Associate - Commercial Development & Investment
About Gowling WLG We have more than 1,400 legal professionals working around the world. Our offices span across 19 cities in Canada, the UK, Continental Europe, Asia and the Middle East. There's strength in our global presence - we embrace our differing cultures and work together as one team. We also understand the importance of investing in relationships that build knowledge and trust, while we provide legal advice that's tailored to our clients' world. '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 Gowling WLG is home to one of the UK's largest real estate practices with a team of more than 275 commercially-minded, innovative and pragmatic lawyers. We work alongside many of the sector's most successful companies and have helped to deliver numerous high profile projects, advising throughout their lifecycle. 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 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. With advice on investment and development projects including: joint venture projects, promotion agreements, sale and leaseback transactions, funding's and commercial lettings. Whilst we have a separate dedicated asset management team, certain asset management work will be done within the team. Client reach - 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 Birmingham team include: U and I Group Plc, Castlepoint Limited Partnership (operated by Standard Life Investments), a Guernsey based investment fund affiliated to Ahli United Bank (UK) Plc, Genting, New Frontier Properties, various Schroder UK investment funds, Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Birmingham City Council. By way of example of the team's work, it has recently advised: The acquisition of the Houndshill Shopping Centre for New Frontier, and the acquisition of the Red Rose Shopping Centre for Birmingham City Council The development of the new Edgbaston Cricket Ground Advising Castlepoint on negotiations to rebuild parts of one of the largest shopping parks in the UK, with works to occur on a phased basis whilst keeping the centre open for trade Advising a Schroder fund on the acquisition, refinancing and subsequent disposal of a portfolio of bowling alleys and on various offices bought and sold by the fund The acquisition, letting and subsequent disposal of Langney Shopping Centre in Eastbourne for a Schroder fund, including advising on plans to extend the centre Advising U and I Group Plc (then known as Development Securities Plc) on the joint venture arrangements for the development of a flagship offices scheme in Hammersmith, London and the subsequent letting and forward funding arrangements with Scottish Widows Advising U and I Group on the development and forward funding of its offices scheme at 2 Brunel Place Slough, as part of the wider GBP450m Heart of Slough regeneration project Advising Birmingham City Council on the disposal of NEC Limited including the putting in place of new leases of the National Exhibition Centre, the International Convention Centre and the National Indoor Arena The acquisition of various single let assets for AUB Commercial Property Income Fund Main Purpose of the Job Our business is growing and we are looking for an Associate to join the team to provide support to and work closely with a Partner on commercial property work in relation to retail, offices and mixed use property for institutions, property companies and developers for substantial UK wide property investments and development projects. 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 investors focus across all sectors and will involve: Acquisition and disposal of: land and properties freehold and leasehold (including unregistered land); substantial real estate investment assets 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.); Collaborations and joint ventures; 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, communications, 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 • Manage your own caseload to tight deadlines, remain calm under pressure and prioritise your workload effectively; • Work in a team environment (which may involve working as part of a bigger project team) and support your colleagues; • 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 report on title; • 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); • Understand property related deeds and documents and preferably have experience of drafting Leases, Transfers and other property related deeds and documents; • Prepare for and participate in marketing functions as part of added value services to our clients; • Delegate where appropriate and supervise and mentor more junior fee earner team members • Prepare for and help deliver presentations (seminars, beauty parades, marketing functions, training sessions) as part of our added value services to our clients and within the team You should have: • An effective, engaging and professional communication style with advanced interpersonal skills; • A proactive approach with the confidence to use your own initiative; • Effective time management and organisation skills; • Problem solving and analytical skills; • Enthusiasm; • Project management skills (would be beneficial but not essential); • Strong IT/keyboard skills (familiarity with using client facing portals to record assets acquired would be beneficial) Equal Opportunities 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.