Senior Associate / Legal Director

PQE: 6 years +
Term: Permanent
Working hours: Full time – Monday to Friday 37.5 hours per week (part time also considered)
Department: Commercial Property
Location: Cambridge
The firm

Birketts is an ambitious, full-service, top 50 UK law firm, operating in East Anglia, London and the surrounding areas.  With a rich heritage spanning over 150 years, we’ve built an enviable track record advising businesses, institutions and individuals in the UK and internationally.

Notwithstanding the global pandemic, our firm – both locally in Cambridge and across our other offices – is demonstrably going from strength to strength. This is credited both to our committed and innovative leadership team, who have worked incredibly hard to create a sustainable, supportive and connected working environment, and to every one of our colleagues. We are hugely thankful to have such a dedicated workforce, which has pulled together and worked tirelessly and passionately throughout the ups and downs of the last two years and beyond.

Our sustainable growth and legacy is a result of diversification, specialism, deepening market penetration, strategic hires and promotions. Expertise, clarity of direction and leadership, embracing technology and a strong firm-wide ethos make our firm a great place to work. We attract and retain talent by constant improvements to our Employee Value Proposition and dedication to sustaining an inclusive and diverse workplace where people thrive. We are also renovating a number of our offices to ensure our physical spaces remain attractive, adaptive workplaces.

Birketts is a flexible and inclusive business and has embraced a hybrid working model, enjoying a mix of home and office working (ratios dependant on level of experience). We have an agile working policy and a full suite of excellent benefits, noted further below.

The department

The Birketts Commercial Property Team is one of the best regarded and largest dedicated property teams within any firm outside of London, with over 200 lawyers across the firm as a whole. We deal with a wide range of high quality Commercial Property work, much of which is complex, high value and high profile.

Our Cambridge office houses the firm’s centre for excellence for Strategic Land Development, as well as specialists in Core Real Estate, Real Estate Finance, Real Estate Investment, Clean & Renewable Energy, House Builder, Development, Management and General Advisory, for a broad variety of clients. Led by 7 Partners and supported by a diverse group of over 20 lawyers, we have the strength and depth of expertise to ensure we deliver top tier service in respect of technical quality, practical approach and timeliness of advice.

Our Team consists of highly skilled and dedicated individuals and we pride ourselves on being an invaluable resource to our clients, with a never-wavering commitment to both technical and service-level excellence.   We share knowledge and experience, stay connected and we are invested in our colleagues’ wellbeing and personal professional development. Colleagues are empowered to achieve and to be enterprising in their careers.

Our Team’s unique collaborative and supportive environment takes us from strength to strength, and our sustainable growth and legacy is a result of diversification, specialism, deepening market penetration, strategic hires and promotions. This environment is reflected firm-wide, meaning that we are able to work seamlessly between the offices, supporting each other on very large transactions and providing essential specialist advice, as a single team.

We are proud to act for leading clients nationwide and some of the East of England’s (and Cambridge’s) most important businesses and institutions, including high profile clients in sectors such as::

  • Housebuilding
  • Land promotion and development (residential and commercial)
  • Private landowners and family trusts
  • Public sector, including Local Authority and health
  • Education including higher and further education, schools and colleges
  • Charities
  • Institutional investors
  • TV and media
  • Clean/renewable energy
  • Logistics, storage and distribution
  • Funders
Purpose of job

This is an excellent opportunity for an ambitious Commercial Property lawyer who has gained 6+ years (10+ years for a Legal Director role) post-qualification experience to join our successful and growing Commercial Property team in Cambridge.  However, we are looking for the right person for this role, and all applicants will be considered on their individual merits, not solely on their formal PQE. 

The candidate

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work on the full range of Commercial Property deals, both locally and nationally, including strategic land promotion, residential and commercial development, investment sales and purchases, leasing and asset management (acting for both landlords and tenants), real estate finance, clean energy and general advisory work. 

You will be supported to find the area of practice in which you can thrive, and will be given the knowhow, training and resources to develop your skills and experience.

You will be empowered to play an active role in marketing and practice development as well as providing a high level of service to existing clients. You will be involved in supervision of more junior team members and in training (both internally and externally).

You will benefit from a transparent career progression structure that successfully develops, retains and rewards talented people.


You should be a Commercial Property lawyer with a minimum of 6 years of post-qualification experience gained with a reputable firm or in-house. You should have good experience in a number of the following areas and also in supervising team members:

  • Large-scale property due diligence projects
  • Conditional and unconditional sales and purchases, including overage arrangements
  • Portfolio sales and purchases
  • Sale and leaseback deals
  • Commercial landlord and tenant
  • Commercial and residential property development, including site assembly
  • Promotion, option and hybrid agreements
  • Consortium / collaboration agreements
  • Providing property support to corporate / finance transactions

You should also have a strong academic background, a high attention to detail, a flexible approach to work, dedication to client service and an interest in and aptitude for business development. 

We are seeking a team player who shares our core values, has a solid grasp of Commercial Property law and practice, and can work independently, under supervision.

Equal opportunities

We are committed to recruiting individuals on merits of suitability for each role, on the basis of qualifications and experience. All applications are treated fairly and equally regardless of sexual orientation, race, disability, religious beliefs and any other protected characteristic, ensuring that there are equal opportunities at all stages of the recruitment process.

Core Benefits

  • 30 days holiday (FTE) plus Bank Holidays
  • Agile / hybrid working policy
  • Subsidised gym membership
  • Electric car scheme
  • Enhanced Maternity/Paternity Leave
  • Private Healthcare with BUPA (offered after probation is passed)
  • Scottish Widows Pension Scheme (5% employer / 5% employee)
  • Staff Profit Share / Salary sacrifice (Pensions, Staff Profit Share)
  • Life Assurance - 4 x salary / Permanent Health Insurance
  • Paid ESG day (Environmental, Social and Governance)
  • Long Service holiday award – 1 extra week every 10 years continuous service
  • Eye Care Voucher
  • Dress for your Day Policy
  • Discounted legal services.