In this issue, we continue to introduce the people who make up Garden Stirling Burnet, one of East Lothian’s oldest law firms.

With origins dating back to the early 1900s, GSB has been practising law and representing the people of East Lothian for generations. And today, with offices spread across the region, the team are proud of the easy accessibility of the firm and their team of legal experts. Very much East Lothian-based, there is a long-standing association with local people and businesses, borne out of the firm’s ongoing commitment to the local community. But, of course, this is only possible because of GSB’s continued investment in their team, which advises clients on a diverse range of legal matters daily.     

Lauren Buchanan is a member of this hard-working team, who gives you a personal insight into her life as a busy solicitor and why she loves living and working here so much.

Tell us a little bit about you.

I am 26-years-old, born and bred in East Lothian. I live in Whitecraig and have lived here all my life, like my mother before me. I wanted to go into law as I enjoy a challenge, and I thought this would be a great career to do just that.

How long have you been with the firm? 

I have been with the firm since 2017, starting as a trainee. I qualified in 2019 and worked as an Assistant Solicitor before being promoted to Senior Solicitor and Head of Tranent Office in September of this year.

What is the best thing about living and working in East Lothian?

The variety! We have everything right on our doorstep – beach, countryside, hills and even the city centre, as we are so close to Edinburgh.

What do you like to do when not busy at work?

I am a family girl. I come from a large family, and I am one of five children, so I enjoy spending time with everyone as we are very close. I also have a 10-month-old puppy who my husband Ash and I go on walks with.

What are your specialisms in the firm, and what legal issues, situations do you deal with?

I work in our Conveyancing and Private Client department. I deal with anything property related and also wills, Powers of Attorney and Executries. 

Can you provide an overview of conveyancing and what it entails?

Conveyancing is essentially all matters relating to property. The most common issues we deal with are; sales, purchases and transfers of title to a property. We also deal with discharges and re-mortgages. 

Are there changes in the law or things people should do or be aware of within your area of expertise, or is there any general advice you would like to give?

The law does not change very often in relation to property. The most exciting thing we see is updates to the Scottish Standard Clauses (which governs all sales and purchases in Scotland). 

Why should clients choose GSB, and what benefits can you bring? What sets you apart?

Clients should choose GSB as we are a down-to-earth firm. We do everything possible to keep the law understandable and straightforward, and we relate to our clients on all levels. We’re client-focused and approachable and make it easy for clients to discuss even the most difficult personal matters. Our friendly and proactive team sets us apart from most firms.

And finally, any advice you would give to young people thinking about going into law? Any advice you would have given to your younger self? 

It will be hard but don’t give up. Getting into the legal profession in this day and age is very difficult. You spend five years of your life in university (four undergraduate years and one for a diploma) before attempting the impossible – trying to get a traineeship! There is a severe lack of traineeships in relation to the number of graduates applying, and being knocked back again and again can be very disheartening. But a saying I live by is – what is for you won’t go past you – so you will find one eventually, just keep going. You may even find that you get a traineeship in a practice area that you would never usually have considered and end up loving every minute of it.