An advantage of working within a smaller firm is the range of work to which you are exposed. Client requirements do not always fit neatly within legal work types and often involve a cross-section of legal issues. Some areas may include property sales and purchases and finance transactions, acting for borrowers. The files I work on typically involve business sales and purchases, property sales and purchases, property development, commercial leases, trusts, assets and succession planning. While some property and private client lawyers specialise in certain areas, it is common to work on matters that cross over. For instance, acting on a business asset acquisition is likely to involve the purchase transaction itself, along with the financing, assignment of leases and the purchaser’s ownership structures, which may involve trusts.
Here is a normal week for me:
- I meet with my supervising partner and we discuss ongoing
and new tasks. Normally this will take 10 to 15 minutes.
- I am tasked with drafting various resolutions and consents
relating to the share sale and a guarantee that has been
agreed to be granted. This is urgent and after further
discussion I send drafts through to my supervising partner.
- I then review a standard agreement for the sale of a property
and the legal title for the property. Once I have completed my
review, I discuss my conclusions with my supervising partner
and I then prepare a report for the client.
- In the afternoon I attend to emails and continue working on a
settlement checklist for a business sale due to settle on
Friday. I ensure we have all the requirements on the checklist,
including the specific requirements of the agreement for sale
and purchase to be provided and received by us on
- I spend the morning and early afternoon working on ongoing
and new tasks. This includes assisting my supervising partner
to provide advice on the set-up of a new finance company
which operates in a specialist area.
- I receive an email from a client approving a renewal of lease
and the further terms we previously provided to them. I
update my supervising partner, make a final copy together
with instructions on execution of the lease and fire it to him.
- This morning I have been tasked with undertaking research
into an aspect of the Serious Fraud Office Act for a client.
Following my email report, I discuss the same with my
- I am called into a meeting to discuss a client’s requirements
for their will. After the meeting I review my notes, make a file
note in the file management system, search the legal title for
the property and undertake research into the Family
- My supervising partner checks in, and I provide him with an
update on each task. When covid-19 is an issue, our firm
works with split teams so not all team members are in the
office at the same time. Like most firms, we have had to adapt
to working together while working from home.
- I finish drafting a will for the client and check my notes and
correspondence to ensure it reflects their instructions and
requirements. I then email the client, including comments
on ownership of the property, certain sections of the FPA and
enduring powers of attorney.
- For the asset sale, I send a reminder to the client requesting
copies of documents they need to return to us before and
immediately after settlement, check in with the purchaser’s
solicitor and conduct fresh searches on the relevant registers.
Further priorities arise for the sale (not unexpected or
unusual) which put a spring in my step! I work through each,
some by myself and some with my supervising partner.
- Today I focus on the settlement of business asset sale. Thanks
to everyone involved, we work through all stages necessary to
complete settlement. Following settlement, I work on the
report to the client while the transaction is fresh in my mind.
Tasha Downs is a solicitor at Baker Meech with three years’ PQE ■