Senior Associate – Commercial, Development & Investment (CDI) – (2000003X)
Gowling WLG is an international law firm with more than 1,400 legal professionals and a presence in Canada, the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America. We provide our clients with in-depth expertise in key global sectors and a suite of legal services at home and abroad. We see the world from the perspective of our clients, and collaborate across countries, offices, service areas and sectors to help them succeed – no matter how challenging the circumstances.
‘Our people and distinct culture are what makes us different. We know this through client and employee feedback and this drives everything we do” Chris Oglethorpe, HR Director.
There are great opportunities for all our people to flourish. Through training and personal development they can grow in their role. Our people are the cornerstone of our success, across legal, business support and early talent. We care about their happiness and believe in the power of teamwork. We want them to feel empowered and recognise that by supporting, respecting and embracing everyone’s different contributions we achieve more.
Working flexibly, working fairly
Agile working offers people more freedom and flexibility in where, when, and how they work. As technology advances and our workforce becomes more diverse – and with clients often working to a 24/7 rhythm – having extra flexibility is key to helping us balance work and other commitments sensibly and productively.
By supporting people to choose where and when they get their work done, we help them to make a full and fair contribution to their team – while maintaining that all important work-life balance.
About the team:
One of the biggest dedicated commercial development and investment teams in the UK advising many investors and developers, we regularly lead on high value, and strategically important deals and projects. Our extensive experience means clients receive innovative and commercial solutions to often complex specifications quickly and efficiently.
Our wide range of clients include investors and developers in real estate, property companies, institutional investors, local authorities, US private equity investors, funds, private banks, pension funds, shopping centre operators, and private clients. We advise on mixed-use schemes, offices, shopping centres, business and retail parks, hotels, industrial estates and logistics parks, and our wider real estate group advises on residential, private rented sector, healthcare, retirement and student accommodation.
Clients of the team include:
St Modwen Developments, Royal London, HMRC, Knight Frank Investment Management, Ipsos Mori, CERN and Red Bull Technology.
By way of example the team has recently advised:
· Royal London on the purchase of two central London offices and the acquisition (by way of a corporate acquisition) of a research park;
· St Modwen on the re-development of the new Covent Garden fruit and vegetable market and a £450m new student campus for Swansea University
· KFIM on the forward purchases of two sites, pre-let to Co-op;
· HMRC on the exit strategy from their existing office portfolio (including parts held by way of PFI contracts);
· Co-op in relation to the town centre redevelopment of Lincoln;
· CERN pension fund on the acquisition of 4 office investment buildings in central London.
The team provide advice on investment and development projects including: joint venture projects, promotion and option agreements, sale and leaseback transactions, forward fundings, investment sales and purchases and commercial lettings. Whilst we have a separate dedicated asset management team, certain asset management work will also be undertaken within the team.
Our comprehensive real estate development service includes site assembly (with or without compulsory purchase) including obtaining vacant possession, managing the planning process to secure the necessary planning permission, structuring and negotiating tax-efficient development and financing arrangements.
Main purpose of the role:
We are looking for a Senior Associate who has gained good experience working within a recognised real estate team with experience of advising sophisticated clients on the acquisition and the disposal of substantial real estate investment assets, pre-letting and active leasing and asset management (ideally including some work for occupational tenants). Some development experience would also be helpful but not essential, but a willingness to learn the skills required of a development lawyer, with supervision, is required.
This is an opportunity to truly increase the depth and breadth of your experience, and be able to work with high profile and sophisticated clients. The work is challenging, varied and interesting and will provide opportunity to develop and nurture solid client relationships, as well as work closely with others within the team and firm.
Main Duties and Responsibilities:
The role will have a broad high value, high profile property development and investor focus across all sectors and will involve:
· Acquisition and disposal of land and properties freehold and leasehold (including unregistered land);
· Major redevelopment projects;
· Lettings and Pre-lettings;
· Management of real estate portfolios;
· Associated property deeds and documents (e.g. side letters, conditional and unconditional agreements for sale/lease/surrender, options, deeds of variation, certificates of title etc.);
· Funding, including all title investigation, searches, enquiries, drafting, negotiation, research, analysis, liaison with clients agents and third parties, meetings reporting on title, indemnity insurance arrangements, project management, administration and financial aspects, Land Registry or other applications (including SDLT) and post completion formalities as well as understanding and delivering on clients’ requirements and expectations (including all reporting requirements);
· Marketing, group practice development and client entertainment/training events and activities.
Key Skills and Experience:
Working in an inclusive, sharing and collaborative culture, you will be expected to play your part in ensuring the continuing success and growth of the team.
· Manage your own caseload to tight deadlines, remain calm under pressure and prioritise your workload effectively;
· Give clear, practical advice with sound commercial judgment and swift accurate implementation of instructions;
· Negotiate effectively and deliver commercial solutions for our clients;
· Carry out title reviews and reports on title and leases;
· Draft and negotiate agreements for lease (including conditional and pre-let agreements), leases and associated documents;
· Have experience of (and ideally have led) sales and purchases;
· Carry out asset management work;
· Communicate appropriately at all levels within the team and the wider business as well as with clients, agents and other parties;
· Work closely and collaboratively with Gowling WLG team members, clients, and other professionals (e.g. agents, surveyors, consultants, accountants and others);
· Prepare for and participate in marketing functions as part of added value services to our clients; and
· Delegate where appropriate and supervise and mentor more junior fee earner team members.
Gowling WLG is committed both to promoting equality and diversity in the firm and to Equal Opportunities in employment. The firm believes in equality of opportunity regardless of race or racial group (including colour, nationality, ethnicity, national origins), religion or belief, age, disability, sexual orientation, sex, gender re-assignment and gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy, maternity and paternity. This also includes any incidents of perceptive or associative discrimination and harassment.
At Gowling WLG we seek to attract and retain talented people from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures, to create an exciting and rewarding place to work. Our aim is to fulfil everyone’s potential and together to achieve personal and business goals.
Standard hours of work are 9.30 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday with 1 hour for lunch (35 hours per week).
4 More London Riverside
London SE1 2AU