Trainee Days – Residential Property (December 2015)
Ever wondered what the life of a trainee solicitor in a very busy Residential Property department is really like? Read on to find out more from trainee Laura:
My Cripps Pemberton Greenish in a day
8:30am: I get into work and check my emails and to-do list. The first thing to do is call a solicitor at a different firm and try to agree an exchange of contracts. We’re negotiating over the date of completion and I’m also insisting on a full 10 per cent deposit for my client, but the other solicitor doesn’t have sufficient funds in from her client yet to give us this. This involves going back and forth to our respective clients to get their confirmation on the various aspects of the exchange. By the end of the morning we have agreed a completion date and will exchange when she has the funds.
10:00am: I’m asked to draft a licence to occupy for a partner in the Private Client department. He’s working with a number of teams for these particular clients, who want to allow an employee to live on part of their property while managing their estate in a tax-efficient way. This creates lots of interesting aspects to the case.
11:30am: My supervisor gives me a research task looking into how to remove a legal charge from a title once the mortgage company is dissolved. Once I’ve returned the research, he asks me to go ahead and remove the charge, which involves liaising with the Government Legal Department, giving me an interesting insight into how law works in the public sector.
1:00pm: I pop out for lunch with a couple of other trainees and run a few errands around the shops. Tunbridge Wells has a lovely town centre so I try to get out at lunchtime each day.
2:00pm: A colleague asks me to write a report on title for a client. This is quite a common trainee task in Resi and involves investigating all aspects of a property, including the title and the results of various searches, to make sure we deal with any issues before exchange. It’s a great piece of work to get your teeth into and goes right to the heart of what conveyancers do.
3:30pm: I finally manage to exchange contracts on the property from this morning as the other solicitor has the funds in from her client. It’s part of a chain of transactions so I first agree a release with the buyers, then call the sellers and exchange with them, then call the buyers again to confirm exchange has taken place.
4:00pm: I attend a client meeting with a colleague from my department. This client owns a large agricultural estate and wants to develop part of it, but isn’t sure whether he can use a right of way for non-agricultural purposes. This involves comparing different ordnance survey maps and looking at old title deeds to try to work out where precisely the right of way is and what it can be used for.
4:30pm: I draft a quick transfer for an associate in my department, who’s working with the Family team for this particular client. The transfer doesn’t take long, but while drafting it I realise the client will need a court order, so I go and talk to the Family team about when we will get this. It turns out the couple are still negotiating and haven’t got a court order yet, so I discuss how best to approach this in the transfer with my colleague in Resi.
6:00pm: We finish discussing the transfer and I think I’ve managed to get everything done for the day, so I head out for a drink at Sankeys, our local, with a few other trainees.
More about Laura
Name: Laura Sherratt
Current Seat: Residential Property (“Resi”)
Previous Seats: None
Studied: History and Politics at Warwick; GDL and LPC at University of Law Bloomsbury
Outside of work, I can usually be found… running, playing the guitar, listening to old records
Favourite Film: Midnight’s Children