Survey Results - Trainee feedback on Maples Teesdale LLP
The lowdown - Trainees (in their own words) on Maples Teesdale LLP
Why did you choose this firm over any others? ‘The niche focus on real estate’, ‘excellent work/life balance, largely very friendly colleagues and a focus on property, which has always been my primary area of interest’, ‘expertise in property law’, ‘it provides exposure to clients of varying sizes, from large pension funds to private individuals, whilst allowing us to run matters under the direct supervision of a partner and liaise directly with clients’, ‘its size and the focus on commercial property’
Best thing about the firm? ‘It is friendly and everyone plays their part within their teams. Partners and associates are very approachable and willing to help out with any queries you may have’, ‘the responsibility we are given early on, combined with a highly-approachable and experienced senior associate/partner pool’, ‘the people’, ‘work/life balance is not just a buzzword – you are actively encouraged to prioritise. If it is after hours and the matter can wait, you are encouraged to go home!’
Worst thing about the firm? ‘The salary is on the lower side compared to our peers’, ‘due to the growing size of the firm, there can be teething pains when it comes to communication – information doesn’t always find its way to everyone’, ‘the admin tasks trainees get lumbered with’, ‘it would be good to have more support from secretaries as trainees’
Best moment? ‘Drafting complex documents and receiving few amendments from whoever is reviewing the work, having taken previous feedback on board and worked hard to improve’, ‘my client secondment’, ‘completing the first matter that I led from start to completion’, ‘being mentioned in The Times as part of our work for a client’, ‘completing my first large matter in my real estate finance seat – I was responsible for the day-to-day progression on a multi-million-pound refinancing’
Worst moment? ‘Long hours scheduling deeds post-completion’, ‘starting my training contract virtually’, ‘delivering hundreds of legal notices in the rain to reluctant occupiers’, ‘dealing with the deeds database’, ‘Covid-19 – the move away from the office, losing the day-to-day social life at work and losing the ability to gauge when someone has time for a quick question’
The Lex 100 verdict on Maples Teesdale LLP
Known for commercial property prowess, Maples Teesdale excels in offering ‘excellent work/life balance, friendly colleagues and a niche focus on real estate’. Maples provides trainees with responsibility and ‘exposure to clients of varying sizes from large pension funds to private individuals. whilst allowing trainees to run matters under direct supervision of a partner and liaise directly with clients’. Trainees rate both the training and the interaction with partners and senior staff, describing them as ‘highly approachable and experienced, and almost always happy to spend five minutes going over a fiddly question’. Maples Teesdale is a Lex 100 Winner in an impressive four categories – quality of work, work/life balance, confidence in being kept on, and approachability of supervisors. Trainees comment that ‘work/life balance is not just a buzz word. You are actively encouraged to prioritise when it comes to your work and your life outside of work. If it is after hours and the matter can wait, you are encouraged to go home’; if you do work late ‘it is a string in your bow, not an expectation’. Negatives mentioned are communication between departments, the level of admin tasks required and ‘delivering hundreds of legal notices in the rain to reluctant occupiers’ but such incidents are rare. Highlights included being ‘responsible for the day-to-day progression of a multi-million pound refinance and being able to drive the matter from start to finish’ as well as ‘being mentioned in The Times for our client work’. If commercial property is your interest, check out Maples Teesdale.
The firm: Maples Teesdale covers the entire spectrum of real estate law services, from construction to property finance. Some of the issues its clients face are seen time and time again. But there are always surprises. So the firm brings fresh thinking and innovative solutions to both old and new challenges.
The clients: Aberdeen Standard Investments; BMO Real Estate Partners; CBRE Global Investors; City of London Corporation; Deutsche Hypo; FremantleMedia; Legal & General; Lloyds Banking Group; The Collective; Tristan Capital Partners.
A day in the life of... Georgia Carnegie, trainee, Maples Teesdale
Departments to date: Corporate, Client secondment, Commercial property, Property litigation
University: University of Exeter
Degree: LLB English Law and French Law/Master 1 (Maitrise en Droit)
9.00am: I check my work emails on my journey to the office to check what has come in overnight and that morning. I also browse the news on my phone and read the top articles on the online real estate publications the firm subscribes to. These are a great source of information as they often contain more detail than is published in the widely available press.
9.30am: I make a cup of coffee and have a chat with other fee-earners in the kitchen doing the same. It’s a really friendly firm and everyone makes you feel very welcome and at ease. I then check over my to-do list and add to it anything that has come in overnight or this morning. I am currently sitting in the property litigation department, and this morning I have been asked to review two break notices that have been served on one of our landlord clients in order to advise as to the validity of their service. I check the break notices against the leases we hold on our extranet for this client, and write an email with my findings to the fee-earner. I also draft an email to go to the client, confirming the break notices have been validly served, and advise on ancillary points regarding the landlord’s position. Over the course of the morning, I carry out other tasks for the litigation department, including drafting a letter before action to a tenant who is in arrears with their rent and service charge, preparing a letter serving a schedule of dilapidations on a tenant, and drafting a tenancy at will.
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. We have a professional support lawyer who provides excellent support to the whole firm, and often sends comprehensive emails in advance of and as a follow up to Wednesday know-how sessions.
2.00pm: After lunch with other trainees and paralegals, I review any comments received back from work I have prepared for fee-earners that morning. I then receive an urgent request from a partner in the litigation team to research into recent case law surrounding short-term property lets and whether they breach certain user covenants in a lease. It’s an interesting area and I get to work as she has said that it is urgent. I prepare a note presenting my key findings and email it to her asking if she needs any further information.
4.00pm: Another partner in the litigation team asks for my assistance on a new matter, where we are acting for a landlord that has been issued with proceedings in relation to a lease renewal. The current lease to the tenant is being renewed but proceedings have been issued to protect renewal rights, and so the partner has asked me to prepare and file an acknowledgement of service to the claim. This is a strong example of how much partner contact you get as a trainee at Maples, and also how much experience you get preparing a wide variety of documents in the litigation department.
4.30pm: A common trainee task is preparing monthly reports for certain clients, showing all matters we are currently working on for them, and what the status is. I prepare this month’s report for one of our clients and send it out to the relevant fee-earners who are working on the files and need to update their entries. This task is a good way of engaging with all fee-earners, even those you don’t often work with, and is a good chance to also become familiar and aware of the work going on across the firm.
6.00pm: I go through my email inbox to check I haven’t missed anything that has come in over the course of the day and then prepare a to-do list for tomorrow. I ensure all my time is posted for the day on my time sheet, and then head home.
About the firm
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’re 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 real estate department. This is supported by five other departments: construction, corporate, finance, real estate 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, private medical insurance.