Hudgell Solicitors’ Leeds-based clinical negligence claims specialist Caroline Murgatroyd has won industry recognition for her work as she has been named a shortlisted finalist in the ‘rising star’ category of the 2016 Yorkshire Legal Awards.
The prestigious event recognises the very best legal talent across the region, with winners set to be announced at New Dock Hall, Leeds, on Wednesday October 13th.
Miss Murgatroyd, 31, has been shortlisted after establishing herself as a leading figure in the firm’s Leeds-based operation,
Over the past six years, as the practice has grown, she has assisted with the training and development of staff, now supervising a team of practitioners who handle complicated cases of medical negligence, often involving life-changing injuries with settlements regularly valued at six and seven figures.
Miss Murgatroyd has also personally led on many notable cases, including one which has resulted in changes to information sharing procedures between antenatal care providers in the Wirral region. This could also see changes introduced nationally in a bid to reduce the number of baby deaths during childbirth.
The case centred on a hospital being unaware until a post mortem that there had been an intrauterine growth restriction in a baby, who sadly died during birth. Growth scans had been taken by one maternity services provider, but there was no facility for the hospital maternity unit to be aware of the scan results, meaning it remained unaware of the growth restriction until post mortem.
Miss Murgatroyd represented the family at inquest, from which the Coroner sent a rule 28 report to NHS England and the Secretary of State for Health expressing concern about the risk of future deaths, due to the lack of shared information between antenatal care providers. Damages of £994,000 were also secured by Miss Murgatroyd for a client who was left with significant disability, inability to work, and the need for adaptations at his home to provide single storey accommodation, after the delayed diagnosis of an epidural abscess.
Miss Murgatroyd instructed eight independent experts across the fields of A&E medicine, orthopaedics, pain management, nephrology, psychiatry, housing, care and occupational therapy and physiotherapy, ensuring a full picture of the client’s condition and future needs was obtained, leading to the high-value settlement.
Healthcare law and medical mal-practice specialist Simon Cridland, a Barrister at Serjeants’ Inn Chambers in London, has worked with Miss Murgatroyd for the past four years, and supported her nomination.
He said: “Caroline is undoubtedly a rising star. She is an exceptional solicitor.
“All her cases are carefully prepared with the appropriate lines of evidential enquiry suitably chased down and the necessary evidence gathered. She has a very good understanding of the law and provides clear and detailed instructions to counsel.
“Everything is prepared well in advance, so that there are no problems with deadlines. She has a real empathy for her clients, understanding their needs and what they are going through, fully appreciating the very difficult circumstances which arise when someone is a victim of clinical negligence and, as a consequence, is then placed in a position where for the first time in their lives they have to pursue litigation.
“The clients love her.”
Miss Murgatroyd has also acted as a spokesperson for Hudgell Solicitors on radio broadcasts and in online and print media, whilst away from work she supports good causes in the community, working as a Volunteer Animal Care Assistant for the RSPCA at its Leeds and Wakefield District Branch, and being a fundraiser and emergency team assistant at Yorkshire Cat Rescue.