Trainee diary

The firm teaches you key skills: attention to detail and how to work alongside partners in a commercial setting.

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   Jenny Wright

    First year trainee
    Departments to date: Real estate
    University: University of York
    Degree: History

 I log in and begin my day by checking through my emails and responding as necessary. I also review my task list for the day.

9.30am: One of the partners in my team has asked me to assist with a matter involving a new letting of an office building in central London, in which we are acting for the landlord. I begin drafting replies to the Commercial Property Standard Enquiries 1 and 3 (known as CPSEs). CPSEs are a standard set of questions that are used to gather the detailed information about a property that a buyer will request as part of due diligence in commercial property transactions - it is common for a trainee to be asked to help draft these. I also obtain up-to-date title documents for the property from the Land Registry website. 

11.30am: I have a call with one of the knowledge lawyers in our team to discuss the completion of a rent review memorandum on another matter I have been assisting with. Given the current circumstances, most of our documents are being signed and scanned electronically. We talk through the procedure that needs to be followed for remote signing. After the call, I date and complete the memorandum and then send it to the landlord’s and tenant’s agents. 

12.00pm: Every week, I have a catch-up call with my line manager. This is to discuss the work I am currently involved in and to review my tasks for the week. It’s also an opportunity to talk about any other questions or concerns I might want to raise. 

12.30pm: I take some time out for lunch. As I am currently working from home, I try to get out every day for a walk to stretch my legs and have a break from the screen.

1.30pm: I attend some training on substation leases, presented by one of the associates in the team. As trainees, we are given regular training when we join a new seat to introduce us to the key topics and areas that we will encounter while working in the department. 

2.00pm: I spend some time finishing the CPSEs I began drafting earlier.  

3.00pm: I attend a meeting of the mental health and disability sub-committee, which is part of the firm’s diversity and inclusion group - I co-head the disability aspect. We discuss some additional ways in which the firm can support both mental and physical health initiatives. One of the plans tabled was a review of the firm’s offices, which we are currently undertaking to highlight any accessibility issues and identify potential areas for improvement. This is a good time to do so as the offices are mostly empty. 

4.15pm: A senior associate asks me to make some final amendments to a draft lease I helped prepare. The tenant, a well-known high street retailer, is remaining in the property so the renewed lease is largely on the same terms but needs some updating. After making the necessary changes, we discuss them on a call, before finalising the lease and sending it to the tenant’s solicitor for review. 

5.30pm: I send out a few emails on some ongoing matters. These are to chase up responses from other parties in relation to agreeing and/or signing various lease documents.

6.00pm: I review and update my task list and plan what needs to be done tomorrow. I submit my time for the day and then log off. 

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP