A festive day in the life of a first seat trainee
This week the trainee solicitor blog team caught up with Victoria Redman. Victoria is a first seat trainee in commercial property and she took us through a festive trainee day!
Christmas jumpers and drafting
08:30: I arrive at the office and grab a coffee to kick-start my morning, whilst checking my emails and deciding the priority of tasks on my to-do list.
08:45: It’s Christmas Jumper day at work today and some people have gone ‘all-out’ with their festive gear. It’s always a nice change to see people in Dress Down clothes rather than office wear and today’s is particularly amusing. All proceeds go towards our annual charity, Teenage Cancer Trust, so it’s nice to know that it is going towards a good cause.
09:00: I get started on the first draft of a deed of release. This document will release our client from a restrictive covenant. Restrictive covenants are, put simply, restrictions entered onto the register of a property which restricts what the proprietor can do with their land. Whilst restricting the proprietor, the covenant will act to benefit another’s land. In this case, our client wanted to carry out works in breach of a restrictive covenant. However the client only needed to release the covenant to the extent that was necessary to carry out the works. This was a difficult task as it required a substantial amount of free drafting, but having never done anything like this before, it was an interesting challenge. This is definitely one of my favourite things about doing commercial real estate, no two tasks are exactly the same so I am constantly learning new things.
Client meetings and colleague catch-ups
10:30: Quick break! I am called in by one of my colleagues to meet a client and witness the signing of some documents. Meeting clients is always a great experience and I enjoy getting away from my desk to meet new people. I return to my desk, draft an attendance note and send it over to my colleague.
11:00: I finish off my drafting and send it over to my supervisor to be checked. I then get started on my next task, drafting a lease renewal for an existing client. The firm does a lot of leases for this client, so I use the template and change various clauses as per the heads of terms.
13:00: Lunch time. I meet up with some of the other trainees for lunch up in the Sky Lounge on the top floor. Lunches are always a sociable time and I enjoy unwinding over a catch up. Whilst work can be a popular topic of conversation, we always manage to have a laugh.
An investigative afternoon
14:00: My task for this afternoon is investigating our client’s title. Our client is taking a loan and in return, the lender has requested a charge over our client’s property. However, the freehold title was much larger than the extent of the property which was to be secured by the charge. I therefore had to look through the title register of the freehold and accompanying documents in order to determine which entries affected the charged property. This was particularly tricky because of the length of the register! I like to approach things logically, so I made a spreadsheet to detail the effect of each entry.
16:00: Another quick break – a transaction needs to be completed. The seller’s solicitors email me confirming that they have received the funds. I call the client to ensure they are happy to complete, then call the seller’s solicitor. We agree completion has taken place, I date the documents and release the funds to them. I then diarise to pay SDLT on the purchase and to register the purchase with the Land Registry.
17:30: Having finished my title investigation, I log off and join my colleagues for the start of our Christmas party. Let the festivities begin!