A very popular and interesting path for a trainee solicitor would be to consider a Commercial Property Solicitor job. This is a rapid moving and dynamic field and although the current climate following the credit crisis has led to a general decline in the commercial property sector, there are still opportunities left for commercial property solicitors. Those working as commercial property solicitors can advise on transactions and act for a range of clients, including investors and developers, landowners and local authorities. You might work in-house for large property developers or companies with a large land holding, or more commonly within private practice.
Transactions can involve everything from offices and homes to retail developments and industrial units.
In general, the legal issues dealt with by a conveyancing solicitor include acquisitions and disposals of commercial property, landlord and tenant issues, leases, sales, development agreements, planning applications for insolvency and liability issues arising from environmental law. The work involves new ways of transacting, through financing and development or co-investment. In the years before the bust, there was a marked increase in workload in provincial practices fuelled by the development sector. In a growing and upward moving property market, the work of many developers can be plentiful - but it tends to be limited in time and sometimes stressful.
Those who have a career as a commercial property solicitor could fall very roughly into two camps, business winners and technicians.It is the second set that commands a higher salary, and for this particular type of solicitor, the solicitor needs to be highly focused, and work towards obtaining the business goals of its clients. To be a successful business winning Commercial Property solicitor, customer wining and dining plays a big role, so shrinking violets may be wise to avoid the demanding role of marketing activities. Hours can be long, so aspiring solicitors may consider back-office or support roles, where the work-life balance tends to be more reasonable. In general, the commercial property sector remains busy and junior solicitors can enjoy more autonomy at an earlier stage of their career compared to other areas.
There are other related areas such as planning and construction. Although in the past, these disciplines have been covered by a commercial property division, they now regarded as separate areas. Those who take part in the work of a construction solicitor often fall into those of real estate, specializing in non contentious work, and commercial litigation specializing in construction litigation disputes. Although solicitors can work in both fields, generally they will focus on one or the other. Those working in contentious practice are often ideally suited to play the role of mediator, and most construction contracts have this form of dispute resolution built in. Planning law can be complex and demanding and applications for a large development can often take many years. House solicitor usually work in private practice or in local government. Planning legislation and government guidelines are constantly evolving and the ability to stay one step ahead is an important contribution to success in this field.