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Interview with Swan Craig Solicitors

Interview with Kirsty Swan, solicitor at Swan Craig Solicitors

Swan Craig Solicitors is a forward thinking legal practice of Employment Law specialists offering comprehensive advice and guidance on a multitude of legal issues. Based in Bristol, Swan Craig Solicitors have made a name for themselves in the region since beginning in 2015. Their founder and Principal Solicitor Kirsty Swan has over a decade of experience in the field of Employment Law.

 

 

Summary:

  • Part 1: Presentation of Kirsty Swan, solicitor at Swan Craig Solicitors

  • Part 2: Description of career of Kirsty Swan, solicitor at Swan Craig Solicitors

  • Part 3: Job and missions

  • Part 4: Qualities & Skills for a lawyer

  • Part 5: Developments

  • Part 6: Personal

 

 

Part 1: Presentation of Kirsty Swan, solicitor at Swan Craig Solicitors

 

 

1. Introduce yourself:

Kirsty Swan, solicitor with SCS

 

 

Part 2: Description of career of Kirsty Swan, solicitor at Swan Craig Solicitors

 

 

2. What drove you into becoming a lawyer?

What drove me to become a solicitor was initially watching legal programmes on tv like Kavanagh QC, and later Ally McBeal (although that doesn’t reflect what happens in practice).  I also liked the idea of a role where I could help people to understand their rights.

 

If I didn’t become a solicitor/lawyer, I would have gone into writing, such as being an author or copyrighter because I love books and writing.



 

3. What got you interested in starting your own firm? 

I got this position because I was a little bored at work and I wanted more control over my workload and I wanted more responsibility. I spoke to my boss at the time who agreed to help me set up a separate firm.

 

I started my legal career with a niche employment firm which didn’t work out, so I moved onto a legal advice line role and it was the best thing that could have happened to me as it was a very intensive learning period, which has resulted in me having employment law as a specialism.  I realised how little I knew of the law when I first qualified so it was a sink or swim situation, and fortunately, due to a wonderful company and training programme, I swam!

 

 

Part 3: Job and missions 

 

 

4. Can you describe the firm?

We are Swan Craig Solicitors who are employment law specialists, but we also advise on commercial legal matters, such as contract disputes, terms and conditions of business. B We work with both companies and individuals and in respect of employment, we cover the whole spectrum of work related legal matters, from day to day situations such as grievances/disciplinaries, sickness absence, through to restructures of companies, redundancies and business transfers (known as TUPE).

 

SCS has been in place since May 2016, we are based in Bristol but fortunately due to the wonders of technology, we act for clients all across the country.  Our business clients tend to be SMEs and they like that we can offer a personalised service so they get to speak to the same solicitor who has knowledge of the situation.

 

 

5. What’s your precise role? 

I am the Principal Solicitor and owner of the business.  I enjoy working with both individuals and businesses.  Our business target clients are those who have the decision making capacity so Managing Directors, Finance Directors, HR professional.  We work with both companies directly who may or may not have an HR department, and with HR companies who offer their HR services to their clients (and we sit in the background to help with queries or when situations can become disputed).

 

 

6. How does a typical day pan out? 

In respect of a typical day, no two days are the same, which is another reason I enjoy my job.  Some days can be purely dealing with contractual matters, such as drafting business terms, reviewing employment contracts and handbooks, somes can be dealing with litigation, so preparing cases for a final hearing such as drafting witness statements, others can see a series of client meetings and at some stage I am also in the court or tribunal arguing a case for my client.

 

 

7. What do you love most about the job? 

The positive aspects of my job is certainly the variety of the tasks I have on a daily and weekly basis.  In addition, it is the feel good factor, meaning I see someone come to be with a legal problem and when they stop needing my help, it is because I have helped them achieve what they are looking for.  I like to use the expression I turn their frown upside down!

 

 

8. Any difficult sides to it? 

The main difficulties of my job is the fact I am self employed, so taking time off is very difficult, when it is busy it naturally becomes stressful to meet all the client and court deadlines so taking a break is key.  Other difficulties are witnessing serious issues my clients are experiencing as you cannot help but emphasise.

 

 

Part 4: Qualities & Skills for a lawyer

 

 

9. What do you need to be an effective lawyer? 

In order to be an effective lawyer you need to listen to your client!  Don’t presume to know what they want.  You also have to be able to explain the law so it is understandable to your client.  My clients like that I can give them legal advice which incorporates practical and commercial advice so they know all options available to them, the risks and costs associated with those options.

 

So the key skills are listening, communicating, negotiating and being very pedantic when it comes to contract drafting – you also have to be part psychic to foresee potential issues on the horizon and head them off for your client.

 

10. Can you describe yourself in very few words?

If I had to describe myself in 5 words I would say: considerate, pedantic, confident, easygoing, relatable.

 

 

11. Can you give some advice to someone starting out in the company? 

Advice to someone starting in my industry – appreciate that at times it will be hard work, long hours and stressful, but also very rewarding by offering a sense of achievement.

 

 

Part 5: Developments

 

 

12. What is the future going to look like for an employment lawyer like yourself? 

Artificial intelligence cannot be ignored and I think the use of AI will progress, such as having chat boxes for some legal advice.  Personally I don’t see how this can work as assessing someone’s legal position is extremely fact sensitive.

 

Increased use of technology, so likely less face to face interaction and more systems based to monitor how matters are progressing – particularly in the fields of conveyancing and application based services

 

 

13. How do you keep up to date with important developments in the legal sector? 

 

I keep up to date by email notifications (subscriptions to case and legislation updates) as well as attending training courses each year.

 

 

Part 6: Personal

 

 

Hobbies:

  • You’ll find me on a softball pitch pretty much all year through.  Outside in the summer and in a sports hall in the winter.
  • Watching the rugby, I am a Bristol Bears season card holder
  • I mentioned my love of books so naturally I am in a book club.
  • Learning languages, I can get by with French and I am currently learning Spanish.
  • I also like projects so DIY and decorating – I am in the process of renovating my home.

 

 

Favourite activities:

  • hobbies aside, my family and friends and being able to socialise with them – plus I have to mention my cat who I may even adore more than my boyfriend…
  • Free time is spent with my hobbies as work pretty much takes most of my time.

 

 

Hidden talent:

  • I can play the Euphonium and the trumpet, but to what standard now as it has been years, I cannot say!

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