I am nearing the end of my second traineeship seat, having spent the last eight months working in the Glasgow Real Estate team. It has been a busy seat; I have supported my teams on a number of commercial property transactions and advised clients on a wide variety of matters. These have ranged from the lease management for retail parks, industrial estates and shopping centres to the redevelopment of a 19th century castle and luxury holiday village in Perthshire, and everything in between.

What types of work have you been involved in?

There are many different teams within the Real Estate umbrella at Brodies. My seat has focused on commercial property work. Our client base is very broad and includes economic development agencies, shopping centre owners, video game developers and foreign investors. 

Much of the work I have been involved in has been fast-paced and transactional. However, I have also been involved in some longer-term projects, such as voluntary registrations and title investigations that have allowed me to strengthen my existing property law knowledge.

Typical tasks for a commercial property trainee

As a trainee in the commercial property team, you can expect the lawyers in your team to pass you a wide range of tasks. Although no two days are the same, typical tasks include:

  • drafting dispositions and offers to sell/purchase/vary;
  • drafting leases, variations, dilapidations agreements, consent letters and licences for alterations;
  • preparing client sign-off reports, obtaining settlement items and ordering completion searches;
  • preparing LBTT returns and advising clients on the tax implications of transactions; and
  • arranging for deeds to be executed, then submitting for registration in the relevant property registers.

What other opportunities are there for trainees to get involved?

Aside from client work, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the wider Real Estate team as a trainee. 

For example, I have presented at fortnightly team briefings, written an article for The Times' Bricks & Mortar supplement and attended business development events such as a tour of the state-of-the-art offices at 177 Bothwell Street in Glasgow and various Brodies Real Estate Academy sessions. There is also a very supportive and friendly atmosphere in Real Estate, which makes for an enjoyable trainee seat.

A seat in commercial property is right for you if…

You are interested in the world around you. 

For example, being immersed in commercial property transactions on a day-to-day basis means you start to appreciate the complexity of the built-up environment. As I pass new commercial developments on my journey into the Glasgow office each day, I find myself thinking about the changing face of the city, the many documents that will sit behind each project and the property law issues that might arise, like how to access the site. A property lawyer must be alive to all these considerations and more. 

My diverse experience in Real Estate has given me a greater understanding of the world of commercial property that I know will be very useful in my final trainee seat and in my future career.

Our applications for 2023 summer placements are now open! Apply here.


    Matt Andrews

    Trainee Solicitor