Nick Fear
Nick Fear
Senior Associate: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

The way ahead for commercial property solicitors

As a recruiter who specialises in the placement of commercial property solicitors into Birmingham’s leading law firms and someone who survived in recruitment through the last recession, you can imagine that I am watching developments in the property market very closely.

There is understandable concern from some candidates that the market for commercial property solicitors is about to drop off a cliff, in the same way that it did in 2008/ 2009. Whilst there is understandable concern my view is that after an initial pause for breath, we are likely to see a healthy and robust market in Birmingham for some time to come.

From our perspective it appears that the greatest impact has been felt in London and therefore by those firms (and teams) who focus on London work. The firm’s whose focus is more regional, seem to be continuing completely as normal.

Whilst investors in commercial developments take a break to assist the market, the UK’s house builders still appear to be doing well. http://www.insidermedia.com/insider/national/persimmon-buoyed-by-robust-demand-despite-brexit

Given the massive shortfall in available housing in the UK and the greater attention being paid to the issue by parliament, it seems likely that the market for specialist development solicitors will continue to grow.

Furthermore, following on from the redevelopment of Grand Central, other redevelopments in the Midlands such as the one in Wolverhampton are leading to continuing work flow and will inevitably lead to asset management, landlord and tenant work for the foreseeable future.

Whilst the banks remain strong and there is money available to invest the property market will continue to be buoyant. Even if there is a break in funding, the government’s greater focus on house building is likely to mean that significant incentives will be offered for companies to continue building.

What does this all mean for the regions commercial property solicitors? Firstly, I can report that there is still significant opportunity for commercial property solicitors in Birmingham. Nearly all of the major firms have open vacancies of some description.

However, it would be prudent to reassess your firm’s focus to see how stable the model is. Initial indicators are that working for a regional team specialising in house building is likely to be more stable in the short to medium term than working for a team that specialise in commercial development in London! Clearly there is a sliding scale in between the two extremes.

On the basis that the primary motivator for most of us to go to work, is to earn enough money to pay the bills – in some instances it may be prudent to consider trying to move across into a different area of commercial property work.

If you are concerned in anyway or would like to discuss the issues I’ve raised in this blog, then by all means feel free to contact me in confidence.

Nicholas Fear Manager – Private Practice at BCL Legal 0121 237 5612

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