A LEADING Hull law firm has appointed former Hull NHS chief Kath Lavery as its first board chairman.
The new appointment comes as personal injury and clinical negligence specialists Neil Hudgell Solicitors, which employs 100 staff in Hull and Leeds, looks to grow further and attract more outside investment.
It is also seeking to be an ABS (alternative business structure) – which is a new regulated organisation allowing non-lawyers to be involved as a manager or owner of a legal services provider.
Neil Hudgell, Managing Director of Neil Hudgell Solicitors, said: “As the business continues to grow and attract external investment interest, and as a prelude to securing an ABS licence, we are putting in place more structured governance for the management board.
“This has spurred Kath’s appointment as the business’s first chair of the board. We are very pleased she has joined us.
“She brings a wealth of experience of board governance, particularly in the health sector which complements our expertise in clinical negligence and will help us develop connections to extend rehabilitation services for clients.”
Kath is a highly-experienced chair and non-executive director with a portfolio spanning the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
In addition, her knowledge of the charitable sector will help to drive forward the Neil Hudgell Solicitors Trust, a fund that gives grants to grassroots community and sporting groups in Yorkshire.
She has a strong background in the NHS, until recently chairing NHS Humber, which Neil Hudgell Solicitors will draw on to develop its rehabilitation services for medical negligence clients.
Kath said: “This is an exciting opportunity to work with Neil Hudgell Solicitors, a local company that is growing rapidly and making the changes needed to embrace that growth. What the business has achieved so far is very impressive and I look forward to helping it grow even more. Hull needs more successful companies like this.
“I also share the values of Neil Hudgell Solicitors and its desire to provide expert legal representation for anyone with a legitimate civil claim for personal injury, medical or professional negligence.”
Kath is also a trustee of Hull Kingston Rovers Community Trust, and she chairs the Humber Sports Partnership, and the East Yorkshire Community Foundation, as well as running her own consultancy.
She began her career as a post-graduate information scientist, went on to become a full-time officer for trade union UNISON and was also an elected member of Hull City Council and was – until 2006 – the cabinet member responsible for economy and regeneration.
Kath, comes from the village of Burton Pidsea in Holderness, and is a former pupil of Withernsea High School and a graduate of Leeds Metropolitan University.