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Switalskis appoints new head of child care law

Director Ruth Coneron will take the helm at Switalskis Solicitors’ child care law department as current department head Ranjit Uppal leaves the firm to take up a full-time post as a District Judge.

Ruth will lead the established and successful child care law department at Switalskis from the end of November, when Ranjit takes the District Judge role on the North Eastern Circuit, based at Doncaster County Court.

Ruth joined Switalskis in 2012 following the firm’s merger with Parker Bird Gardner and became a director in 2015. As a director of child care law, Ruth works with parents, children, family members, and carers of children, and acts on behalf of clients in court proceedings in her capacity as a solicitor advocate.

Ruth said: “Ranjit has been a tremendous driving force behind the department. He is very well respected, both for his work at Switalskis and for his pro bono work, working with professionals as far afield as Paraguay, Ghana and Uganda, where I joined the delegation with him to share our knowledge and experience of the English childcare and family law systems.

“On a personal level we go back a long way – to 1997 when I started my training contract at Parker Bird Solicitors, following in his footsteps as a trainee. Whilst we are all very sorry to see Ranjit leave Switalskis, he leaves the child care law department in a strong position and I relish the opportunity to take it forward.

“I’m looking forward to building on the success we have achieved under Ranjit’s leadership and growing the department, bringing young and ambitious lawyers into the team, consolidating and building the strong profile we have achieved in the York market in recent years, and expanding our presence in South Yorkshire.”

Ranjit Uppal has served as a Deputy District Judge since 2010 alongside his role at Switalskis and will now move into the District Judge role on a full-time basis. He qualified as a solicitor in 1997 – the first Sikh solicitor in Huddersfield – working at Parker Bird Solicitors, and joined Switalskis in 2012 when the two firms merged.

He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Switalskis. The opportunities the team has given me have enabled me to develop into this new role. Some of my colleagues moved with me from Parker Bird Solicitors so I’ll be leaving colleagues I’ve known for over 25 years.

“It’s been a very tough decision to leave, but I am very much looking forward to becoming a District Judge and I know that the child care law team will continue to go from strength to strength under Ruth’s leadership.”

Switalskis’ established child care law department was one of only two departments within the firm when founder Stephen Switalski set it up in 1993. The department now has five directors, all solicitor advocates who can represent clients before the courts at all levels.

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