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.
The star performers
Commercial property: general; Commercial property: development; Commercial property: hotels and leisure; Commercial property: investment; Commercial property: retail; Construction (non-contentious); Property finance; Property litigation
Advised Maslow on a series of transactions to fund the acquisition and development of residential schemes and student accommodation in Uxbridge, Coventry, Durham and Manchester; advised a core plus fund vehicle managed by Tristan Capital on the £71m acquisition of the Interchange office building in Croydon; advising the Government of the United States of America on the sale of its embassy building at Grosvenor Square and the relocation to its new site in South London; acted for London & UK Property in relation to the sale and leaseback of a student accommodation development site in Birmingham; advising Aberdeen Standard on a potential multi-million pound redevelopment scheme at the Riverside Centre
Alteris Capital; Bywater Properties; Capula Investment Management; Fremantle Media; ICICI Bank UK; Legal & General Assurance; Lloyds Bank; Mace; Maslow 2 Limited; The Cavendish
There is a ‘specialist focus on real estate’ at Maples Teesdale and it is precisely the ‘exceptional quality of property work’ which propelled the current trainees towards the firm. Recruits appreciate the opportunity to work with a ‘depth and breadth of clients’ and the ‘chance to establish connections across the real estate market’, something which is afforded to all of them thanks to the small trainee intake. ‘You are encouraged to run your own matters’ and are given ‘responsibility and interesting work from day one’. Although recruits are occasionally required to carry out ‘mundane tasks’ such as ‘sorting through and indexing deeds ahead of a big sale’, this is offset by more interesting tasks such as working on a ‘large complicated transaction’ and ‘presenting with a partner to the rest of the firm as part of a know-how training session’. Whilst the firm is growing quickly, respondents are happy that it ‘still has the more intimate feel of a smaller firm where you are valued as an individual’. And there is a good work/life balance to boot. Trainees did grumble about the lack of social events, as well as the lack of benefits such as gym membership and bonuses, which they would like to see more of. But hard work does pay off, with trainees reporting ‘getting increased challenging duties from team members after having proven myself on previous tasks’. If you want ‘good quality and diverse work you would not get working in the real estate department at other firms’, take a closer look at Maples Teesdale.
A day in the life of...
Hollie Norman second-year trainee, Maples Teesdale LLP
Departments to date: Commercial property, corporate, construction
University:University of Bristol
Degree:Law LLB (2.1)
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 an email to go and speak to a partner and an associate about a new refinancing deal in relation to a large hotel in Mayfair. We need to produce a certificate of title for the lender and I am to assist by drafting the sections on the occupational leases and search results, under the supervision of the partner. We are going to meet the client on site later in the week which will allow us to gain a better understanding of the property.
10.00am: I am negotiating a lease and licence for alterations for a new client and have just received draft documents from the landlord’s solicitors. I review the documents and draft a list of points where I think that client instructions are required. I go and discuss the documents with the associate I am working on the matter with and then draft an email to the client. As a trainee in commercial property you are often given the opportunity to deal with matters from start to finish. This gives you invaluable experience of drafting, communicating with the client and negotiating with the other side to obtain the best outcome for the client.
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. The firm has a really friendly atmosphere and there is always someone to go to lunch or a coffee with.
2.00pm: I start to go through the searches and title and tenancy documents in relation to the refinancing deal. I discuss my findings with the partner I am working with. I make a note of any further information which is required from the client and start to prepare the initial draft of my sections of the certificate of title. The certificate is important as the disclosures provided in it are relied on by the lender.
3.45pm: I am on the firm’s social committee and we are currently organising the summer party. I spend a few minutes researching and contacting potential venues.
4.15pm: I sit in on a conference call with a client regarding an upcoming corporate sale which I will be involved in. I take a note of this call and distribute it among the team. Larger transactions often involve more than one department in the firm and they are a great opportunity to work with other teams (such as our corporate, finance and planning teams) and gain an understanding of what they do.
4.50pm: My supervisor has finished checking a report on title that I have drafted in relation to the purchase of a residential development site. We go through the amendments and make a list of further enquiries which we need to raise with the seller. This is an important process as the report informs the client of the key points in relation to the property which, in this case, may affect their future development plans. As a trainee in commercial property you get a lot of responsibility at an early stage so although you are still supervised and well supported, it is a very ‘hands-on’ learning experience.
6.00pm: I check my emails, post my time and make my to-do list for the next day, prioritising any urgent matters. I then head off to play netball.
About the firm
Address:30 King Street, London, EC2V 8EE
Telephone: 020 7600 3800
Fax:020 3465 4400
Managing partner: Chris Wilkinson
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
Total partners: 18
Other fee-earners: 36
Total trainees: 6
Trainee places available for 2020: 2 or 3
Applications received pa: 50
Percentage interviewed: 30%
First year: £35,600
Second year: £37,000
Newly qualified: £59,500
Apply to:Anastasia Klein, partner.
When to apply:Applications should be submitted by no later than 17 August 2019 for 2020 training contracts.
What's 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.