Ranjit Uppal of Switalskis to become district judge in the North Eastern Circuit

Ranjit Uppal of Switalskis to become district judge in the North Eastern Circuit

Solicitor advocate and Switalskis Solicitors director Ranjit Uppal has been appointed as a district judge in the North Eastern Circuit, based at Doncaster County Court.

Uppal will take up the district judge role from 30 November, following his appointment by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.

Switalskis director of child care law, Ruth Coneron, will take the helm of the child care law department at the firm.

Coneron has worked closely with Uppal since she started her training contract at Parker Bird in 1997. She plans to build on the successes achieved under his leadership and grow the department by bringing young and ambitious lawyers into the team.

Uppal has enjoyed a long and successful career as a solicitor, specialising in family, child care and immigration law.

He was the first Sikh solicitor in Huddersfield when he qualified in 1997, after training with Parker Bird Solicitors. He became a partner at the firm in 2000, before moving to lead the child care law department at Switalskis following its merger with Parker Bird in 2012.

He has Higher Rights of Audience, which enable him to represent clients before courts at all levels.

In 2006, at the age of 33, Uppal was appointed as the youngest and first Asian president of the Huddersfield Law Society in its 126-year history.

He has served as a part-time district judge since 2010, while working as director and solicitor advocate as part of Switalskis’s family and care team. In 2016, he was named Solicitor Advocate of the Year at the national Law Society Excellence Awards.

Pro bono work has played a significant role in his career. With the aim of uniting and developing the legal community locally and internationally, Uppal travelled to Uganda as part of the Huddersfield Law Society’s Twinning Group and later on behalf of Role UK, which supports long-term partnerships between the UK legal sector and legal actors in developing countries.

In addition, the Ghanaian government enlisted his support in 2019 to provide advice on developing the country’s childcare system, facilitated by UK-based group Strengthening Families for Abandoned Children.

Commenting on her colleague’s departure from Switalskis, Coneron said: “Ranjit has been a tremendous driving force behind the department. Whilst we are all very sorry to see him leave Switalskis, he leaves the child care law department in a strong position and I relish the opportunity to take it forward.”

Uppal said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Switalskis and recognise that the opportunities that my role here have presented have enabled me to develop into the district judge role. It is important to me that the child care law department is left in a strong position and in exceptionally safe hands, which it will be without a doubt with Ruth at the helm.”

John Durkan, managing director of Switalskis, added: “It’s with a very heavy heart that we prepare to say goodbye to Ranjit, but we completely understand his decision and all wish him the very best in this new role.”

“The child care law department was one of only two in the firm when it was founded by Stephen Switalski in 1993. It will remain key to our business and we’re delighted that Ruth Coneron will now lead the team and continue to develop it as an area of real strength and expertise.”

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Mark Dugdale

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