Hudgell Solicitors is one of only eight new entrants into the 2018 list of the UK’s largest 200 UK law firms, published by The Lawyer magazine.
The annual UK 200 report is the most detailed statistical analysis of the UK’s largest firms, and is published after months of data collection, interviews and research into the performance and financial health of UK firms.
Just four firms broke into the list in 2017, followed by the eight new entrants this year, a reflection of how Hudgell Solicitors has been one of the fastest growing businesses in the legal sector.
In compiling its report, the magazine referenced a trend of many experienced lawyers moving from larger to smaller, growing firms, something it says may ‘accelerate’ in years to come.
That is something seen at Hudgell Solicitors over the past 12 months, with experienced lawyers added to the team across offices in London, Leeds, Manchester and Hull.
It has come as the firm – which has a long established reputation in personal injury and medical negligence claims – has diversified into new areas of work, with specialist and experienced litigators recruited in the areas of travel, civil liberties and abuse claims.
“It is pleasing to be one of only eight new names in the largest 200 UK law firms list, a reflection of how, despite some uncertainties in our traditional fields, we have been able to grow and develop new areas of work over the past 12 months,” said Mr Hudgell, who himself was a shortlisted finalist in the recent Law Society Excellence Awards.
“Just over a year ago we devised a very clear, strategic approach with regards to the direction of the firm and how we were going to drive further growth.
“We have added some very talented and experienced people to all of our teams, whilst also developing staff in house.”
Over the past 12 months, not only experienced litigators have been added to the firm, but also experts from outside the legal sector, to bring a refreshing perspective on how to develop the business whilst maintaining excellent client care standards.
Firm leading on significant cases in civil liberties, abuse and travel
Significant recruitment over the past year has seen Cyrilia Davies Knight, who represented families in the Hillsborough disaster inquest, join the firm. She is currently representing survivors, residents and bereaved family members and loved ones at the Grenfell Tower fire inquiry, as well as four core participants at the Infected Blood Inquiry.
Experienced safeguarding expert Malcolm Johnson was also recruited to head up the abuse claims department, and is currently acting on behalf of around 40 former residents of the Shirley Oaks Children’s Home who suffered abuse.
As part of the firm’s commitment to providing a platform for staff to develop, a new mentoring programme has been initiated, providing training and career paths for talented staff to progress within the business.
It has seen lawyer Andrew Petherbridge promoted from his role handling police misconduct claims to a supervisor and then to head of civil liberties nationally.
The department is running many cases of national significance and representing an increasing number of families at inquests where the involvement of public bodies such as the NHS and police come under scrutiny.
Experienced travel litigator Paul McClorry, who has a national and international reputation in the work and is a Chambers and Partners ranked specialist, heads up a growing department based from Leeds and Manchester which has significant volumes of cases and is going from strength to strength.
The team is representing a large number of people taken ill at the Steigenburger Aqua Magic Hotel in Egypt, where two British holidaymakers died this summer.
“The pleasing thing is that whilst our traditional core business of personal injury and medical negligence continues to perform strongly, the past 12 to 18 months has seen us build really strong, high-profile caseloads in the new areas of work we have developed,” added Mr Hudgell.
“The challenge, as always, is to keep developing. We will now look to build on this over the coming 12 months.”