The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
A leading real estate firm, Maples Teesdale handles all aspects of commercial property and planning work. Based in the City of London, the firm's clients include institutional investors, property developers, construction companies, banks and occupiers. Over the last year, Maples Teesdale has expanded its planning and property finance teams.
The star performers
Commercial property: development; Commercial property: general; Commercial property: investment; Commercial property: hotels and leisure; Commercial property: retail; Construction: non-contentious; Property finance; Property litigation.
Advised Castleforge Real Estate Partners on the refinancing of a £30m commercial property near Canary Wharf; acted for Rockspring in a dilapidations claim against Acxiom arising from its former lease of a Sunderland-based warehouse; acted for Lloyds Bank International on a loan to Real Assets (RA) Global Opportunity Fund 1 to refinance the debt incurred when the latter bought a building on Grosvenor Street, London; represented the US Embassy in the £350m sale of its building at Grosvenor Square to Qatari Diar; acted for London & UK Property on the purchase of The Globeworks, Birmingham and ensuing student accommodation development scheme.
Cineworld; City University of London; Legal & General UK Property Income Fund 2; Lloyds Bank International; London & UK Property; Rockspring UK; Standard Life Investments; TCCW Properties; US Embassy.
Maples Teesdale is a boutique City firm 'with specialist expertise in all aspects of commercial property law'. There is a 'high level of exposure' to the firm's 'interesting portfolio of clients', ranging from 'funds to asset managers, and from funders to occupiers'. This ensures that trainees develop a breadth of knowledge of the firm's work. There is a clear commitment to trainee development; respondents praise the 'high level of training through tailored sessions, weekly firm know-how sessions' and also 'sector-specific seminars'. Because of these initiatives 'you feel more confident that you know what you're doing'. Trainees report having 'great responsibility in the running of transactions' as, for instance, 'in the real estate finance seat you follow a transaction from start to completion'. One respondent's highlight moment was 'delivering a timely and efficient completion for our client who could subsequently finance the acquisition of the property'. One complaint is that there is 'not much variety when choosing seat rotations', which extends to a 'lack of secondment opportunities'. The 'good working hours' are a definite plus. 'The friendliness of the firm is commendable', and 'your opinion as a trainee is valued'. It is therefore no surprise that 'you develop good friendships at Maples not just with trainees but with associates, senior associates and partners'. Maples Teesdale is duly named a Lex 100 Winner in the stress-free, work/life balance and friendliness categories. The firm also makes charitable commitments, and 'the trainees get involved in thinking up and planning new ways of fundraising, which is good fun'. To represent 'high-quality clients' while learning from senior lawyers with 'excellent reputations', make a note of Maples Teesdale.
A day in the life of...
Holly Watt second-year trainee, Maples Teesdale LLP
Departments to date: Construction, commercial property
Degree:LLB, Law and German, 1st
9.00am: On my way into the office I use the train journey to check the news headlines. Working at a specialist property law firm, it's particularly important to keep up to date with what's happening in the UK real estate market, as well as the economy in general.
9.30am: I have a voicemail to go and speak to a senior associate who then explains the background to a long leasehold interest purchase we are currently acting on. We have received the searches back and now I am to draft the report on title for our client.
10.00am: I am negotiating a deed of variation and take a call from a client. I discuss this call with the partner I am working with on this matter and we decide on a course of action. I draft a response email. This is excellent experience of negotiating a document, communicating with our client and understanding our client's requirements so that we can best protect their interests.
10.45am: We have been asked to tender for a piece of work so my supervisor asks me to visit the site of the potential purchase. I take pictures of the site and the surrounding area to use in the tender pack that has to be sent out the same day. It's fantastic experience, going on site visits; you gain a better understanding of the property and any potential issues which may cause problems later on. It's also important to show the client that we take the time to understand each matter we are instructed on.
12.00pm: As it is a Wednesday we have an internal know-how training session. These sessions are a great way to keep up to date with changes in the law and current issues.
1.00pm: I have lunch with the other trainees and associates. We are entering a team into the London Legal Walk so I have organised a charity bake sale.
2.00pm: I start to go through the searches and title documents in relation to the leasehold title purchase. I make a note of any enquiries to raise of the seller and start to draft the report on title. This is an important process as it informs the client of the key points in relation to the purchase which may affect their enjoyment/ownership of the property.
3.45pm: Trainees are in charge of Maples Teesdale's social media and so I check and update our Twitter account. I also proof read an article for our website and various media platforms. You are involved in marketing and promoting the firm's brand from a trainee, which really helps you feel part of the development of the brand and you form ideas as to how to raise awareness of the firm.
4.15pm: I sit in on a conference call with a client with the real estate finance department regarding a large upcoming finance deal which I will be involved in. I take notes in the call and then type these up and distribute them among the team. Large property transactions often involve more than one department in the firm and they are a great opportunity to work with other teams and gain an understanding of what they do.
4.50pm: My supervisor has finished checking a lease that I drafted the day before and I go through the amendments with him. It's a renewal lease so I have to check the terms of the existing lease and ensure the renewal lease is consistent. I make the amendments and draft an email sending the lease out to be negotiated. Being a trainee in commercial property means you get a lot of responsibility at an early stage but are still supported so it's a very hands-on learning experience.
6.00pm: I check my emails and make my to-do list for the next day, prioritising any urgent matters.
About the firm
Address:30 King Street, London, EC2V 8EE
Telephone: 020 7600 3800
Fax:020 3465 4400
Managing partner: Chris Wilkinson
Total partners: 18
Other fee-earners: 36
Total trainees: 6
Who we are: Maples Teesdale are the UK's leading commercial real estate specialists, providing innovative, full service and truly partner-led services.
What we do: The core property practice is complemented by strong construction, planning, property litigation, finance and corporate teams. Our clients include large institutional investors, property developers and companies, construction companies, multinationals, banks, high-net-worth individuals and family offices, sole property traders and occupiers.
What we are looking for: We welcome applications from both law and non-law students. Among other things, we look for candidates with a strong academic background (minimum ABB at A Level (excluding general studies) and a 2(1) at degree level). When reviewing your application we also consider work experience (both legal and non-legal), sporting achievements and any positions of responsibility held. We also like to find out a little bit about you and your personality and what has inspired you into a career in the law.
What you'll do:Our trainees are the future of our business. You will receive the best training possible in a friendly and supportive environment. At the same time, we will ensure that your training contract is stimulating and rewarding. Our largest department is our commercial property department. This is supported by five other departments: construction, corporate, finance, litigation and planning. Our trainees have the opportunity to gain experience, skills and knowledge across these different departments in four, six-month seats and there may also be an opportunity to spend time on secondment with clients.
Perks: Pension, Ride2Work cycle loan scheme, interest free season ticket loans, life assurance.
Facts and figures
Training contracts available for 2020: 2 or 3
Applications received pa: 50
Percentage interviewed: 30%
First year: £35,600
Second year: £37,625
Newly qualified: £57,500
Apply to:Anastasia Klein, partner.
When to Apply:Applications should be submitted by no later than 17 August 2018 for 2019 training contracts.
Whats involved:In your interview, two partners will ask you questions about your academic record, work experiences, interests and hobbies, and challenge you on a few commercial questions.