a trainee do?

Trainees are encouraged to get involved in as many different types of transaction as possible during their seat. The property department has a trainee charter which sets out a list of transactions e.g. freehold sale, lease acting for tenant, underlease etc that they hope trainees will cover during their property seat. I was fortunate enough to have covered the majority of these by half way through my seat. I have drafted and negotiated leases, drafted overage provisions, easements, reports on title and leases. I have also negotiated licences to assign.

What level of responsibility/hands on experience (i.e. manage your own files etc) does a trainee receive?

You get a lot of hands on experience with file management and the day to day running of files during this seat. You are not just given discrete documents to draft but are encouraged to contact clients, agents and solicitors on the other side to progress matters. I have also had the opportunity to open files, prepare engagement letters and then complete and bill files. I think this seat is fantastic for experience of file management.

How much client contact does a trainee get?

I have had the opportunity to attend client meetings with my supervisor and sit in on conference calls. I have also contacted clients direct by telephone, email and letter. The nature of the work means that you largely contact clients by telephone and email.

What has been the highlight for you in this seat?

My highlight has been the day to day responsibility I have had for files and the opportunity to, in addition to drafting key documents, open files, contact clients, solicitors and agents, complete and then bill transactions. I think this has been an invaluable experience to have ahead of qualification.