Personal injury and medical negligence specialists Hudgell Solicitors has sold off its ‘niche’ industrial disease department – allowing OH Parsons LLP to acquire a ‘significant’ number of ongoing cases to boost its growing work in the specialist area.
Hudgell Solicitors says it has already redeployed staff who were employed in the Leeds-based department into its successful clinical negligence and personal injury teams. Both firms say the move will help their businesses focus on their own specific key areas for growth.
The firm, which also has offices in Hull, London and Bristol, has itself been expanding rapidly following the Jackson Reforms, introduced last April.
In total, it has completed 25 deals, acquiring more than 6,000 files at a cash consideration exceeding £5m, as many other firms have looked to sell off their personal injury cases and focus on other areas.
OH Parsons LLP says it has been ‘delighted’ to take on the new work, as it has itself seen its industrial disease grow over the past 12 months as a result of the changes to the industry.
The company, which has bases in Mansfield and London, is not ruling out further purchases of cases from other firms.
Paul Meehan is a partner at OH Parsons and specialises in industrial disease litigation, particularly claims for asbestos related mesothelioma and lung cancer.
He said it was a ‘significant’ deal for the firm, which is now strongly placed for further expansion and acquisitions.
“Given our background in trade unions, we have the expertise and experience in dealing with industrial disease claims, from asbestos related illnesses to hearing loss and vibration white finger, that stands us apart from other firms,” he said.
“It is a growing area of work for a firm like ours. Claims for asbestos related diseases and illness were supposed to peak initially in 2010, then in 2015, and now predictions are for some time between 2020-2025. It is essential for those with industrial disease to seek advice from solicitors who specialise in this area.
“Following the reforms last year, all firms of solicitors had to review how they were working.
“Although we still cover all areas of legal work, we have over many years really built a reputation as specialists in industrial disease, and we do not see this as the first and last purchase of files.
“We see this as an important deal for the industry, as it is two firms with clear visions of where they are heading making a sensible decision.”
Mr Hudgell stressed the sale of the department does not represent a change of approach for his firm, with the focus still very much on buying cases and growing in the key areas of clinical negligence and personal injury.
Staff who were based in the industrial disease department in Leeds have been retained by the business and redeployed into the clinical negligence team.
“This represents a good piece of business for both firms. For us, it many ways it is the opposite of what we have been doing in recent times, as we have been buying, rather than selling off work,” he said.
“Industrial disease is a specialist, niche area of work which need proper expertise and focus to be a success.
“We are still expanding our business and looking to take on more work, but we are making sure we are investing and placing our resources in the right areas such as our successful clinical negligence department.
“We are certain OH Parsons will deliver a great service to all of our existing clients who are now transferring over to them, allowing us to focus on the areas of our business which have potential for high-value growth.”