Newly appointed Property & Development Senior Associate, Dorian Henneron, gives an insight into his background, key market trends and what he values about working at Arnold Bloch Leibler.
What skills and experiences would you identify as adding a different dimension to your approach as a lawyer?
Having originally commenced my legal career at ABL in construction, the experience I gained as a construction lawyer has provided me with a broader range of property and development sector knowledge which, in turn, translates into being able to provide comprehensive advice to clients on a variety of property and development matters.
What sort of lawyer do you want to be for your clients?
As a lawyer, I would hope that my clients see me as someone who has a solid understanding of the legal intricacies involved in property and development work, but also as someone who can provide value-added advice on the strategy and commerciality of a particular deal.
It is also important to be seen as a loyal adviser who understands and is aware of clients’ underlying objectives and considerations – not just in respect of one transaction, but in respect of the overall blueprint a client has to achieve their real estate investment goals.
What would you say are some of the key market trends or developments you are seeing in your practice this year?
As banks tighten lending standards, we are, albeit gradually, seeing developers look to non-traditional sources of lending in order to secure project finance (for example, via fund-through structures and foreign investor sourced funding).
As developers are looking to source debt outside of traditional channels, we are also seeing end-users (particularly foreign buyers) needing to turn to alternative funding means for acquisitions. While this may not always seem like a significant issue, developers need to consider end-user borrowing restrictions from a project’s outset and effectively manage the process through to completion in order to secure the highest possible return.
What advice would you give to new lawyers?
Graduates and new lawyers are not expected to have a detailed understanding of a particular field of law right away. There is, inevitably, a steep learning curve from university to real world practice. However, showing a high level of enthusiasm and a dedication to detail goes a long way to gaining trust with more senior lawyers and partners, which, in turn, leads to more interesting and complex work.
What do you enjoy most about working at ABL?
ABL has a great way of providing lawyers with a high level of autonomy and client contact, which affords lawyers the opportunity to build their own brand and effectively manage and grow client relationships (one of the most rewarding aspects of a legal career). At the same time, you are acutely aware that there are partners and senior lawyers available to provide guidance and support when needed.
To find out more about Dorian click here.