Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, you’ll play a key, senior role within the business and will be a critical advisor to the Group’s stakeholders. As Legal Counsel, you will be overseeing and monitoring their caseload of complex transactions/high-value acquisitions. You will need to be confident and authoritative, whilst able to establish management credibility with all stakeholders internally and externally.
- Liaising with the wider property team including Head of Acquisitions, Head of Property, Head of Healthcare Development, Surveyors, Project Managers and Architectural Technicians, external agents and solicitors
- Hands on role drafting contracts for sale, agreements for lease, leasehold acquisitions and renewals, licences to assign, licences to alter in conjunction with acquisitions, sub-leases, deeds of assignment and transfers
- Calculating SDLT liabilities and completing Inland Revenue SDLT returns
- Litigation in respect of lease renewals, issuing and serving proceedings, drafting Directions and managing and instructing external litigation solicitors
- Relocations – agreeing deeds of variation, deeds of surrender and licences to occupy
- Disposals – drafting Contracts for Sale, obtaining Landlord’s consent to assign, references, agreeing Licences to Assign
- Preparing Lease renewal and acquisition reports for Board approval
- Managing external retained solicitors in respect of transactions
- Advising on Lease terms and other landlord and tenant issues to other departments as required
- Overseeing maintenance of property portfolios and schedules
- Draft and negotiate licences for alterations, other deeds and property documents ;
- Review commercial property, standard enquiry responses and raise appropriate further queries;
- Review official copy entries and plans along with associated deeds and documents;
- Complete requests for information from, and make submissions to, Local Authorities and the Valuation Office;
- Review and negotiate heads of terms for new property acquisitions;
- Respond to queries from colleagues and assist them with their real estate/planning-related issues;
- Assist to negotiate facility agreements and property mortgages;
- Provide advice in respect of planning applications, intellectual property to the extent that it arises in the context of real estate, engineering or construction matters;
- To take initial instructions for Sale and Purchase of residential and commercial property matters
- To aid in the creation of relevant property related legal documents e.g. JCT contracts, Section 106 agreements, Agreements to lease, Voids agreements etc.
- To open files and progress matters in line with departmental procedures
- To undertake administrative work on files including letter and form production
- To liaise with clients, commercial agents, finance lenders and solicitors by telephone, post, e-mail or in person, as necessary, at every stage of the transaction
- To manage a range of property matters from initial instruction through to its natural conclusion
- To undertake any additional delegated tasks including dealing with pre exchange of contract work, title reports, searches, raising enquiries etc.
- To manage post-exchange work and registrations, including completion statements
- To manage post-completion work including stamping of documents, Registration and Scheduling of Deeds
- To maintain your own diary and handle matters arising, in liaison with other Legal Advisers
- To ensure the confidentiality of all the firm’s and clients’ documentation
- To undertake any specific training when required to do so and overall to have a responsibility towards self-development
- To provide support to external Legal Advisers and Directors in the Property department and Commercial Department as may be required
- Assist the Group Chief Executive with all legal aspects connected with the acquisition and sale of land on behalf of the house building divisions within the Group – options, conditional contracts, unconditional contracts, regeneration agreements and joint ventures.
- Assist the Group Chief Executive with all legal aspects connected with reporting to the Group’s funder on title and contractual matters affecting the funder’s security.
- A potential involvement in lesser court claims brought by and against the Group.
- Advises the Group on new legal issues, as and when necessary.
- Taking the lead in contractual negotiations to ensure that the firm’s interests are served.
- Acting as a sounding board for other lawyers in the team and the wider Legal & Compliance department.
- As Legal Counsel you will provide our organisation with broad ranging, commercially focused legal support that will ultimately enable the success and growth of our Real Estate business, drive compliance and limit risk exposure.
- Deliver proactive, efficient and robust legal advice to a range of stakeholders on a variety of legal topics across multiple businesses and jurisdictions
- Draft and negotiate agreements, contracts and other legal documents that minimize risks and maximize legal rights
- Provide internal training and help enhance the legal resources available to our stakeholders
- Plan and execute legal support for large projects as well as supporting day to day business activities.
- Acts as advisor on a variety of legal matters, including coordinating with external counsel
- Interpret laws, rulings and regulations for the company
- Attendance at meetings as required
- Other duties as required from time to time
Professional Skills and Experience
- A qualified solicitor with at least 4 years’ PQE in commercial real estate from a reputable law firm or international company
- Excellent conveyancing experience in residential estate development whilst some exposure to the construction or house building sectors would be advantageous
- Commercially astute and able to manage risk and resolve complex legal issues
- Able to manage and work closely with a range of stakeholders, providing timely and calm legal advice in a dynamic and fast paced environment.
- Experience of and highly competent in analysing information, problem solving and producing executive level commentary and reports
- Strong, analytical and presentation skills
- Strong sense of priorities and results
- Excellent communication skills both verbal and written
- Strong intellect with an aptitude for problem-solving and a tenacity to get things done in a fast paced environment
- Strong interpersonal skills, shows initiative and is capable of managing own workload
- Produces accurate work that they routinely sense check and is detail conscious
- Highly professional and well presented; is an excellent team player with a ‘can do’ and ‘hands on’ mentality
- Professional credibility with negotiation and influencing skills.
This job description defines the role as it exists now. It is not meant to represent an exclusive description of the job holder’s responsibilities as these may vary from time to time in line with the needs of the business. This role may change and evolve over time and any changes will be communicated appropriately.