My career as a commercial property lawyer
High-quality work right on my doorstep
As part of our new series of ‘talk to Tees’ we will be talking to our lawyers and other team members about their time and experiences. In our first episode we speak to Kay Piper, commercial property partner, about her move from a London firm to Tees.
Q: Why did you choose to work for Tees?
It is a very well-established brand and I was impressed with the forward-thinking structure Tees has and the ability that this gives Tees for succession planning and investment into the firm. Tees is in a strong place as a business and on a progressive, growth trajectory. As I live in Bishop’s Stortford it gives me the ability to have a varied caseload of excellent quality work with clients, and also with properties that are familiar to me. There is the added benefit of working so close to home that I get to spend more time with my family and the commute is lot shorter than previously. Having the office nearby gives me lots of flexibility and choices for the best way to work.
Q: How do you find the work you’re now doing?
You always want quality work - the real complex interesting work where we can add value, and there is never a shortage of this at Tees. My workload keeps me very busy, and the variety makes it extremely interesting.
I work for a wide range of clients including large landowners, farmers, developers of all size, companies and high-net-worth individuals. We offer a bespoke, all-round service to these clients and there is lots of client interaction which I’ve always enjoyed. We get to know our clients and become their trusted advisers.
Q: How big is the team and how does it operate?
The commercial property team covers five of Tees’ six offices, with the largest team sitting in the Bishop’s Stortford office. Overall, there are five partners, two consultants (who are former partners at Tees), seven solicitors, three paralegals and a trainee solicitor.
We each have our own workload and clients, but we also work together in sub-teams on the more complex matters. I enjoy working with the team to come up with the best solution for the client.
We recognise that our clients might require other services from other teams, such as advice on company commercial matters, property litigation and from the private client team for advice on estate planning for those selling their land. With Tees having a breadth of experience and services, we are able to offer our clients a one stop shop for all legal and financial requirements.
Q: Is your team expanding?
Yes absolutely. We are always looking for new people to join the team and it is a very interesting time to join Tees with our future plans of growth. Client demand is high, so we need to keep up with this.
Q: How do you see the commercial property market currently?
The market is buoyant and there is a lot of movement, especially in relation to residential development. As with most things, the Covid pandemic has had an impact on the market, especially the retail aspect, but we are seeing this change and the retail market is beginning to pick up again. There is talk of a recession and/or a slowdown in the property market on the horizon. With our breadth of services, Tees is excellently placed to withstand any changes to the economy.
Q: What’s the working culture like at Tees?
In short, it’s great. We are supportive and collaborative in the way we work. We enjoy working hard but encourage everyone to talk to each other and find the best solutions for our clients in a good team working environment. Tees knows its people are key to its success and from my experience is committed to giving everyone the chance to be their best to succeed and grow. I am part of our trainee recruitment programme and it's fantastic to be part of this important initiative. Many of our Partners trained at Tees which is a testament to the investment and trust we put in our people.
We operate in an open plan office with an ‘open-door’ policy: questions and running things past each other are encouraged – even when people are working from home. We discuss matters regularly in our weekly team meetings or monthly department meetings. I really like that Tees is a multi-discipline firm because clients are often looking for advice that crosses several departments, so we really get to see the whole project through and spend time with our clients. All in all, I’m delighted with the choice I made to move to Tees.
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