Trainee Days – Commercial Property (April 2016)

20 April, 2016
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

The Cripps Pemberton Greenish’ss commercial property team advises on a broad range of real estate matters, including asset management and investment fund transactions across the country. Let me tell you what a typical day as a trainee really involves:


My Cripps Pemberton Greenish in a day 

8.30am: the first order of business is to check my emails / voicemail and set up my time recording for the day.

8.45am: one of the best parts of the property seats is the opportunity to take ownership (under supervision!) of certain matters. Late yesterday I exchanged on a purchase that I have been involved with since the original instructions. I complete the post-exchange work and prepare the documents and correspondence to go out to the various parties.

9.45am: I recently reviewed a draft lease and I receive an email from the client with their comments. I contact the landlord’s solicitors confirming that the lease is approved subject to certain amendments. Leases can involve a good deal of negotiation but, in this case, the parties are largely in agreement and so the matter should progress to completion quickly.

11.00am: the Charity Committee has organised a Grand National Sweepstake to raise money for our charity of the year, Alzheimer’s Society. Trainees are encouraged to get involved with Cripps Pemberton Greenish events and we split the offices between us to collect money. I am also the committee secretary and so, on my return, I circulate the minutes of our latest monthly meeting.

11.30am: a fee earner asks if I can do a quick piece of work for them following a client enquiry. I check the deeds on an old matter and prepare a memo, summarising my findings, so they can respond to the client.

12.00pm: as is the nature of property seats, I have a number of ongoing matters, and I send emails progressing a few of these. We are acting for a client on a property sale and they call to review the further enquiries that have been raised by the buyer’s solicitor – we discuss the responses and I explain a few points where the client has requested clarification. Following the call I dictate an attendance note.

1.00pm: another fee earner asks if I have capacity to assist on some sales. As I will be out for the afternoon we agree to run through the matter on Monday morning. Although this is a Real Estate Investment seat, I have also been able to work with the Corporate Real Estate department. Both are commercial property seats, involving all aspects of transactional property work, but the Investment team acts primarily for government and commercial landlords with investment property portfolios. Another meeting soon goes in the diary – our client is in the process of a share sale and the Corporate Real Estate team is acting on the property side to the transaction, liaising with our corporate department. We need to review and feedback on the property warranties in the sale agreement – the fee earner asks me to look at these in advance of our meeting so that we can run through my conclusions on Monday.

1.15pm: I am also assisting with a lease assignment. I prepared the original CPSEs (standard enquiries) but, as is often the case, the buyer has come back with some further questions. I draft responses where I am able and begin preparing the document to send to the client for their input. 

1.45pm: I pop out for some lunch and a coffee, put on my out of office notifications, and head to an afternoon of training.

2.00pm: training is ongoing at Cripps Pemberton Greenish, at trainee and post-qualification level, for both legal know how and other skills. Today, in small trainee groups, we have the first of two presentation skills sessions. The ability to present is an important skill as a solicitor (whether you are running a client meeting, submitting a tender or talking to a room full of people). We go through ways to give an effective presentation, and how to manage ourselves when doing so, following which we put the theory into practice and give our own presentations. Following this, our training manager will review the videos (yes, videos) to provide us with in depth, individual feedback. Cripps Pemberton Greenish’s emphasis on training and development, and developing all of the skills necessary to working in law, is one of the reasons I applied here all that time ago.

5.45pm: I pop back to my desk to check my emails for a final time, and finish things up for the day, after which that’s me done for the weekend.


My profile

Name: Laura McMaster

Current Seat: Commercial Property (second seat)

Previous Seats: Employment

Studied: Classical Civilisation (BA) and Classics and Ancient History (MA), University of Warwick; GDL and LPC, College of Law Guildford

Outside of work, I can usually be found… horse riding, taking part in fencing and Wing Chun Kung Fu, or wandering around with my camera.

Favourite Film: It’s hard to pick one, but probably Blues Brothers.


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