AA wide angled picture of Brodies LLP's Aberdeen Office Buildings the biggest department at Brodies, the Real Estate department offers trainees a wide range of experiences and challenges. Some of the current trainees were asked to give their thoughts on various aspects of the department and what the different teams have to offer.

 What type of work do you do in your Commercial Property seat?

“Commercial Property is an engaging and challenging seat, and ultimately an extremely rewarding one. I have had the opportunity to become involved in a vast variety of work, from drafting all kinds of lease documents for landlords of large shopping centres to playing a part in extensive UK wide sale and purchase portfolio transactions. This often includes working closely with the Banking department, which has given me an invaluable insight into how different parts of the Firm gel together to get a transaction over the line.”

– Clare Kelly (2nd Year Trainee)

What type of work do you do in your Land and Rural Business seat? Tractor with trailer in a field

Although it has only been seven weeks since I started, I’m already getting a good idea of the wide variety of work available in Land and Rural Business. From looking at deeds from the 19th century to researching the law on septic tanks, there really is a lot to take in and I’m yet to have two days that have felt the same.

Everything still feels new, and I don’t think that feeling will wear off anytime soon. Although I’m technically answering a different question; from a long list of highlights, the one that stands out has to be my first sale completion

– Danny McClymont (1st Year Trainee)

Tell us about the social side of the Real Estate department?

Real Estate is a busy, fast paced department with people often working to tight deadlines. You might expect that would mean a sea of stony faces and snappy retorts, but it is actually a fantastically friendly and ‘all in it together’ team environment. New starts are made to feel very welcome and are encouraged to get involved with events outside of work. The social activities I’ve been involved in so far include a charity pub quiz, department team day, hiking expedition and of course the occasional drinks after work on a Friday.

– Jenny Burn (2nd Year Trainee)

A group of people making a circle of hands

What is the atmosphere like in the Real Estate department?

I would agree with what Jenny said. From the very beginning, Real Estate struck me as a productive and efficient department to work in, with a definite ‘buzz’ in the air. The different teams are often knocking on each other’s doors for a word of input or advice which creates a real sense of collectiveness and teamwork. People are friendly, smiley (which, trust me, makes the day a lot more worthwhile) and show an active interest in speaking to you.

– Latifa El Shafei (1st Year Trainee)

How does practice compare to studying conveyancing on the Diploma?

“It’s fair to say that conveyancing was a bit of a ‘Marmite’ course on the Diploma, but practicing property law is very different from learning the theory. The logical flow of a typical transaction still applies, but now you help assist with the smooth progression of large deals. No two transactions are ever the same, and often there are complications to overcome. The day of the sale is always slightly hectic and perhaps a little nerve-racking, but ultimately there’s a real sense of satisfaction when you advise your client that everything has gone through successfully.”

– Gordon Stevenson (1st Year Trainee)

Do you think Real Estate offers a good first seat for your traineeship?Business people shaking hands

I think it’s a great department to start out in. The work is good and varied and the law is fresh in the mind after Diploma. An interest in property law definitely helps but I have been struck by the constant need to bring a commercial answer to the table. The department therefore offers a good mix of law and practice at this early stage in my traineeship which I feel will set me up well for the next two years – and beyond.”

– Martin Smail (1st Year Trainee)

What advice would you give for anyone thinking about doing a seat in Real Estate?

“My advice would be: do it! Real Estate is an exciting and challenging seat, you just need to get the best advice from the real estate agents Montmorency in order to understand the real estate world. Our team has a broad range of work and is very busy, so there will definitely be something to spark your interest. You will get the chance to work with lots of lawyers, clients, banks, surveyors and property managers on very different deals and projects. Trainees can improve their drafting and negotiation skills as well as understanding the commercial drivers underpinning Real Estate deals. A seat in Real Estate will give you a well-rounded experience and opens up plenty of opportunities.”

– Charlotte Edgar (1st Year Trainee)

Martin Smail

Solicitor at Brodies LLP
Martin is a solicitor in our Banking and Finance team. He advises a variety of lenders and borrowers on a broad range of banking transactions, including project finance, real estate finance and general corporate finance.
Martin Smail