The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
Maples Teesdale is a commercial property law specialist based in the City. Many of the firm’s partners previously worked at large City firms. Maples Teesdale’s impressive client base includes institutional investors, property developers, construction companies and multinationals.
The star performers
Commercial property: development; Commercial property: general; Commercial property: investment; Construction: non-contentious; Planning; Property finance; Property litigation.
Acted for Rockspring in the development, letting and sale of 24 Monument Street, London City; advising Legal & General on the redevelopment of the Grafton shopping centre in Cambridge; acting for Gatwick Obviously Not in relation to contesting an air space decision made by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Arcadia; Legal & General; London & UK Property; Rockspring Asset Management; Standard Life.
Maples Teesdale ‘has a fantastic reputation as a boutique commercial property law practice’, and its training contract is therefore considered ideal for those keen to ‘work with true property experts’. As a ‘niche specialist property firm’, Maples Teesdale ‘attracts impressive clients’ and represents them on ‘really exciting projects and transactions’, and survey feedback has secured a Lex 100 Winner award for client contact. Trainees ‘get to experience all aspects of a property transaction’, and highlight achievements include ‘attending an all-day mediation where we secured a very favourable outcome for our client’, ‘working with my supervising partner on a commercial property auction purchase which had lease involvement’ and ‘managing the construction documents on a large development project’. There are complaints that ‘trainees often do not get much secretarial support’, and this can lead to ‘being over-worked’ and being tasked with various admin chores such as photocopying and bundling. The ‘small trainee intake size’ is popular as it means that recruits are given ‘higher levels of responsibility early on’. The firm’s ‘hands-on approach to training’ consists of ‘very good training initiatives’ such as ‘external speakers and workshops developing your business skills, and internal training for trainees and NQs given by partners’. The ‘lack of social events’ is a minor gripe, but this doesn’t prevent the ‘friendly, inspirational and knowledgeable colleagues’ from making it ‘a nice environment to work in’. To work at a ‘growing firm’ in the City that combines ‘expertise in commercial property law’ with a ‘great list of clients’, consider applying to Maples Teesdale.
A day in the life of...
Holly Watt first-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 : Mark Bryan
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
Trainee places available for 2019: 2 or 3
Applications received pa: 50
Percentage interviewed: 30%
First year: £35,000
Second year: £37,000
Newly qualified: £56,500
Total partners: 16
Apply to:Jon Blackburn, partner.
When to Apply:Applications should be submitted by no later than 19 August 2017 for 2018 training contracts.