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Zain, a trainee solicitor, shares their experience of completing a rotation in the Real Estate practice group

Outline of the practice area

DLA Piper’s market-leading Real Estate group offers a full range of real estate services, including asset and portfolio acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, cross-border investments, financing, construction and design and leasing. For my first and second seats I sat in the Core Real Estate and Construction & Engineering teams based in the firm’s London office.

The principal areas of practice for Core Real Estate are:

  • Development and regeneration
  • Investment (including funds and indirect investment)
  • Financing
  • Asset Management (leasing, landlord and tenant).

The UK Construction & Engineering team assists clients on non-contentious matters and advises on a mixture of development and infrastructure work, both UK-based and international. Clients come from a wide variety of sectors, including energy, infrastructure, real estate, transport and hotels & leisure.

During my A-levels and undergraduate studies I worked for a retailer of technology products and services, taking in warehouse deliveries of stock and replenishing shop-floor products – so it was great to become involved in the bigger picture from a leading commercial law firm’s perspective, assisting with property acquisitions and the construction design & build of similar properties to those I that I worked in!

Example of the type of work completed / of a deal(s)

The work the teams do is really interesting and impactful. I helped with the drafting of a range of documents such as leases, licences for alterations, collateral warranties, professional appointments and EPC contracts (tip: Practical Law or Lexis are great for gaining a general understanding of these documents). A common trainee task is to keep track of the various documents being prepared and negotiated as part of a deal, so I was also able to gain project management skills during the seats.

Some of the other work I was involved in includes:

  • reviewing contracts, i.e. checking for any ‘red flags’, and summarising findings in a report
  • attending client meetings to take notes and keep track of follow-up tasks
  • researching discrete points of law such as the enforceability of restrictive covenants, implications of damaging occupiers’ goods, fraudulent transfers of property and Coronavirus legislation affect landlord and tenants.

Alongside the above, I was also involved in business development activities. One particular memorable task was assisting the team in preparing a proposal to act on a lease transaction for London Consulate Offices for a European country.

Why is the practice group an exciting place to work / innovations & exciting things happening in that area

The teams work on a “One UK” basis, so there are many opportunities to work with the partners and lawyers in other offices. The team also gets together 2-3 times a year as a group, for training and socials. Some of the exciting things happening in the practice area include Interconnector projects, SESG, Post Covid/Brexit Economy and Digitalisation. If you would like to learn and read more about the area, please visit:

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