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working in the property department with the public authority & health team

22 March 2011

What does the team do?

The team works for a wide variety of public authority and health clients including schools, local authorities, nature conservation bodies, primary care trusts and GP consortia.

What type of work does a trainee do?

The team works hard to give trainees exposure to as many different types of transactions as possible during the seat. Examples of the type of work you will carry out include drafting documents for the sale of freehold land, reporting on registered and unregistered titles, carrying out searches, negotiating lease terms for landlords and tenants, drafting licenses to assign, completing transactions and dealing with post completion documents.

The varied nature of the clients means that I have been involved in everything from drafting the lease of a bat roost in the middle of the countryside, to negotiating the sale of city centre hospital buildings.

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

You are given a lot of hands on experience, and by end of your seat you will be handling the day to day running of lots of files. You are encouraged to take jobs from start to finish so you will be doing everything from drafting the initial engagement letter to preparing the final bill. You will also get the opportunity to work on several of the larger and more complicated files run by fee earners in the team.
Whilst you are encouraged to be proactive and take control of your own files, there is always support and supervision there to guide you through the process.

How much client contact does a trainee get?

You have daily contact with clients and agents by phone and email. You will also attend client meetings and help to run client seminars. On smaller files that you are running you will also have the opportunity to lead these meetings.

I have certainly not been kept hidden away from clients, in most cases, the work you do is sent out in your name, and you are encouraged to build up relationships with clients from an early stage.

What has been the highlight for you in this seat?

A real highlight was been sent on my own to complete the signing of a long term lease with the chief executive and financial director of a major organisation at their head offices.