2015 was a milestone year for Hudgell Solicitors as the firm hit national headlines for its work in supporting victims of serious injury on the road to recovery, increased its presence in the capital, was recognised at leading industry awards and extended its commitment to supporting local communities.
Here we look back at some of the milestone moments for Hudgell Solicitors in 2015:
Established as Neil Hudgell Solicitors in 1997, we rebranded as Hudgell Solicitors in September to reflect our transformation from a regional business, first established in Hull, to a national operator, representing more than 10,000 clients across the UK.
The brand change aimed to reflect our increasing focus on working on high-value personal injury and medical negligence cases, supporting those who suffer life-changing injuries with a rehabilitation led support package.
The message central to the rebrand was that ‘we see the person, not the claim’, an approach we firmly believe sets us apart from many of our competitors, and why 9 out of 10 of our clients said they would be willing to recommend us to families and friends.
A major focus was placed on adding to our support package for brain injury victims in 2015, and as a result, a partnership was developed which we feel offers our clients a unique level of support as they go through their long, hard journey to recovery.
Paul Spence, who has made an inspirational recovery himself over a three-year period after suffering a serious brain injury when the victim of an unprovoked attack, agreed to become an Official Ambassador for the firm.
In this role, Paul is available to offer one-to-one support and advice to clients of Hudgell Solicitors, using his own experiences to give people real-life examples of how he coped and regained mental and physical strength. Paul will mentor our clients as they face the many challenges which come with brain injury recovery.
Our support also helped Paul secure premises for a new brain injury community support centre in Hull, which is due to open early this year and will provide an invaluable service to people looking to rebuild their lives.
Awards and industry recognition.
Industry leaders hailed the successes of Hudgell Solicitors in 2015, as our work was highlighted at a number of prestigious awards ceremonies.
Our Clinical Negligence team was highly commended for its work at the Modern Claims Awards, recognition which came on the back of many impressive settlements, including a multi-million pound settlement for a client left with cerebral palsy following errors during his birth, and numerous others in which six-figure damages were secured.
Managing director Neil Hudgell was shortlisted for Managing Partner of the Year at the Yorkshire Legal Awards, whilst the firm was also highly commended in the Law Firm of the Year category.
Our community work was also recognised as the Neil Hudgell Trust, which donates £100,000 a year to local projects and groups making a positive impact within their communities, was named winner of the ‘Community Spirit’ prize at the Hull BID awards.
The Hull Business Improvement District (BID) Awards celebrate the city centre-based companies having the biggest impact on the area.
Judges were impressed with the wide impact the many financial donations, and other support from the Trust, had on the community.
London-based solicitor Renu Daly has been a key individual in representing victims of paedophile doctor Myles Bradbury, who was jailed for 22 years for abusing 18 seriously ill boys in his care at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
Ms Daly has represented a large number of victims throughout the year, acting as a spokesperson on their behalf as the case has attracted national media attention, including live appearances on Sky News, This Morning Television, and BBC News.
Ms Daly also led calls for a full public inquiry into how Bradbury’s offending was allowed to go undetected for four years.
She continues to represent clients in civil claims against Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital.
When boxer Tommy Coyle outlined his dream of running two free boxing academies for under-17s in Hull, Hudgell Solicitors helped make it happen.
Helping the popular fighter bring together a group of sponsors, including the NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Coyle was able to make his West Hull academy in Bean Street, and a new venture at facilities provided by Hull-based Sewell Group at Geneva Way Business Park in east Hull, free for use for three years.
Jo Hudgell, chair of the Trust, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Tommy. He works so hard to give back to the community and is a fantastic role model for young people in this city.
“What he has achieved in establishing two fantastic facilities on each side of the city is remarkable, and is entirely down to his dedication and passion to making a positive difference. We want to congratulate him on what he is doing, and to say that we will support him all the way.”
The Neil Hudgell Trust is closing in on crossing the quarter of a million mark in terms of its investment into local community groups across Hull and the East Riding.
At the end of 2015, the Trust had supported close to 300 groups across East Yorkshire, donating more than £220,000 in total.
Grants of up to £5,000 are available for each project or individual, with a focus placed on supporting grass roots sport, raising educational aspirations and assisting community projects for young and old.
The Neil Hudgell Trust increased its annual fund in 2015, making a total pot of £100,000 available each year.
Whilst supporting many groups, the Trust has continued to provide crucial funding for individuals chasing lifelong dreams, including James Leeman, a determined musical theatre student who landed his first leading role after he was awarded a grant.
James, 21, has always dreamed of starring in West End musicals and secured a place to complete a master’s degree (MA) at the Royal Academy of Music in London in September. The year-long course costs £14,200 and most of the £20,000 he raised came from sponsorship, including £1,500 from the trust, as well as his own savings.
Hudgell Solicitors were delighted to commit to sponsoring the Humber Bridge Half Marathon for the next three years.
Our sponsorship of the popular race, which will be held for the 17th year on Sunday, June 26, will enable organisers to grow the event over the coming years.
It follows a record breaking year in 2015, which saw more than 2,100 runners raise a total of £38,000 for charities across the region.
Race director John Curry, of Hull Rotary Club, which runs the event with Barton Rotary Club and The Smile Foundation, said he was delighted to have extra support for 2016, on top of many long-standing business supporters.
“It is really tremendous to have secured extra support from a business of the standing of Hudgell Solicitors, who importantly have not only committed to back us for one year, but for three, which will help us with long-term planning to grow the event significantly,” he said.
“We are confident that with this new support, we’ll start competing with some of the more popular races of similar length which enjoy higher runner numbers, but don’t have a course to match ours, or a stunning landmark to base it around as we have.”
Hudgell Solicitors are delighted to be supporting Hull City again in the 2015/16 season, with our name emblazoned across the back of the playing shirt through our sponsorship.
Neil Hudgell, managing director of Hudgell Solicitors, said: “As a company we have been long-standing supporters of the Tigers and as such we are delighted to be sponsoring their shirt for the 2015/16 season.”
Simon King, commercial manager at the club, said: “We have had an excellent commercial relationship with Hudgell Solicitors for a long period of time. This new partnership is an exciting one for the club and gives Hudgell Solicitors the opportunity to showcase their new branding on the back of our historic black and amber shirt.”