Louisa Phillips
Louisa Phillips
Associate Director: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

Real Estate – A Thriving Market

The real estate market in the North West is showing no sign of slowing down. A candidate coming up to qualification asked me this morning why they should qualify into real estate over any other area? The simple answer, it is thriving in the North West and career opportunities are endless.

Real Estate teams in Manchester and across the North West are undoubtedly busy in all areas, from landlord and tenant work, to acquisitions and disposals, property development and investment. With very few lawyers qualifying into real estate when the market hit recession, there still remains a general shortage of real estate lawyers in the market. Lawyers were forced due to market conditions at the time to re-train into busier areas of law, or even leave the law to seek alternative work, which means a skill gap in the real estate market still exists and outstanding opportunities are available for new lawyers coming through.

This shortage of real estate lawyers means that for qualifying trainees there is an excellent opportunity to take a step up into a busy real estate team on qualification, and have a clear path to progress. We are also seeing paralegals with good real estate experience in demand and being snapped up by national firms who can offer full caseloads of quality work and the opportunity to move up the ranks. I met a national law firm this week who confirmed, that for a NQ real estate role they would not only look at candidates qualifying with a real estate seat, but individuals with prior real estate experience as a paralegal and even residential property lawyers looking to transfer to commercial work.

Aside from junior candidates, more experienced real estate lawyers now have a variety of options too, and even those who have had a career break are now in an excellent position to pick up their real estate career again. For once you have control of your career, and with law firms feeling their resources stretched, top tier firms, to mid tier, national and small practices are all in a position to recruit so options are available. Firms are busy and if you have experience of handling a real estate caseload and looking for a change, you are now in a strong position.

The strength of the real estate market in the North West has always been evident through firms like Addleshaws, Eversheds, DLA and Pinsents leading the way. However, with teams like Shoosmiths and CMS growing year on year and challenging the top tier, the mid market is buoyant and regional firms like JMW also now show a real alternative to the big firms whilst still offering top quality real estate work. Berwin Leighton Paisner are another addition in recent years, handling London quality work from their Manchester hub and even offering home working alternatives to experienced real estate candidates who need flexibility.

With further improvement in the market predicted over the next six/twelve months, consider your options carefully. If you could like advice how to position yourself for your next move, please contact me for a confidential discussion as now is a really good time to explore your options.

For more information contact Louisa Phillips at BCL Legal.

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