What’s your background?
I converted to law after graduating with a History degree. I then trained at a silver circle firm in the City and qualified into Commercial Property. Whilst I was in private practice, I was seconded to one of the largest institutional real estate lenders, which was a very interesting and valuable experience. I moved to Teacher Stern in June 2017 with over 5 years of post-qualification experience.
What department do you work in?
Tell us about your role, the deals you are working on and the type of work you undertake on a daily basis?
I work on a variety of matters covering development, acquisitions/disposals, real estate finance and landlord and tenant work (relating to commercial and mixed use sites) for a range of investor and developer clients.
As a Senior Associate, I am primarily responsible for the running of all my matters, delegating to juniors where I can and seeking Partner supervision where necessary. I draft and negotiate documents, advise and report to the client on any key issues, liaising directly with external lawyers to progress and close the deal.
I also contribute to raising “know how” in the firm by presenting at monthly property meetings and developing our internal precedents.
What has been your highlight so far at Teacher Stern?
Leading and running the property aspects of a highly publicised mixed use development scheme in Hackney. This was a matter with a 4 year history, which involved complicated corporate arrangement as well as a bespoke property ownership structure. It was a fast paced, challenging but very interesting and unusual deal, which we completed in summer 2017. It was genuinely satisfying to bring this to a successful conclusion and make the client happy – particularly after its long history and all the time and effort other members of the team had committed to it.
On a more social basis, the firm’s 50th anniversary celebration at the OXO Tower and the recent Christmas party was a lot of fun! It was really nice to get to know everyone in different departments in a more social and relaxed setting.
What attracted you to Teacher Stern?
The firm has a great culture; everyone is very friendly and there is a strong and cohesive team spirit about it. The firm strikes a perfect balance between being a great place to work on both a personal and professional level.
The quality of work is very high; the deals are all very different and interesting because the client base is so diverse. As a result, there are many opportunities for ambitious lawyers to be challenged, develop their skills and build their legal practice.
The firm also encourages associates at all levels to build client relationships, network externally (as well as internally) and get involved in business development. As a Senior Associate and a lawyer who enjoys working with clients and as part of team, this was a huge attraction for me.
What are the top tips/advice that you give to anyone thinking of applying to Teacher Stern?
The firm is protective of its great culture and reputation so looks for individuals who are not only ambitious, bright and hard-working but also a team player and a good fit for the firm as a whole.
Be prepared for challenging work and lots of it. Mental agility and technical expertise is important, as well as the ability to simplify and think commercially and practically.
Make sure you consider the bigger picture and the key priorities for the client in every deal. As the firm has a loyal client base, you would need to work hard to maintain and build these relationships.