Trainee Testimonials

Hazel MacGregor, Senior Solicitor - Inverness

I was very fortunate to assign my traineeship to Stronachs in April 2019.  As a first year trainee the thought of an assignation was quite daunting and Stronachs were very open to listening to me and the reasons why I felt an assignation to Stronachs would be beneficial to both me and the Firm.  Although I studied in Aberdeen and had undertaken the first 10 months of my traineeship there, I had always wanted to move back to Inverness and I was really attracted to Stronachs’ Inverness office and the different types of work that I would be exposed to.

The main departments in the Inverness office are Dispute Resolution and Commercial Property. I was lucky to be involved with both teams and found the learning curve challenging but also very rewarding.  The variety of work was much larger than I had anticipated from the two departments and that meant that there was always something new and challenging to get involved with. I completed the last 14 months of my Traineeship in Inverness and was then retained as a solicitor in the Dispute Resolution Team when I qualified in June 2020.

Throughout my training, I had already gained a number of invaluable experiences, including instructing Junior Counsel, attending the sheriff court for a debate, attending a mediation with one of the Partners in Edinburgh and taking precognitions from individuals and police officers.  I was encouraged to obtain my restricted practicing certificate with a view to enabling me to gain some court experience as early as possible. Those experiences were greatly beneficial when I qualified in a time when home working was the norm as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Working from home meant that Microsoft Teams meetings and calls with senior team members became a part of each individual’s daily working routine. Stronachs were well prepared and the Partners were very approachable. Even though we were working from home, the ‘open door policy’ that we have at Stronachs remained consistent, albeit virtually, and I was supported to take on more responsibilities and increased involvement across a wide range of matters.

One of the milestones that I have accomplished whilst working from home, was conducting my first evidential hearing in court. Although a daunting experience, it was one that I felt ready for having been encouraged to attend court for smaller hearings from early in my traineeship and building on that with increasingly controversial hearings as I progressed. It has been very rewarding to feel my confidence and abilities develop throughout my training and into qualification.

Although the Inverness office is smaller than Aberdeen, it is great for networking and meeting the other professionals in the area. Through Stronachs I have been lucky enough to attend various lunches and dinner events with the Inverness Chamber of Commerce and charity events with the Highland Business Woman.  Internally Stronachs have a Social and Charities Committee who organise the in-house events such as the summer BBQ and Christmas Party.  Although not in the same office, events such as these allow you to get to know each member of staff in person and not just as a face on the Intranet or over the phone.

Being a Trainee with Stronachs and more particularly within the Inverness office gave me the opportunity to find my feet as a solicitor. This has not been without its challenges, but with the support network provided by the partners and the firm I am confident that the training received during my traineeship furnished me with an invaluable skill set.  As I am faced with different challenges and increasing responsibility I will build upon these skills throughout my career.