Trainee Solicitor Blog
Life as a Trainee in the Southport Commercial Property Team
I’ve now reached the halfway point of my training contact and am moving to my next seat in the Family team at Birchall Blackburn Law’s Preston office. So this seemed like the perfect time to reflect on my experiences as a trainee so far and on what life is like as a trainee in Commercial Property team, under the supervision of partner Tony Coates.
The Commercial Property team acts for Landlords, Tenants and business clients and companies who want to buy, sell or lease commercial property. In my time with Tony and his team, I assisted in many different transactions including the purchase of new warehouse premises, the assignment of office space. Tony’s approach was to get me as involved as possible in each transaction and the aim was to get hands-on experience in deals from start to finish.
As part of this process I had direct contact with our clients, solicitors and property agents and other professionals. This was invaluable in getting a clear understanding of the concerns of each particular client, whether they are a Landlord, a Tenant or an owner-occupier and also in dealing with the other professionals who can be involved in a deal including Banks, Surveyors and Planning experts.
I found that the more contact I had with our clients, the more confident I became in taking the client’s instructions and negotiating the required changes to draft documents. From day one, Tony drummed into me the importance of attention to detail and he was ruthless when wielding his red pen on my first attempts at drafting. Thankfully I learned quickly and what was a sea of red pen at the start of my seat, had become a pond of red by the end
The biggest lesson I learned is that our clients are busy people who want to be able to get in touch with us when they need help and for their matters to be dealt with in a timely and efficient manner. Progressing matters as quickly as possible and keeping clients updated at all times is key.
I think that as a trainee in the Commercial Property team, I was treated as a key member and was very involved in all aspects of the transactions I was working on. Although I was given a lot of responsibility and expected to uphold the high standards of the department, I was really well supported by Tony with daily guidance and an open environment in which to ask questions. During the last 9 months, I have gained a lot of skills in drafting, negotiation and transaction management which I am sure will prove invaluable in my next seat and future career.
Family team here I come!