Property law, sometimes known as real estate law, deals with transactions related to residential and commercial property and covers specialist areas such as property finance, mortgage lending or social housing.
What does a property lawyer do?
This area of the law mainly involves transactional based work, such as the buying and selling or rental of property, but there is a litigation side. Other related areas of law include landlord and tenant, as well as construction and planning law.
The practice area is split into residential and commercial work. Residential work is likely to take place at high street or regional based firms, and clients are usually the public. This type of work sees lots of client contact over the phone, dealing with developments in their property buying experience. Depending on how many cases are being dealt with, it can be time pressured so lawyers have to keep track of which stage each of their clients are at in their property buying process.
Larger firms are more likely to take work and instructions from commercial clients. This work involves negotiation of land contracts, drafting commercial leases and due diligence. Matters range from large scale developments to small business premises for a sole trader.
What skills are required?
Multi-tasking is essential to deal with multiple parties when bringing a transaction together. Negotiation and drafting are also important, especially in commercial property matters.
The speed at which a transaction gets completed can depend on a lawyer’s ability to work with the other parties involved, therefore good relationship building skills are needed. This skill is particularly important in residential conveyancing as clients often become emotional throughout the process. A good manner with clients will be appreciated and may result in increased referrals.
The Law Society – Information about practice issues in this website’s property section.