Being a residential property trainee

17 January, 2018

This week, the trainee solicitor blog team caught up with Kelly Arnold.  Kelly is a first seat trainee in Residential Property. Read on to find out more about her day…


8.30am: I make myself a coffee and begin by reviewing my day’s to do list.  I check my emails for anything that may have come in overnight and respond to a client’s query about some paperwork I had provided him with.


Leaseholds and unregistered land


9.00am:  I have been assisting my supervisor in acting for the seller of a leasehold property.  It has proved to be a complicated transaction involving a number of elements that I haven’t come across before.­­  I need to speak to a third party regarding the grant of a licence as part of this transaction.  I call the individual and agree a course of action.  I then draft the licence in accordance with my instructions and send it to my supervisor for approval.


10.00am:  A colleague has asked me to assist with a new instruction involving the first registration of four parcels of land.  The law around unregistered land is very different from that of registered land, so I sit down with my colleague for a briefing on the matter and to agree the next steps.  I make a note of my tasks and confirm a timescale with my colleague. 


10.30am:  I have received an email from a solicitor responding to pre-contract enquiries I raised on behalf of a buyer client.  It is another leasehold property and many of the enquiries are to do with the management of the property. Our client is particularly concerned with the property management aspects of the transaction.  Our enquiries check whether the landlord complies with its obligations contained in the lease. These include carrying out repairs to communal areas and other day-to-day management tasks. I review the responses and catch up with my supervisor on the file in general.


1.00pm:  I head into town with a colleague.  There are some great places in Tunbridge Wells to go for lunch, and the trainees are a sociable bunch who try to catch up whenever possible.


Ready for a varied afternoon


2.00pm:  I recently assisted my supervisor in preparing a report on title for a client purchasing a property in London.  I receive a call from the client who wishes to ask some questions regarding the report.  After answering several questions,  I make a note of those which I will refer to my supervisor.  I prepare an attendance note of our conversation and send it to my supervisor for her comments.


3.00pm:  I’m assisting some members of my team with a business development project, and my role is to carry out some internet research and set out my findings for the team.  I spend some time researching and updating my document of findings.


Cripps Pemberton Greenish’s charity committee treasurer 


3.30pm:  Since I started my training contract, I have been the treasurer of the Cripps Pemberton Greenish Charity Committee.  In December each year Cripps Pemberton Greenish staff vote on a new charity to support the following year.  As we have now reached the end of 2017 and of our partnership with our 2017 charity, Teenage Cancer Trust, my task this afternoon is to reconcile my spreadsheet with the spreadsheet kept by the finance team in order to confirm the total amount raised.  We have recently selected new charity to support in 2018, and we are thoroughly looking forward to working with them.


4.45pm:  My supervisor asks me to carry out some research into chancel repair liability relating to leasehold property. Following this, I draft some amendments to the team’s standard precedents.  Land which was previously owned by a monastery or abbey is sometimes affected by chancel repair liability. In certain instances, landowners may be liable to pay for the repair of the chancel of the parish church. This can prove to be a heavy financial burden.  When reporting to a client, we confirm if any such liability may exist and advise on these risks.  I carry out the research and send my supervisor my findings and proposed precedent amendments.


6:00pm:  I write my to do list for tomorrow and ensure I’ve replied to the emails I received this afternoon.  It is a colleague’s birthday today, so I go to meet her and the other first year trainees for drinks.