Real Estate Disputes - Associate - Cambridge or Norwich

Location: United Kingdom
Office:Cambridge
Discipline: Real Estate
Contact name: Himpal Bains

Contact email: himpal.bains@mills-reeve.com
Contact phone: 0121 456 8003
Vacancy reference: 018069
Published: about 1 month ago
Closing date: 09 January 2023

Associates/Senior Associates - Real Estate Disputes – Cambridge and Norwich

Real Estate National Service Line (“NSL”)

What does the role involve?

We are looking for two solicitors to join our Real Estate Disputes team. The roles are based in either Cambridge or Norwich but we have a “one team” approach which involves interaction between our 7 national offices.

The team has been exceptionally busy and is looking for talented individuals to help deliver excellent service to a mixture of regional and national clients. The positions offer an opportunity for the right candidate to play a key role in the development of this growing team which is renowned for its collegiate work ethic. We pride ourselves in providing the right environment and training to help our solicitors succeed, with a keen eye on work/life balance.

Working under supervision with partner and team leader, Richard New, you will:

  • Undertake a stimulating combination of property advice and active litigation. We spend as much time providing clients with strategic advice on how to avoid disputes as we do in the Courts.
  • Work with non-contentious Real Estate fee earners, giving advice to them and their clients on property issues where an advantage is to be gained or a problem avoided.
  • Run litigious matters through to settlement or trial.  You will give practical advice to clients on the merits of a case as well as being able to guide them through the litigation process.

The team is an integral part of one of the largest Real Estate practices in the UK and you will be responsible for handling a wide variety of property disputes. Whilst the majority of the work will focus on commercial property, there are opportunities to act on residential and agricultural matters too. As well as the ‘typical’ Real Estate Disputes work such as forfeiture, lease renewal, rent reviews, restrictive covenants, adverse possession and rights of way, our team has nationally-recognised specialists in the fields of business rates, agricultural tenancies, telecoms and legal title indemnity insurance. Unlike many Real Estate Disputes practices, we have relatively few files per fee earner and advocate quality of work over quantity, giving solicitors time to focus on more significant projects.

The team has, in the last year alone, run several cases through the Valuation Tribunal, Upper Tribunal, County Courts, High Courts and Court of Appeal, as well as undertaking a six week arbitration for a major Food sector client. You will also be expected to be involved in alternative dispute resolution and some experience in arbitration, expert determination and mediation would be preferable. You will also be involved in preparing for and presenting client-facing seminars and thought leadership events.

The team covers contentious work emanating from all of the firm’s offices – Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, London, Manchester, Norwich and Oxford.  There is scope for travel depending on the willingness of the candidate, but we pride ourselves on offering flexible working patterns and a supportive environment. The firm is recognised by, amongst others, the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For, Roll On Friday, FT and Legal Week Innovation Awards for its culture, diversity and collaboration.

What experience is required?

Ideally, you will have 0-4 years’ PQE with a broad range of hands-on litigation experience gained with a large regional or City firm. However, we are very much looking for the right people to fit into this supportive team, so we remain open to approaches from candidates with other levels of experience.

What skills and attributes would I need?

  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills and desire to be involved in growing the practice
  • Willingness to learn and build up a wide range of experience
  • Desire to market, to develop and to strengthen existing client and agent relationships
  • Commitment to and interest in real estate disputes (property law and dispute resolution)
  • High level of analytical and forensic/litigation skills with real potential for taking on more complex matters
  • A pragmatic approach to problem solving
  • Ability to create a good impression with clients (internal and external), potential clients and intermediaries
  • Ability to work collaboratively with other fee earners in the team and non-contentious fee earners in other teams, groups and sectors
  • Active participant in business development initiatives
  • Good academics – 2.1 degree or equivalent and good A levels or equivalents
  • Excellent written English and ability to produce clear, logical drafting
  • Technically sound with good attention to detail

What else should I know?

Mills & Reeve is a major UK law firm renowned for its outstanding service to national and international clients, for its collaborative culture and for its deep sector expertise.

The firm has a strong sector focus with expertise in agriculture, charities, education, food and beverage, health, insurance, private wealth, real estate investment, sport and technology.

Clients include businesses – from PLCs to start-ups – high net worth individuals and landowners, more than 120 universities, colleges and education bodies and over 100 healthcare organisations.

Mills & Reeve is one of the top performing law firms in the UK when it comes to client satisfaction, according to the latest editions of Chambers UK and The Legal 500. The annual guides, which accumulate feedback from thousands of clients, place the firm in the top five law firms based on the number of top-ranking practice areas.

Pre-employment screening

Please note that, in the event that we make an offer of employment, we will conduct pre-employment screening that includes checks relating to your professional and academic qualifications, references from previous employers, your eligibility to work in the UK and any disciplinary history recorded with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). You will also be required to complete a self-declaration to assess your character and suitability.

Disclosure and barring service check and security clearance

This post is also subject to a satisfactory response from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (to check for any previous criminal convictions) and, given the nature of the work-type, you may also be required to undergo national security vetting to SC level – the latter can be undertaken following commencement of employment.

And finally

Mills & Reeve is committed to building a diverse workforce and fostering an inclusive environment in which all our people can thrive. We hire people from a wide variety of backgrounds because it makes our firm stronger, and we have a collaborative culture that celebrates different perspectives and values respect for one another, working together, and openness and integrity. Our approach to flexible working means that we work in a way that achieves the right balance for our people, our clients and for our business.