A commercial property trainee in Kings Hill

24 February, 2018
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

This week, the trainee solicitor blog team caught up with Raúl Hernandez.  Raúl is a first seat trainee in Corporate Real Estate. Read on to find out more about his day.


First thing’s first…


8:00am: I arrive at the office after taking my daughters to day care.  My youngest is 1 and the eldest is 3 years old. It is a good way to start the day!

I turn on my computer and make myself a nice cup of tea. After living in the United Kingdom for 8 years, coming from Canada, I have traded my morning Tim Horton’s coffee for the quintessential British beverage.  First I check my emails for urgent requests from the fee earners in the team. I notice a couple of messages that need my immediate attention.



9:00am: I have been assisting my supervisor with the grant of a new lease to a property for one of our corporate clients. The bank providing a loan to our client has forwarded us a number of queries from the Landlord.  I call the landlord’s solicitor to address these and to discuss timeframes on other outstanding matters. One of the interesting aspects of this seat is that the trainees get a lot of hands on experience coordinating with clients and counterparts.


10:00am: One of the fee earners in our team has asked for an urgent review of a lease. She is interested in particular provisions that may impact the landlord of the property.  Often in this seat, you need to be able respond to urgent queries and ensure that it does not impact on any other matter that you are working on. I review the lease and provide my response in an email.


12:00pm: I attend the meeting held every two weeks by the Corporate Real Estate teams based in Kings Hill and Tunbridge Wells to discuss priorities and updates. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the team, the clients and the direction of the department.  I remember my first meeting. The head of the department took the time to welcome me and the other trainees. In this seat, you really feel like you are part of a tight group.


An excuse for pizza!

1:00pm: Once a month the firm arranges a “lunch and learn” session where people from around the firm get together to learn about the various practices at Cripps Pemberton Greenish while enjoying some pizza. In today’s session I learn about the residential property department, its various clients and current projects.


2:00pm: As part of the matter I was working on for my supervisor earlier, I continue a lease summary that I started yesterday. The summary is a synthesis of the main terms of the lease for our client. I quite enjoy this exercise as it requires delving into the intricacies of a lease.


4:00pm: Next, I follow up with one of our search providers for a drainage and water search report that has been pending for my supervisor’s matter.  As this report is required by our client’s bank, I update them on the status and expected time of delivery.


4:30pm: One of my colleagues has asked me to conduct some research on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). She wanted to know whether her transfer of property with no consideration warranted a notification to HM Revenue and Customs. I resolve her query, but normally for more complex SDLT matters the firm relies on our SDLT specialist, Paul Clark.


6:00pm: Finally, I prepare a list of tasks for the following day. I then head home to put my daughters to bed. My eldest tells me about her day with her best singing voice. Meanwhile my youngest points at me and gives me her signature four-teeth smile.  I think that means I am the favourite, but please don’t tell my wife!