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Natalie · Career Insights

Natalie is a commercial real estate associate at a renowned international law firm. Find out her journey to becoming a commercial real estate associate below:

What made you realise that you wanted to pursue a career in law?

I knew from a really young age that I wanted to pursue a career in law. I had a strong passion for debating, writing and advocating for those I believed were suffering injustice! I decided to study law at university and had started volunteering at my local legal advice centre during my a-levels.

What advice would you give to those who are currently in the process of applying for training contracts?

Be persistent. Applying for training contracts can be a very stressful process and there may be a lot of rejection before you get a training contract but you shouldn’t give up as you only need one person to say yes.

Why did you choose to specialise in Commercial Real Estate?

Growing up and living in London I have always been passionate about the built environment and how development and regeneration impact local communities. More importantly, I enjoy working with tangible assets which I can physically see and relate to. Working as a commercial real estate solicitor allows me to play a vital part in the development and acquisition of property across London and to understand the commercial property market extremely well.

Did you undertake any work or internships throughout your education?

Yes, I carried out various different work experiences throughout my a-levels and university. I volunteered at my local law advice centre and worked as an intern at a local high street firm. During my second year of university, I obtained 3 vacation schemes at city firms and obtained my training contract at the end of my second year of university.

What was the most exciting project or deal that you’ve been a part of during your career?

I have worked on many exciting projects over the last five years but, the most notable transaction was the sale of 122 Leadenhall, the Cheesegrater Building at the end of 2016 which was one of the highest value real estate transactions in London that year.

Are there any particular skills you think people need to have to succeed as a solicitor in the city?

Attention to detail and organisation are two key skills required in order to be a successful city solicitor. Your clients are relying on you to give accurate advice in good time. It is important to make sure that you understand the fine details and can relay the facts to your client properly and in a succinct fashion. A significant part of providing a good service is making sure that advice is given to your clients within the timescales promised. 

Finally, a good lawyer has a full understanding of the market and knowing the commercial factors that affect your client’s decisions and so having good commercial awareness is a crucial skill for a city solicitor.

Natalie is open to connections on Linkedin, to connect with here – see here.