Switalskis, one of Yorkshires largest law firms, has marked 30 years of providing legal support to people and businesses across the region and beyond with an event to thank employees.
Founded by Stephen Switalski in 1993, the firm is now a £28m turnover business with over 400 staff across 12 offices in Yorkshire, providing legal support to people and businesses.
MD John Durkan joined Switalskis in 2001, when it was a £1m turnover business based out of a single office in Wakefield focusing on criminal and child care law. A chartered accountant by profession, John was the country’s first non-lawyer to be appointed as managing partner in a law firm. He attributes the firm’s success to its focus on people and “never standing still”:
“People are at the centre of everything we do, whether it’s helping clients, attracting new talent or developing the team from within. We aim to instil a can-do ethos across the firm, where everyone is given the opportunity to progress, and we never stand still. We are always looking to evolve and push the business forward, while making sure it continues to be a great place to work.”
In 2021, Switalskis acquired Doncaster law firm Atherton Godfrey and in 2021 completed the acquisition of York-based Pryers Solicitors, expanding the firm’s clinical negligence and personal injury specialisms and creating a £28m turnover business. In 2022, the business expanded into the capital, opening a London office headed by director David Thomas and expanding its clinical negligence team.
The Switalskis team came together this month at an event at Chow Down in Leeds to celebrate 30 years in business. Joining the celebrations were long-standing team members Suzanne Munroe, who started her legal career as a trainee working alongside Stephen in 1988, and Lorrette Law and Rob Casey, who started work at the firm in 1995.
Suzanne, who now heads Switalskis’ growing clinical negligence team, says: “Stephen was a charismatic and inspirational leader and, while the business looks very different now, his influence still lives on in the way we operate today.”
Lorrette Law joined Switalskis as a locum and now leads the childcare team in the York office. She says that the business’ longevity and success is in part down to “thinking outside the box” and “being open to new ideas”. She says: “We are all like-minded people – we pull together, and we all believe in helping our clients to achieve the very best outcomes for them.”
Rob Casey, a director in the child abuse compensation department, recalls Switalskis’ first office in Wakefield, “a two up, two down”. He says: “Having moved to larger offices, we were the first legal firm on Cheapside, and many more have since followed suit, making it a legal district in the city. Switalskis is a great place to work – hand on heart I haven’t once thought about leaving in all the years I have worked here.”
John Durkan says the future looks bright for the firm: “Looking ahead, we plan to continue our growth and evolution; to further integrate the Pryers and Atherton Godfrey teams into the group, and to continue growing through a blend of organic growth and the acquisition of people, teams, and firms.”