Congratulations to Sarah Heath, Chartered Legal Executive

11th January 2019

At Gilbert Stephens Solicitors we have a proud history of encouraging the personal and career development of our staff and building our firm from within. Another example of this is the recent qualification of Sarah Heath as a Chartered Legal Executive, specialising in Residential Conveyancing. Sarah joined the firm in 2013 and after initially working as a secretary, combined her studies to be a Chartered Legal Executive with her work and now deals as part of a highly skilled team with a wide range of conveyancing transactions, including purchases involving the Help to Buy Scheme.

Sarah is also an active committee member of the Young Professionals Network (YPN) and has been instrumental in growing this thriving Exeter based group. The YPN membership is now over 300 strong and provides fun monthly events that allow local professionals to meet and network in a fun and relaxed environment and build connections across professions.

Several of the Gilbert Stephens team get involved with charitable events throughout the year, and Sarah has proved to be a fantastic sport by training for and participating in the Nello Bike Ride, the Great West Run and a charity netball tournament for Jay’s AIM.

We had a chat with Sarah about how she has come to this point in her career, what inspires her and why she has chosen to study and work at Gilbert Stephens.

When did you first realise you were drawn to law?
I was about 13 when I got my first job in a law firm. I used to go into a local Solicitors for an hour and half after school on a Friday to help with photocopying, archiving, reception duties and occasionally with secretarial tasks. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to pursue a career in law.

Was there any one person or event that particularly inspired you to take this career path?
A friend of the family was a Solicitor and Partner in the first firm I worked for, I can remember visiting them in their office and believe those visits are what encouraged me to take that first job opportunity. As a young child, it seemed a very glamorous place to work!

Was there anything you found particularly hard during the training?
I qualified using the CILEx route and the most difficult part was finding the motivation to pick up my books after a tough day in the office.

That said, the experience I was able to obtain by taking the CILEx route has proved invaluable so whilst it was difficult, for me, it was definitely worth it.

How did you choose your specialist area?
It took me a long time to decide on my specialist area. Originally, I thought I’d want to work in Private Client or Litigation. However, to help find the area best suited for me, I became a Secretary to a Fee Earner who had a diverse caseload. This gave me experience and insight into a variety of other areas and I realised that I wanted to continue with a career in Conveyancing.

What do you like most about working at Gilbert Stephens?
My colleagues – working in this area can be quite stressful but having a good team around you really helps.

What are you most passionate about in your work?
A lot of my clients are first time buyers and it’s nice knowing that the work you are undertaking will help secure their first home.

What are you passionate about outside of work?
I am a huge sports fan, so I spend a lot of my time outside of work watching sports. I also enjoy running and cycling (both help clear my mind after a busy day) and playing netball. Exeter have an incredible netball league and it really helped me get back into the sport.

What advice would you offer to anyone considering a career in law?
Don’t rush into anything, take the time to decide what qualification path and specialist area is best for you and make time for you! It’s a long process so make sure you have fun as well.

All of the team at Gilbert Stephens would like to congratulate Sarah on her qualification as a Chartered Legal Executive. It is a pleasure for us to see young professionals in our team advancing their career through sheer hard work and dedication to their clients.

If you have a question about buying or selling property, you can contact Sarah at our Exeter office on 01392 424242 or by email at