Working with real estate investors – a day in the life of a commercial property trainee

3 January, 2018
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

This week, the Cripps Pemberton Greenish trainee solicitor blog team spoke to Tom Bushell. Tom is a first seat trainee in commercial property, focusing on real estate investors. Read on to find out about a day in his life.


An early start

7:30am: Today I am attending a meeting with one of the firm’s largest clients, a specialist property investor with a global portfolio. The meeting is taking place at a shopping centre forming part of this portfolio. We work alongside the client’s asset managers, dealing with lettings of the retail units. In attendance are a range of different professionals, all involved in the management of the centre.

I jump on the train at Tunbridge Wells station and join the rows of tired commuters. I am grateful that this is not part of my regular routine! Like many of the trainees I have recently moved to Tunbridge Wells and enjoy the short walk to work.


Out and about

9:00am:  I arrive half an hour before the meeting is due to start, leaving plenty of time to grab a coffee and familiarise myself with the centre.

9:30am: We sit down to start the meeting. Alongside myself and my supervisor, there are surveyors, property agents and members of the centre management team. Once we have finished our updates on current lettings, the discussions turn to the daily requirements of managing the centre. I am surprised by the amount of work required to keep the centre up and running on a daily basis. For us, this is invaluable in aiding our understanding of the client’s business and the challenges they are faced with.

1:00pm: The meeting comes to an end and we stay for a brief chat before heading into town for lunch.

2:30pm: On my return to the office I make a cup of tea and review my emails. I then run through the notes I have taken during the meeting.


Pro bono intiatives

3:00pm: I have been assisting one of the partners with a pro bono instruction acting for a local charity taking a lease of an office in Tunbridge Wells. The transaction is not expected to be too complicated and I am responsible for running this myself under supervision. The landlord’s solicitor has sent over the draft lease and I sit down to review this.

3:45pm: Having identified the key points in the lease, I discuss these with the supervising partner. I then mark up the lease with suggested amendments and return this to the landlord’s solicitor. I also email the client with a brief progress update.

This is one of a number of smaller instructions that I have been involved with in the first few months of my seat. These have been invaluable in providing an overview of the transactions as a whole, developing my understanding of each stage of the process. While these have presented a challenge at times, help is always on hand to deal with any difficulties that may arise.

4:30pm: My supervisor asks me to assist with a land sale for one of our developer clients. I spend some time familiarising myself with the area, which is located in North Wales. I then review the title documents and start drafting the agreement for sale and transfer documents. My supervisor will review these later.

5:15pm: I check through my list of current work to ensure everything is in hand.  Finally, I check I have recorded all the time I have spent over the course of the day. We have arranged a trainee social in Brighton tonight and I head off for dinner and a very competitive game of UV golf!