Job roles in law firms – resolving property disputes

This article is part of our Job roles in law series which explores some of the legal sector’s practice areas and the associated job roles which may offer a starting point for someone looking to start a career in law.


Property disputes are governed by two different areas of law – land law and contract law. This section covers disputes relating to rights to property where the dispute is governed by land law. Those could include, for example, boundary disputes, arguments over the upkeep of a joint access road or a disagreement about an extension on one property blocking out the light from another. Property disputes based on building and construction work are based on contract law (see the contractual disputes section below). Law firms throughout the country have property dispute resolution or property litigation departments covering both types of work.

 What’s involved?

This type of work is usually initiated where a problem has arisen with the owner of a neighbouring property. It is necessary to establish the facts and give advice based on the law relating to the matter in hand. Where a dispute cannot be resolved it is necessary to either raise or defend an action in court. This work involves collecting statements and evidence and ensuring that the case progresses through the process according to rules that are laid down for cases in the civil courts.

What jobs are there for non-qualified staff?

Non-qualified staff will work in support of a qualified principal who will delegate tasks including obtaining witness statements, collating evidence and any tasks to do with tracking the case’s progress through the court system.

What job titles will be advertised by recruitment agencies?

Property litigation paralegal, but ensure that the job description relates to property matters rather than contractual matters, as the training requirements are different. You could also apply for legal secretarial jobs in this area.

What CILEx units will support my application for these job roles?

We recommend that you enrol on courses leading to the CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice (Conveyancing). As well as an introductory unit you will study Land Law and Conveyancing. Have a look at the tables of contents to see what is involved. You will also study two professional skills units.  CILEx Level 3 courses in Civil Litigation would also be useful.

If you already have a qualifying law degree, you can achieve your CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma by studying Level 6 Conveyancing, Level 6 Client Care Skills and one other CILEx Level 6 practice unit of your choice, which we recommend should relate to a law unit studied as part of your degree.

What have other students achieved?

Hayley Browne now works as a Chartered Legal Executive in property litigation, having joined Wilkin Chapman LLP as an office junior after completing her A levels.

March 11th, 2019|
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