Businesspeople in Conference Room and Colleagues Walking By

Starting as a Trainee in Transactional Real Estate

I’ve been told a seat in Transactional Real Estate (TRE) often appeals to trainees as it builds a range of skills that are essential for your career – I now know that this is not without reason!

As I approach the end of my first trainee seat in TRE, I am able to reflect on some of the key benefits I’ve gained.

Time management

The biggest takeaway from this seat has been the importance of being organised, especially whilst having a large, varied caseload and tight deadlines. I’ve trialled different methods for being organised before finding the ones that work for me, and it has been satisfying to learn to manage files effectively.

As I’ve learned to effectively manage my workload, it has been rewarding to be given more responsibility throughout the seat, especially in a practice area that offers tangible results at the end – for example, co-ordinating the completion of multiple leases for one client.

Land law touches everything

Transactions involving land and property are likely to crop up in a legal career as well as in one’s personal life, making experience in this area beneficial on both fronts.

Transactional property lawyers have an in-depth knowledge of properties, having to flag potential issues clearly to clients and find solutions to problems to ensure the swiftest completions possible. Matters tend to be fast-paced, high-value and complex with a focus on getting the deal done to meet a client’s commercial objectives.

Breadth and depth of clients

Clients of Michelmores’ TRE department range from property investment companies, residential developers, retailers, fund managers, leisure operators and even high-net worth individuals.

Many of our clients are operating in line with exciting changes which are brought about from the global desire to reach net zero. These include entering into Biodiversity Net Gain agreements, or sustainable energy initiatives, such as large-scale battery storage (BESS), EV charging and rooftop solar energy on large commercial buildings. A seat in TRE provides trainees with a chance to see the practicalities of such projects up close.

Cross-team collaboration

Throughout my seat, I have had the chance to do cross-departmental work where a land transaction touches the heart of the matter. This has included working collaboratively with the corporate team to deal with all the property related issues in an asset or share sale and the tax, trusts and succession team by transferring land assets to beneficiaries following grant of probate.

The opportunities to collaborate across departments in the firm provides great networking opportunities, develops your soft skills and really builds your internal profile.

File management

Thanks to the generally quick turnaround of transactions, I have been able to get a strong grasp on matter management. I have dealt with file opening and closing, which has provided a good insight into firm procedures, which are required from a risk perspective and to comply with anti-money laundering regulations when onboarding clients.

By having the chance to consider requests made by prospective and current clients, I have had the opportunity to evaluate and estimate likely costs for a matter, as well as be involved in billing which is invaluable experience.

Final thoughts

A seat in TRE has given me great transferable skills and the challenges encountered have been gratifying to overcome.

As well as developing my knowledge of property law and practice, the seat has been a great opportunity to develop good attention to detail and bigger-picture commerciality.