Senior/Principal Associate - Projects/Commercial

Location: United Kingdom
Office: Cambridge
Discipline: Corporate & commercial
Contact name: Aimee Kaja

Contact email: [email protected]
Contact phone: 0161 234 8727
Vacancy reference: 022729
Closing date: 26 April 2024
Startdate: 10 January 2024 - 10 January 2024

This role can be based out of our Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester, Norwich or Oxford office.

What does the role involve?

We are looking to welcome an ambitious lawyer to our friendly and busy commercial team where you will work on public-private partnership arrangements. In particular, you will be working in one of the most dynamic and active markets: the procurement of student accommodation by universities. 

Our team is regularly involved in high value and high profile projects, often with national importance, acting across a range of sectors for Government departments, contracting authorities and our private sector clients on a variety of complex and high value commercial contracts. Your main area of focus will be a variety of contractual arrangements linked to student accommodation; a market in which we are one of the leading firms, nationally. You will be advising universities and private sector consortia bidding on projects. Transactions will be varied. The work will include advice on: procurement strategies; joint venture arrangements; long-term project/operating agreements; complex project finance and income strip funding structures; long term facilities management arrangements. You will work closely with and co-ordinate advice from external financial and commercial advisers and our internal procurement, construction, planning, banking, corporate and real estate teams. You will be given early responsibility to run your own projects and matters, with support from the partners and other associates in the team. You therefore need to be a confident self-starter and happy to take the initiative.

The role will include:

  • leading on major projects;
  • taking a lead on the team’s ambition to do more in the market for “direct let” student accommodation, which is a separate market which does not involve partnership arrangements with Universities;
  • drafting and negotiating high value commercial contracts;
  • liaising with other specialists in the firm to ensure a seamless service; 
  • undertaking and co-ordinating project management;
  • actively participating in business development initiatives and marketing events, including developing a network of contacts with other specialist advisers operating in the sector, preparation of tenders, attending pitches and attending client hospitality events; and
  • mentoring and supervising junior members of the team. 

What experience is required?

You will be 5+ years PQE with a background in the projects/commercial field. Any experience of student accommodation projects would be advantageous but not essential.

What skills and attributes would I need? 

  • relevant commercial/projects experience, including experience of advising on major commercial contracts;
  • experience working on project agreements in the wider PFI/PPP markets is a plus but not a requirement. Experience working on major real estate forward funding/development agreements would be considered;
  • strong drafting skills;
  • knowledge and experience of public procurement processes (including competitive dialogue) is a plus but not a requirement;
  • experience working with universities is also a plus but not a requirement;
  • the ability to give clear, simple and pragmatic advice;
  • thoroughness in review of documents;
  • good inter-personal skills;
  • the ability to establish a rapport with colleagues, clients and multipliers;
  • the ability to work under pressure and often to tight deadlines;
  • enthusiasm; and
  • a “can-do” attitude.

Who will I be working with? 

You will be working with Partner,  Jens Henniker Heaton, and Principal Associate,  David Stead, as well as other members of the projects sub-group within our commercial team. This sub-group comprises 3 Partners, 5 Principal Associates, 2 Senior Associates and 2 Associates, as well as Paralegals, Trainees and experienced Executive Assistants. Jens and David are both based in our Cambridge office, however, this role can be based out of any of our offices, except London.  

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 been named for a record 20th year running as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in The Sunday Times’ annual survey and is the only UK law firm to have achieved this.  We are also delighted to have been named by RollonFriday as one of the top law firms in the UK for the sixth year running.

Pre-employment screening

Please note that, in the event that we make an offer for a role, we will conduct pre-employment screening that includes, but is not limited to, a basic DBS check, right to work check, any disciplinary history recorded with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and a self-declaration to assess your character and suitability for the role.  A full policy of the screening the firm undertakes is available on request.

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 cautions) 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.