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"During negotiations, the civil-law notary is also present"

Demi Admiraal - Candidate civil law notary

After her student traineeship at AKD, Demi Admiraal was intending to join another firm as a working student. But when the civil-law notary asked if she was interested in staying at AKD, she didn't hesitate for a second; she definitely was. Demi now works as a candidate civil-law notary in the Real Estate & Construction practice. “The end result of my work is tangible, after all, it’s all about bricks and mortar.”

“From my second study year, I had a sideline job as a working student at a regional firm of civil-law notaries. A great place, but it also made me curious about the goings-on at a larger office. I thought it would be nice to have more peers around me. And to collaborate as a civil-law notary with lawyers and tax specialists, as is more common at large firms. Through my study association, I got in touch with AKD, where I started a traineeship in early 2021 in the Real Estate & Construction practice.

From lectures to daily practice

Real estate was new to me, as I only did family law at the smaller firm. At university, I was always interested in the lectures on real estate law, so I was looking forward to learning more about it. The daily practice turned out to be even more fun than I expected. This was partly thanks to the friendly team I joined. It was in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, but even so I received good support. I immediately felt at home here.

My plan was to become a working student at another big firm after that three-month traineeship. I thought it would be good to know more firms. But when I indicated that the civil-law notary said: “Would you be interested in staying with us as a working student?” I didn't hesitate for a second. I liked it so much at AKD that I didn't need to look any further.After my traineeship, I was a working student here for another six months, after which I officially applied for a job. Since April 2022, I have been working as a candidate civil-law notary at Real Estate & Construction, i.e. in the same team.

The Real Estate & Construction team consists of a civil-law notary, a counsel, three candidate civil-law notaries (soon to be four),a paralegal and two secretaries. Including the lawyers in our department, there are around twenty real estate specialists in Amsterdam. In fact, it turns out to be both fun and instructive to work with people from other disciplines and with different years of experience. In a due diligence, for example, we do the title search and work with the lawyers on a file. But we also have plenty of files of our own. During negotiations, the civil-law notary (and our team) are present right from the beginning – we are not called in only when the notarial deed needs to be drawn up. Very fascinating to be involved in the entire process of a transaction and also to coordinate that process.


I think the great thing about real estate is that the end result is tangible. My work is about the legal aspects behind the bricks and mortar. And as I discovered at university, I also find the substantive part of real estate interesting. It may be hard for others to understand, but I really love property law!

Every day is different, often I don't know in the morning what I will be dealing with in the afternoon. Sometimes a client needs a quick answer to a simple question, other times their request is less straightforward and I need more time to investigate the matter. That variety makes it enjoyable. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, people are working from home more often, but I personally prefer being in the office. Mainly because I have a bigger desk and better coffee here, ha ha! But I also like being able to consult with someone more easily. Basically, I can approach anyone, including the civil-law notary. People are always willing to help each other, for example if you can't figure it out or have too much on your plate. The atmosphere is good, which is very pleasant.

I learn something new every day. We have regular substantive discussions with the team. Then we discuss cases, clients or current matters, for example regarding construction law or transfer tax. I also learn a lot from the calls made by my senior colleagues. Fascinating to see how they advise clients on the details, but also how they know exactly which client needs which approach. In addition to the 'practical classes', I am of course also taking professional notarial training.


So, my days are well spent. Fortunately, I still have enough time over from work to relax. Every day I try to get some fresh air and Netflix or a visit to a museum also makes me happy. At AKD, there is also plenty of time for relaxation. There are drinks every Friday afternoon and regular events. The AKD office party (the AKDay) has just been held and soon there will be an outing in Amsterdam with all candidates. We recently had a great team-building day with the Real Estate & Construction team. We were all standing there in a meadow together because we went sheep herding. I never knew that civil-law notaries could do that too!”