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Syma Spanjers, Senior Associate

"I consider myself extremely fortunate to work for some fantastic clients alongside our incredible employment team at CRS. When clients come to me for support, it is often with complex or sensitive employment, HR or employee relations issues. I help them to navigate the ever-changing landscape of employment law to find timely, practical and sensible solutions to those issues. My role is incredibly varied; when I answer the phone I could be advising an individual on bringing a grievance, talking a HR adviser through a collective redundancy process or defending an employer from an unfair dismissal claim. Many of our clients consider us to be an extension of their own business and it is a privilege to be able to use our knowledge and experience to enable them to achieve the best possible outcome to their employment issues."

 

Morning

Afternoon

Evening
  • Conduct a military-style operation to get both of my young children dropped off at school and nursery in the right place, at the right time, without any Cheerios stuck in their hair.
  • Attend a team meeting with my colleagues in the Cheltenham employment team to discuss workloads, share know how and assist with each other's cases.
  • Prepare my "to do" list for the day and prioritise client work which requires an urgent response.

  • Provide pro bono advice to individuals who do not have access to legal representation through the Plymouth Legal Advice Clinic, which our team volunteers to support one day each week.
  • Attend a Diversity & Inclusion committee meeting. I Co-Chair the firm's Gender sub-group, which aims to progress its current D&I initiatives and develop new ideas to improve gender equality in the workplace and increase female representation in senior leadership positions.
  • Get lunch from one of Cheltenham's many, many wonderful eateries (and promise myself that tomorrow I will be organised enough to bring my own lunch from home…)
  • Take part in a podcast, write an article or attend a webinar to keep up with the latest developments in employment law and current best practice.
  • Finish any urgent work for clients and plan the day for tomorrow.
  • Enjoy dinner, bath time and bedtime with the kids and deliver an impressively dramatic retelling of The Gruffalo.
  • When I can find a few moments for myself (!) I enjoy reading, learning piano and trying to convince my husband that my latest home improvement project is definitely a good idea.

 

Skills most relevant in my role

Excellent attention to detail, the ability to keep calm under pressure and knowing how to provide responsive, commercially-focussed advice. It is also handy to be able to find ways to fit round pegs into square holes (ie achieving the desired results for clients whilst working within the confines of employment law).

Culture at CRS

I have never worked in such a supportive and hardworking team. Being part of the Cheltenham office allows me to carry out the same high quality industry-leading work for an international law firm as my colleagues in other offices, whilst also benefiting from Cheltenham's friendly, collegiate atmosphere and its location in a beautiful part of the world.

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