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Principal Associate

Company Gowling WLG Location London
Contract Permanent Position Salary Competitive
Sector(s) Legal

Job Description

We have more than 1,400 legal professionals working around the world. Our offices span across 19 cities in Canada, the UK, Continental Europe, Asia and the Middle East. There's strength in our global presence – we embrace our differing cultures and work together as one team. We also understand the importance of investing in relationships that build knowledge and trust, while we provide legal advice that's tailored to our clients' world.

'Our people and distinct culture are what makes us different. We know this through client and employee feedback and this drives everything we do''

 Chris Oglethorpe, HR Director.

There are great opportunities for all our people to flourish. Through training and personal development they can grow in their role. Our people are the cornerstone of our success, across legal, business support and early talent. We care about their happiness and believe in the power of teamwork. We want them to feel empowered and recognise that by supporting, respecting and embracing everyone's different contributions we achieve more.

Working flexibly, working fairly

Agile working offers people more freedom and flexibility in where, when, and how they work. As technology advances and our workforce becomes more diverse – and with clients often working to a 24/7 rhythm – having extra flexibility is key to helping us balance work and other commitments sensibly and productively.

By supporting people to choose where and when they get their work done, we help them to make a full and fair contribution to their team – while maintaining that all important work-life balance.

Where possible and depending on business needs, we will consider all flexible working options such as part-time working, job sharing, working from home and staggered hours. If in considering a role with Gowling WLG you favour flexibility in your working arrangements, please discuss this with the recruitment team in the early stages of the application process.

About the Team

The Commercial Development and Investment team is one of the largest teams within our Real Estate practice. We act for a broad range of clients across many types of commercial and mixed use assets.

We advise on the full life cycle of an asset from acquisition, development (including large-scale regeneration), management and lettings, through to sale of all types of property. These include mixed-use offices, shopping centres, the private rented sector, hotels, retirement living and student accommodation.

Our clients include national housebuilders, property companies, institutions, funds, social housing providers and private clients. A trusted adviser to many of the UK's listed companies and landed estates, we are regularly brought in to lead on high-value, complex deals and projects.

What it's like to work with us

Our team is small enough so that you feel an important part of it, but large enough so that it can and does undertake very high quality work.

We work in different project teams across the London and Birmingham offices depending on the client and size of transaction. This means there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with different clients and sectors. You are given responsibility from the start, and continually develop transferable skills and gain experience to take from one deal to the next.

You'll be given responsibility, but we make sure you get lots of support. We have a non-hierarchical structure in which everyone shares the same working environment and there are no closed doors. Everyone takes pride in and cares about what they do, which means that things just get done, well. We provide our clients with real advice and don’t sit on the fence.

Working in an international law firm that deals with demanding work is challenging, but we like to have a life outside of work too. We have adopted an agile working policy to help you work around your own circumstances bearing in mind your responsibilities.

There is a wide array of training courses available to all depending on your needs. We also have monthly property update training sessions, run by our senior fee earners and dedicated team of PSLs.

Clients of the team include:

Intu Properties plc; Derwent London plc; Urban & Civic plc; LaSalle Investment Management; Empiric Student Property plc; BAE Systems Pension Funds Trustees Limited; Taylor Wimpey Central London; Westminster City Council.

By way of example the Team has recently advised on:

  • Intu Properties plc on the redevelopment and lettings at intu Milton Keynes; redevelopment of Broadmarsh Centre, Nottingham, development agreement with Nottingham City Council and pre-lets; leasing, asset management and refurbishment of Victoria Centre, Nottingham;
  • Urban & Civic plc on the acquisition, funding, development and sale of Hampton by Hilton at Stansted Airport
  • Derwent London on set up, structuring, letting and sale of mixed use developments at Queens in Bayswater and 73 Charlotte Street;
  • BAE Systems Pension Funds on the corporate acquisition of The Treaty Centre, Hounslow
  • Sales, development, leasing and asset management of the BAE Systems Pension Fund property portfolio managed by LaSalle Investment Management
  • Advising on the real estate aspects of a £70m revolving credit facility for Empiric Student Property plc
  • Advising on a proposed corporate acquisition of five PBSA blocks in Central London by Empiric Student Property plc
  • Advising Westminster City Council on the regeneration of Ebury Bridge Estate in Pimlico
  • Advising Westminster City Council on its investment acquisitions
  • Advising Taylor Wimpey Central on the structuring, letting and sale of mixed use developments at Westminster Quarter and Palace View, Lambeth
Main Duties and Responsibilities

Working as part of a busy team, supporting and working closely with a partner and supervising and helping to manage a team of four other associates providing advice to institutional property investors, property companies and developers on UK-wide substantial property investment and development projects for retail, offices, industrial, hotels and mixed uses.

This busy and young  team is dynamic with a huge commitment to providing excellent, timely and pragmatic advice to clients, develop the contacts they need to build and secure their business.   This means that the successful candidate will be exposed to a broad range of commercial real estate transactions. There is a diverse and interesting blend of work.

The team encourages associates of all levels to take part in business development activities and to initiate ideas. The ideal candidate should display an enthusiasm for business development and be a team player.

Key skills and experience

We are looking for a driven and ambitious principal associate who has gained good experience working within a recognised real estate team; with experience of advising sophisticated clients on the acquisition and the disposal of substantial real estate investment assets, development projects, pre-letting and active leasing and asset management (including some work for occupational tenants);

  • Maintaining and developing relationships with and obtaining instructions from sophisticated and demanding clients;
  • Demonstrating a keen interest to learn about our clients' businesses and to assist in growing our business;
  • Experience of running transactions, with support and guidance from the partner where required;
  • Working collaboratively in a team, being the "Number 2" to the partner and delegating to and supervising one senior associate, two associates and a newly qualified member of the team;
  • Dealing with compliance procedures, ensuring timely billing and assisting in the collection of bills as necessary.
Equal Opportunities

Gowling WLG is committed both to promoting equality and diversity in the firm and to Equal Opportunities in employment.  The firm believes in equality of opportunity regardless of race or racial group (including colour, nationality, ethnicity, national origins), religion or belief, age, disability, sexual orientation, sex, gender re-assignment and gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy, maternity and paternity.  This also includes any incidents of perceptive or associative discrimination and harassment.

At Gowling WLG we seek to attract and retain talented people from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures, to create an exciting and rewarding place to work.  Our aim is to fulfil everyone's potential and together to achieve personal and business goals.


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