By: 12 January 2024
Switalskis expands child care team with appointments and promotions

Switalskis has recently expanded its child care team through a combination of appointments and internal promotions.

The team plays a crucial role in supporting children, parents, family members, and caregivers involved in legal proceedings. They have welcomed solicitor Gabrielle Richardson and chartered legal executive (CILEX) Katie Wiggett, while also promoting Sana Mahmood and Ellie Messenger from within.

Gabrielle Richardson, a newly qualified solicitor, has joined the team and will be based in Switalskis’ Leeds office.

Her primary focus will be working closely with parents requiring representation in care proceedings. She had a long-term ambition to develop her career in childcare law and become a children’s panel member.

Katie Wiggett, a CILEX-qualified lawyer, brings a wealth of experience to the South Yorkshire child care team based in Sheffield.

During her qualification, Katie established herself as a well-respected figure in the Sheffield courts, specialising in childcare and family proceedings.

Additionally, two internal promotions have been announced within the care paralegal team. Sana Mahmood and Ellie Messenger have been promoted to graduate apprenticeships.

Sana Mahmood, who joined the care team as a paralegal in 2022, has actively engaged in community and national projects, including the Cerebra Pro Bono research programme, benefiting disabled children and their families.

Ellie Messenger, reflecting on her promotion, stated: “The graduate apprenticeship is a diverse learning experience. It will allow me to gain hands-on experience alongside completing my Solicitors Qualifying Examinations. It will also expose me to the work that is carried out within different departments across the firm. In turn, this will let me develop a well-rounded skill set and a broader understanding of the legal profession.”

Ruth Coneron, director of Switalskis’ child care team, commented on the new hires and promotions.

“This area of law requires very specific people qualities combining clarity, empathy, expertise and tenacity – qualities which all four people exude in abundance. Bringing in Gabrielle and Katie and promoting Ellie and Sana further strengthens our expert team. They will enable us to continue offering clients realistic and competent advice, helping them to achieve positive outcomes for children.”

Ruth continues: “Ellie and Sana are hardworking, ambitious young people who are keen to progress their training in our care team. They are both strong team players who are thriving within our busy department. They work hard for our clients to ensure they get the best advice and representation.”


Image:  (L-R) Ellie Messenger, Ruth Coneron (director and head of child care law team), Katie Wiggett, Jennifer Heckingbottom (child care law director), Sana Mahmood and Gabrielle Richardson- Switalskis Solicitors
Emma Cockings
Emma is the junior editor for Yorkshire Legal News.