The LawCareers.Net Handbook 2021

Commercial property

from day one and the chance to do a lot of good work”. For her, the hard work she put in during her time as a trainee has changed the direction of her legal career and she is keen to emphasise that it is crucial that trainees throw themselves into every seat, even if it is in a department that may not be immediately appealing: “I was never really interested in finance but I loved it”. After being surprised by how much she enjoyed the real estate finance work she took on during her traineeship, Annabel went on to specialise in this field. Working on deals for sprawling real estate projects that indelibly change our physical environment is a unique position to be in, as she explains: “In my role I do a lot of work dealing with actual physical buildings and in this way I can see first hand how London and the wider world around me is changing.” As a prime example of this, Annabel explains how a particular career highlight was acting for Crosstree and AEG in their development of the O2 in Greenwich. When looking back on the experience of facilitating the joint venture and financing agreement for the new designer village and outlet at the iconic South London landmark, she describes it as being an “incredibly interesting and exciting project” and despite its difficulties and stresses, “it was great to bring the O2 to life”. Getting the deal through When grappling with the details for such projects, the downsides of working in real estate law become more prominent as it can be stressful to work on “time-pressured and time-sensitive deals, particularly when it comes to refinancing and acquisition financing, which often means that there are very tight deadlines by which to get a deal through”. However, Annabel is keen to highlight that the pace at which deals move is also thrilling, especially when this is combined with the fact that “you have a high level of

Commercial property (or real estate) lawyers act for a variety of domestic and international clients – including investors and developers, governments, landowners and public sector bodies – on a wide range of transactions, involving everything from offices to greenfield and retail developments, infrastructure projects and the management of shopping malls. The work itself focuses on the sale, purchase and lease of land; development; investment; and leasehold management. This touches on a range of other legal disciplines, including planning, environmental, construction, litigation and tax law. Property may also be a key component of other projects, including mergers and acquisitions, property finance and commercial projects. It crosses most sectors: investment, banking, insolvency, education, hotels, health, transport, agriculture, charities and private wealth. At university Annabel Ersser delved into the world of Aristotle, Plato and Socrates, while studying theology and philosophy and relished the opportunity to spend time exploring subjects she was passionate about. After graduating she then began to embark on the path towards a career in law. When weighing up the question faced by all law students of whether she wanted to become a solicitor or a barrister, Annabel says that the decision was fairly straightforward: “I liked the structure of being employed as a solicitor as opposed to being self-employed as a barrister and the fact that you have a lot of interaction with clients who are seeking out technical advice was appealing.” Client-facing adviser The role of being a client-facing adviser is something that has been a prominent theme in Annabel’s career thus far. While completing her training contract at Mayer Brown, she says that she enjoyed having “a lot of responsibility and access to clients

For more firms that work in this practice area, please use the “Training contract regional indexes” starting on p197.



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