A day in the life of a Shulmans trainee: Daniella Colton

Daniella Colton, a paralegal in our commercial property team soon to be a trainee solicitor, describes a day in the life at Shulmans.

8.20 – 9.10

I like to get to the office early as this gives me the opportunity to review and update my ongoing task list and calendar, enabling me to prepare for the day ahead. Keeping a comprehensive list of my current matters helps me to stay organised and manage my workload, especially during busy periods. I circulate my task list to the commercial property team on a weekly basis, as this helps to manage the expectations of the team. It also ensures that no key deadlines are missed, for example, Land Registry and Companies House deadlines. 

9.10 – 11.00

I am assisting a partner with a real estate development finance matter which requires the collation of a number of property and construction documents. We act on behalf of a property developer based in London, who is in the process of converting a listed building in central Leeds into a suite of residential flats. I work through the conditions precedent provided by the bank’s solicitor and ascertain which pieces of information remain outstanding. It is important to work methodically as we have a tight timeframe in which to complete.

11.00 – 12.00

I have been asked by a solicitor in the commercial property team to prepare a Stamp Duty Land Tax (‘SDLT’) return and calculation in respect of a lease due to complete imminently. The lease is being granted by a company to its subsidiary, so I conduct some research to check whether group relief applies and email my colleague with a summary of my findings, together with a draft SDLT return and calculation to be sent to the client for approval.

12.30 – 13.30

I take a break at lunchtime and like to make the most of the facilities at Wellington Place. Weather depending, I usually like to go for a run along the Leeds to Liverpool canal. On Friday lunchtimes, I will attend the Wellington Place Choir alongside colleagues and professionals from other businesses, which is a great opportunity to network and catch up with friends that I have made there. 

13.30 – 14.00

I have drafted a contract for sale and transfer, so meet with my supervisor to discuss the draft documents and amend them as necessary. I find this session particularly useful as it is an opportunity for my supervisor to explain their proposed changes and provide drafting suggestions which I can use moving forward.

14.00 – 15.00

We have just completed a purchase of a piece of land on behalf of a large retail client. I must now collate the complete documentation and prepare the Land Registry forms ready for submission to the Land Registry.

15.00 – 16.00

We receive a call from a client who is interested in a parcel of land in North Yorkshire. I am asked to conduct a title investigation and report back on any title issues which may prevent the land from being developed. I order the title documentation and prepare an email to the client, setting out any key issues which could prohibit the intended use of the land. I notice that there is a restrictive covenant registered against the title, which prevents more than dwelling house being built upon the land. I call an indemnity insurance provider to see if indemnity insurance is available, which would protect our client and any successors in title against possible claims made by the beneficiary of the covenant.

16.00 – 17.30

I review my emails and check whether anything else needs to be dealt with before close of business. Once I am satisfied that I have done what is needed, I will cycle along the canal to get home.