I started my traineeship at Brodies in August 2020 and was allocated my first seat in Real Estate, working alongside colleagues who are normally based in the Glasgow office. It's a huge practice area so within it, there's a wide variety of exciting commercial and residential work to get involved in.
I've had the opportunity to work in three specialisms. The first covers commercial real estate, housebuilding, regeneration projects, and government and public sector work, including acquisitions and disposals of commercial assets and leasing (landlord and tenant). This team also provides residential services, including the delivery of plot sales, and acquisitions and disposals for private clients.
The second deals with acquisitions and disposals of retail, office, industrial and development sites. Colleagues in this area also act for landlords in commercial leasing and asset management transactions for industrial, office, retail, and leisure properties.
The third involves acting for developers, tenants and funding institutions in retail, investment and development work on residential, mixed use, care home and student developments across the UK. This also involves work in commercial leasing and property management of office, industrial and retail premises.
Working in these three areas has provided me with a diverse workload and the opportunity to work on several different projects. Each day is different, and I've worked on a wide variety of tasks, assisting everyone, from solicitor to partner. Over the last five months, I've also had the opportunity to work with other practice areas, including banking and corporate, and external professionals such as managing agents and solicitors on the other side of a transaction. Although COVID-19 has prevented face-to-face contact, I regularly communicate with clients, particularly when I'm working on residential transactions.
I don't have set tasks each day but am often involved in Registers of Scotland applications, drafting LBTT return forms, reviewing titles or drafting dispositions, offers to purchase or drafting leases, and generally assisting at all stages of a transaction. This is a great seat for improving drafting skills! I 'attend' a different team meeting each day too, which helps everyone to keep in touch and is useful for learning about, and volunteering to assist with, work being undertaken by colleagues.
My skills and experience have developed significantly since starting the traineeship and I've been given the opportunity to lead a residential transaction under supervision. This has been a fantastic learning experience and has increased my real estate knowledge and my confidence. Getting involved in transactions through to completion is invaluable for developing communication, time management, and organisational skills. Residential work is very rewarding, particularly knowing you have helped your client to purchase their new home.
Research tasks have played a big part in my traineeship too; for example, researching matters affecting clients and summarising findings for colleagues. Real Estate trainees also assist with producing training materials, including practice area notes and case summaries, which is useful for expanding real estate knowledge. Another benefit of a seat in Real Estate is that there are several trainees doing a seat there at any one time, so there is always another trainee to share experiences with.
Being a team is an important part of the traineeship and that involves both work and socialising. Every year the Real Estate trainees, help to organise the Real Estate Christmas party. The event this year was virtual but still great fun, and a way to meet people from other teams in a social setting. Brodies also organised a variety of virtual events to help the trainees get to know one another and to introduce themselves to colleagues across the firm.
I have really enjoyed my seat in Real Estate so far and would definitely recommend it to future trainees. Despite working remotely, I've felt supported throughout. My colleagues are friendly and always willing to help or advise if needed. Each day is different, and working in several areas of law means the work is varied and interesting.