Associate / Senior Associate - Commercial Development & Investment

Gowling WLG
Birmingham, West Midlands
07 Mar 2018
09 Apr 2018
Role Classification
Contract Type
Experience Level
0-2yrs PQE, 2-5yrs PQE, 5+ yrs PQE

About Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG is an international law firm created by Gowlings, a leading Canadian law firm, and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (WLG), a leading UK-based international law firm. We built Gowling WLG to provide clients with legal services at home and around the world, and to help you succeed no matter how challenging the circumstances.

Gowling WLG clients have access to in-depth expertise in key global sectors along with a top-tier suite of legal services. With more than 1,400 legal professionals across offices in 18 cities worldwide and specialised expertise in countries around the globe, we’re positioned to help clients rise to the challenges they face – both today and tomorrow.

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.

Key Services – 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 £450m 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 or Senior 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

You should be able to:

  • 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

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, caste or belief, age, disability, gender, gender identity, gender reassignment,  sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnerships, surrogacy, adoption and parental rights. This also includes any incidents of perceptive or associative discrimination and harassment.

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