Associate / Senior Associate, Real Estate Finance (c. 3-6 PQE)

DLA Piper
London (Central), London (Greater)
14 Mar 2019
27 Mar 2019
Role Classification
Practice Area
Real Estate, Property Finance
Contract Type
Experience Level
2-5yrs PQE, 5+ yrs PQE

We are currently looking to recruit a bright and ambitious Real Estate Finance associate to join our team in London.

Our global real estate finance (REF) team is at the forefront of the sport financing market, advising key players (both lenders and sponsors) on high profile deals including:

  • Refinancing of Football Club Internazionale Milano's media and team secured debt arrangements by way of a €300 million senior secured public note issuance

  • Bridging loan to Feyenoord Rotterdam to assist with the development of its new 63,000 seat football stadium

  • Financing of Tottenham Hotspur's new, multi-purpose, 61,500 seat stadium consisting of a £400 million development term loan and a £25 million revolving credit facility

  • A.S. Roma team refinancing and the corporate reorganization of its IP and media business.

The REF team has an in-depth understanding the way the media, sport and entertainment industries work. We are trusted legal advisors, with the experience and reach to advise in any major jurisdiction. Our clients benefit from our deep industry knowledge and experience, and from our creative, solution-oriented and responsive approach.

In addition to our experience within the sport financing sector, the REF team is a market leader within the core real estate finance sector, advising on a number of headline transactions including:

  • Advising Market Tech Holdings on its £900 million secured debt facility arranged by AIG secured against the iconic Camden Markets

  • Acting for Aareal Bank AG on a €1 billion pan-European real estate financing for Invesco, comprising a €580m facility to refinance a portfolio of properties located across France, Spain, Germany, Poland, the UK and the Netherlands, a €30m facility to refinance one of Invesco’s existing Italian portfolios and a further €390m to enable Invesco to expand its portfolio throughout all seven jurisdictions

  • Acting for ING on the £726 million financing of the acquisition of the Gherkin

  • Advertising  lender in relation to its financing of 11 hotels across Germany, the Netherlands and Spain operated under the brands Sir and Max Brown

The REF team has a proven track record of advising both lenders and borrowers in finance transactions throughout the real estate industry. Clients know they can rely on us at all stages of their finance transactions, from the term sheet and structuring stage, through closing, tranching, syndication and securitisation, administration, servicing and, if required, restructuring.

  • In recent years investors and lenders have increasingly combined traditional financing tools and created alternative finance structures, and we have developed a broad approach to meet the changing needs of the market

  • Internationally recognised for our representation lenders and borrowers in complex structured finance transactions

  • Providing a cross border service through our global network of offices

  • Representing lenders and investors in all financing elements relating to the acquisition, sale, and development, classes of real estate including commercial, industrial, retail, hotel, residential, care facilities and student accommodation

  • Fund representation includes all real estate investment strategies in terms of both business strategy and asset type, including core, value-added and opportunity funds, as well as property sector-specific funds, mezzanine loan funds, real estate securities hedge funds and funds that focus on structured finance products

  • One of the preeminent law firms in the REIT and real estate securities industry. Our tax practitioners are familiar with all aspects of REIT taxation, including the use of operating partnerships in UPREIT structures, long-term incentive plans (LTIPs) and the pension-held REIT rules

The London REF team currently comprises 3 partners, 5 associates and 2 trainees. The team is the right shape to provide suitable candidates with a good career path. The firm has a proven track record of promoting senior associates with usually around ten years' post qualification experience to the partnership, and so the candidate should have a career development plan consistent with that.

The team represents corporates, private equity houses, hedge funds, institutional investors, investment and corporate banks and other financial institutions across the capital spectrum from distressed borrowers and investors through mezzanine to senior and super senior lenders.

The role will be based in our London office, but the candidate will be part of a One UK Team and will also be required to travel to our other offices from time to time.   

Candidates will have a broad diet of work, that will include, but not be limited to: 

  • Take the lead associate support role to a partner on complex and high value transactions where the debt size would typically be in the range of £50m - £300m (plus)

  • On lower value or less complex transactions, take the lead role and have the ability and experience to run the transactions with minimal partner supervision

  • Involved in a mixture of lender and borrower roles and the candidate would be required to work on both and so have a working knowledge of lender and borrower requirements and approaches to transactions. We advise our clients both on senior and mezzanine financings and a working knowledge of both, together with intercreditor arrangements, is required

  • Working alongside other groups, typically core real estate, corporate and tax. Experience of working on deal teams comprising different groups is therefore important and typically the deals will be led by the REF team so the candidate should also be able to coordinate and manage transactions

  • We regularly work on deals involving other jurisdictions, both where the assets or the clients and/or other corporate entities are located outside the UK. As DLA is an international law firm with offices in multiple jurisdictions we are able to resource the whole of the transaction. Experience of multi-jurisdictional transactions would be preferable but is not essential, and the position offers the right candidate the ideal opportunity to develop UK focused experience into a European and international practice

  • The underlying real estate we deal with is broad and varied ranging from investment rental income properties to cashflow business such as hotels and student accommodation and includes refinancing and acquisition financings of existing real estate as well as development financing. The ideal candidate will have had experience in all these types of real estate and businesses

  • In addition to core real estate debt financing, the team is regularly involved in bond financings, distressed debt workouts and restructurings, agency work  and advising  servicers and special servicers


  • We do not set upper or lower limits of PQE for any of our vacancies.  We have however given an indicative PQE as an approximate guide for applicants. Candidates who have between 3 to 6 years PQE are likely to have the right level of knowledge and have gained the right level of experience needed to be able to undertake this role

  • Real Estate Finance experience is required

  • Experience within the sport financing sector is not essential and the REF team will work with the candidate to develop the skill set needed here but the candidate will have sufficient experience of drafting Loan Market Association debt facility agreements to be able to produce a first draft from a term sheet and require minimal input from the supervising partner other than to discuss and review headline issues

  • Commercially astute and stays current on key legal and business news

  • Excellent skills in communication, client relations, and team-working

  • Provides a professional, quality service in a timely manner, and responds effectively to requests from internal and external clients

  • Understands positive client support

  • Creates confidence in the team and the firm

  • Works co-operatively in a team, sharing information and knowledge

  • Manages time effectively and efficiently

  • Seeks to manage own utilisation wherever possible in order to meet individual and team targets

  • Takes ownership for achieving agreed objectives

  • Recognizes and seizes opportunities for the firm, including repeat business

  • Builds and develops own network of internal and external contacts

  • Awareness of business development initiatives in the department and identifies ways to contribute

  • Maintains a controlled, objective and flexible approach under pressure

  • Exhibits behaviour consistent with the firm's values and builds relationships based on respect, trust and integrity

This job description is not designed to be exhaustive and can be varied as required to develop or fulfil this role.  

The firm offers excellent training, learning and development programmes, as well as a genuine opportunity to experience a wide range of work and clients in a friendly, supportive environment.


DLA Piper is a global law firm with lawyers located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Our global reach ensures that we can help businesses with their legal needs anywhere in the world.  We strive to be the leading global business law firm by delivering quality, service excellence and value to our clients and offering  practical and innovative legal solutions to help them succeed. Our clients range from multinational, Global 1000, and Fortune 500 enterprises to emerging companies developing industry-leading technologies, as well as government and public sector bodies.


In everything we do connected with our People, our Clients and our Communities, we live by these values:

Be Supportive - we care about others, value diversity and act thoughtfully

Be Collaborative - we give, we share and we join in

Be Bold - we stand tall and challenge ourselves to think big

Be Exceptional - we exceed standards and expectations


At DLA Piper we are working hard to ensure that our talent pool is diverse. For us, diversity isn't just about visible differences, it's the unique blend of talents, skills, experiences and perspectives that makes each of us an individual. 

We know it's crucial to have a culture and environment where those differences are genuinely valued and that's why we strive to be a business where everyone can thrive, develop and succeed based on their talent.  Our aim is to build an inclusive and supportive culture where all our people feel they belong and can achieve their best.


We recognise that people have responsibilities and interests outside of their career and that as a business, we all benefit from working flexibly.  That's why we are open to discussing with candidates the different ways in which we are able to support requests for agile working arrangements.


In the event that we make an offer to you, and where local legislation permits, we may conduct pre-engagement screening checks that may include but are not limited to your professional and academic qualifications, your eligibility to work in the relevant jurisdiction, any criminal records, your financial stability and references from previous employers.

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