SLN Spotlight: Elspeth Carson

elspethThis week the SLN Spotlight falls on Morton Fraser partner Elspeth Carson (pictured) who recently led a team representing international investment group Rockspring Property Investment Managers in the £56 million purchase of 1 Tanfield, a 190.000sq. ft. Edinburgh office building.

What has been your best experience  as a lawyer?

Working with colleagues and clients who bring humour to the job (and cake).  Morton Fraser has been a rewarding change for me as it’s the people who really make or break a working experience.  I feel very lucky to have landed with such a hardworking and fun group!   

What has been your worst experience as a lawyer?

Eating too much cake…more seriously, the closing of the doors at No 80.  Semple Fraser going into administration was a very difficult time for all of us.  Leaving a business in that way was never going to be easy or enjoyable.  But however difficult, change is a part of life.

Why did you choose the law?

I got the grades and tossed a coin between law and archaeology.  I’m quite pleased I chose law in the end, I doubt my visions of major scientific discoveries and crawling through pyramids like Indiana Jones would have come to pass.

Who or what has been the greatest influence in your  life?

My dog - she ensures I get fresh air daily = thinking time.

We are all influenced by so many different things - family, friends, work colleagues, travel and different cultures - but small acts of kindness/cake and compassion are the most important of all.

What advice would you give to anyone considering  a career in law?

Think hard about the type of law you want to practice and where. There is a huge difference between the different sectors you can work within, but you have to specialise nowadays so ensure you choose the right area for you and don’t be afraid to change if you decide you are on the wrong track.

What would you want to be if you were not a lawyer?

It changed daily - but let’s think:

Age 5 - working in a butterfly farm

Age 10 - mounted policeman/lady

Age 15 -groupie

Age 25 - lawyer

Age 35 - gangster

Age 45 - mother

Age 55 - whew - a few more years to decide…running an affordable art shop/tending to allotments ??

Age 65 - ballet dancer???

Age 75 - healthy….

Age 85 - a rebel.. (and maybe a chance to revisit my dreams of being a butterfly farmer!)

How do you relax after work?

Walk the dog, sort my 6 year old’s social life and make up fairy tale bedtime stories… with the occasional supper out followed by an injection of culture - last night was spent at the festival theatre watching “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” - a pretty good evening.

What is your favourite holiday destination and why?

I loved Sri Lanka - fantastic food, kind people and a real cultural and geographical  mix.

Equally, nothing beats the fun of a driving trip in the US - but then those days remind me of my 20’s….and the days when waistlines were taken for granted.