Funding for public inquiry representation
Our team at Hudgell Solicitors have represented at a number of public inquiries where public funding has been secured to enable our clients to take part. We are committed to ensuring our clients have the best legal representation and we work to ensure funding is in place.
Hudgell Solicitors’ legal team represented the families of two people who were killed in the Manchester Arena bombing at the long-running Public Inquiry.
In three volumes of findings, Inquiry Chairman Sir John Saunders highlighted failures to implement proper levels of security, that ‘significant aspects’ of the emergency response “went wrong”, and how MI5 missed a ‘significant’ opportunity to prevent Salman Abedi carrying out the attack which left 22 people dead.
Our legal team, led by Associate Solicitor Terry Wilcox, Manager of Public Inquiries, represented Core Participants in the Inquiry who lost loved ones in the attack.
Representing the family of Sorrell Leczkowski
We represented Samantha Leczkowski, mother of Sorrell Leczkowski, from Leeds, who was aged just 14 when she was killed.
Sorrell had gone to the Manchester Arena with her family to pick up her sister. Her mother Samantha and grandmother Pauline were also both seriously injured in the blast, but survived.
Her family described her as a ‘very happy, positive and caring girl’ who would ‘light up the room as she entered singing and dancing’ with a ‘long, fun-filled life ahead of her’.
She was ‘hungry for knowledge’ and dreamed of studying in New York to become an architect.
Representing the family of Philip Tron
We represented June Tron, Rachel Noble, Michael Tron and Ken Mullen, the family of Philip Tron, 32, of Gateshead.
Philip had driven with his mother, June, and his partner to collect his partner’s 14-year-old daughter. Both Philip and his partner’s 19-year-old daughter died in the blast.
One of five siblings and with a daughter of his own, Philip was described by his family as someone with a ‘huge personality and heart’ and a ‘good sense of humour’, always teasing his mother, and doing jobs for her.
Ensuring you get the group actions compensation you deserve
Manchester Arena Inquiry: ‘I’ve been left disabled and a prisoner in my own home. Compensation can help me get part of myself back’
Manchester Arena bombing survivor Joanne McSorley says she has been left a prisoner her own home as she continues to await compensation for the disabling injuries she suffered in the attack more than five-and-a-half years ago. Joanne, 49, of Runcorn, suffered catastrophic injuries to her left side and shrapnel injuries all over her body in […]
Manchester Arena Inquiry: ‘Still nobody has been held responsible for not stopping it happening. That needs to change’
More than five-and-a-half years since she suffered life-changing injuries in the Manchester Arena bombing, survivor Lisa Bridgett has still not received a single penny in compensation from the Government. At the arena waiting to meet her 17-year-old daughter Ashleigh at the end of the Ariana Grande concert, she was stood just metres away when suicide […]
Legal team raises concerns over ‘obsessively secretive’ approach to security services evidence at Manchester Arena Inquiry
A legal team representing the families of seven people killed in the Manchester Arena bombing has expressed ‘grave misgivings’ over ‘obsessive secrecy’ surrounding the security services section of evidence at the ongoing Public Inquiry. Pete Weatherby QC, who is instructed by Hudgell Solicitors and is acting on behalf of the families of Sorrell Leczkowski, 14, […]
The family of Philip Tron – one of 22 people killed at the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017 – have paid tribute to him at the ongoing Public Inquiry, saying he had a huge personality, a huge heart and a good sense of humour. The Inquiry is currently hearing tributes from relatives as they provide […]
The Manchester Arena Inquiry has heard a moving tribute to 14-year-old victim Sorrell Leczkowski in which her mother told how her death has left her family ‘broken’. Over the next two weeks of the Inquiry, relatives will provide personal insights into the 22 people killed in the 2017 bombing, and reflect upon how their own […]
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Manchester Arena news
Manchester Arena bombing survivor Sarah Nellist says it took three years for her to be able start looking forward in life – and only after she’d accepted she would never be the same person again. To this day, more than five years on, she still struggles to sleep, endures regular night terrors, avoids large crowds […]
‘Survivors are forever haunted by seeing lives lost and being left alone for so long – lessons must be learned over security and rescue planning’
Survivor Ruth Murrell says life for her family has been ‘forever changed’ after being involved in the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017. Ruth and her daughter Emily, who was 12 at the time, were both badly injured in the attack, spending weeks in hospital afterwards and needing to undergo numerous operations to remove shrapnel from […]
Manchester Arena Inquiry statement: Time has come to hold organisations to account over shocking failings
Hudgell Solicitors represents the families of Sorrell Leczkowski, 14, and Philip Tron, 32, who were killed, and also more than 150 injured survivors of the 2017 Manchester Arena Bombing. Following today’s publication of the second volume of findings at the Manchester Arena Inquiry, by Chairman Sir John Saunders, Solicitor Neil Hudgell, of Hudgell Solicitors, said: “This […]
A woman who was amongst those stood closest to the Manchester Arena bomber when he detonated the device says she was left feeling ‘abandoned and left to die’ as ‘an eternity’ passed without emergency services coming to their aid. Janet Senior, of West Yorkshire, had been waiting in the foyer at the end of the […]
Former counter terrorism officer caught in Manchester Arena bombing says there was ‘failure on every level’ to ‘protect, plan and rescue’
As a long serving police and counter terrorism officer, Andrea Bradbury was better equipped than most to cope in the horror of being at the centre of a terrorist bombing attack. Yet more than five years since the events at Manchester Arena in May 2017, she says the painful memories linked to that day will […]
Solicitor Neil Hudgell said: “A number of our clients, including Martin Hibbert, have instructed us to issue proceedings against a named individual for defamation and harassment, including a claim in damages as well as for restraining injunctions. “These relate to outlandish claims following the Manchester Arena atrocity that our clients are not genuine and did […]
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What were the findings of Volume 1, which considered whether security arrangements were sufficient?
This section addressed the security arrangements, missed opportunities for detecting and stopping Salman Abedi, or reducing the harm he caused.
The findings of this volume were published in June 2021 and highlighted failures relating implementing proper security; the training of security guards; the recruitment of appropriate staff; planning for events; event risk assessments; monitoring of the site; CCTV monitoring and the failure to identify the blind spot in which Salman Abedi hid prior to detonating his bomb.
Following the publication of the first volume of findings, Neil Hudgell, executive chairman of Hudgell Solicitors, and part of our Manchester Arena Inquiry legal team, said;
“This inquiry has strongly demonstrated that there was an inexcusable catalogue of failings at every level which made the venue an attractive target to a terrorist attack, failed to deter or prevent the outrage, and as a result contributed to the loss of life and injury.
“Significantly, at the time, despite the country’s national threat level for a terrorist attack being classed as severe, the Government did not have laws in place to enforce venues such as the Manchester Arena and other concert venues to take appropriate counter-terrorism measures in such an environment.
“As a result of these combined failings, thousands of young people who attended the concert on that night were left an open and vulnerable target for terrorists because the security around the venue and event was nowhere near what it needed to be. There were gaps and failings galore.”
What were the findings of Volume 2, which considered whether the emergency response was adequate?
This volume dealt with the emergency response to the attack and examined the planning and preparation by the responders. The report was published on November 3, 2022, and included 149 recommendations.
Inquiry chairman Sir John Saunders said “significant aspects” of the emergency response “went wrong” and concluded that it was likely that failings had prevented 28-year-old John Atkinson’s survival.
He said he could not rule out the possibility that the youngest victim of the attack, eight-year-old Saffie-Rose Roussos, could have been saved with better treatment.
Following the publication of the second volume of findings, Neil Hudgell, executive chairman and part of our Manchester Arena Inquiry legal team, said: “When the bomb was detonated, a well-organised, reactive, properly co-ordinated, decisive and brave response was needed at speed. Those injured sadly got an emergency response which was completely under-planned and ill-prepared, which was chaotically led, hesitant, and fearful.
“It left seriously injured people feeling abandoned and alone during the most terrifying moments of their lives, denying some the chance of coming away from the attack with their lives intact. The response was simply shameful.
“There was no clear communication across emergency services to enable decisive decision-making to be made. This ultimately resulted in the rescue of people from inside the area not being made the number one priority. How can that be the basis of any major incident response, where it is known there have been multiple life-threatening injuries and deaths?
“People who could potentially have been saved lost their lives whilst emergency crews were held outside for their own safety. It was therefore left to ordinary members of the public, many badly injured themselves, to help others.”
What were the findings of Volume 3, which asked whether the attack should have been prevented?
Chairman Sir John Saunders said MI5 missed a “significant” opportunity to take action that might have prevented Abedi carrying out the attack.
In the months leading up to the attack, security services had obtained two key pieces of intelligence about Abedi but did not share them with local counterterrorism police,
Had they done so, Abedi could have been subject to a “port stop” under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 when he flew into Manchester Airport from Libya on 18 May 2017.
Sir John said it has been a “real possibility” that Abedi had the switch for the bomb used in the attack in his possession at the airport.
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