Hudgell Solicitors’ dedication to ‘righting wrongs every day’ and providing the highest standards of service to an increasing number of clients across England and Wales has seen it repeatedly recognised by industry peers in 2018.
It has come as the firm has successfully developed strong caseloads of work representing people in new specialist legal departments, adding experienced new team members and opening a new Manchester office to serve the North West.
Here, we take a look back at some of the major milestones and achievements for the firm in 2018;
Recognised by peers at leading legal awards
Hudgell Solicitors has repeatedly been recognised at major legal awards ceremonies throughout 2018.
Our team were commended for their work in representing the interests of thousands of injured people who need access to specialist legal support at The Lawyer Awards in London.
This came after we secured a Court of Appeal ruling that ‘no win no fee’ cases could be transferred between firms – a decision predicted to ensure thousands of people will not lose their injury claims.
Founder and managing director Neil Hudgell was also a finalist in the Law Society’s prestigious national Excellence Awards. The award is the highest accolade for lawyers in England and Wales, with Mr Hudgell recognised for his leadership of the firm, developing new areas of work and returning to representing clients on high-profile cases himself.
Leeds-based rehabilitation and catastrophic injury claims specialist Samuel McFadyen was labelled an ‘unsung hero’ when selected as a finalist at the National Claims Awards.
This recognised his dedication to putting the recovery of his clients at the heart of his work, and his track record of ensuring rehabilitation programmes are in place for those who suffer life-changing injuries from an early stage, often before full liability is admitted by defendants.
Expansion of new specialist areas of legal expertise
2018 has been a year in which Hudgell Solicitors has further established itself as a leader in a number of specialist legal areas, including serious injuries and illness when travelling abroad, representing families at inquests into the deaths of their loved ones, abuse claims, and claims against the police.
Our abuse claims team is now headed by London-based Senior Solicitor Malcolm Johnson, a well-respected litigator in the field of child abuse and safeguarding issues, who joined in March.
Mr Johnson has a track record of recovering substantial settlements across a wide range of cases, having led cases against local authorities for failure to take children into care and against foster carers and children’s homes for abuse. He is currently acting for around 40 former residents of the Shirley Oaks Children’s Home.
Our Travel Litigation team, headed by Paul McClorry, has expanded and represents many people seriously injured abroad, including people left with life-changing injuries in incidents ranging from road accidents to falls from balconies and accidents in organised thrill-seeking activities such as sky-diving.
Our team is also representing holidaymakers who suffered illnesses at hotels where hygiene standards have been questioned, including a large number who stayed at the Steigenburger Aqua Magic Hotel in Egypt this summer, which hit the headlines after a British couple died on their holiday.
Experienced litigation executive Anne Thomson joined the team in the latter stages of the year, having spent more than 25 years working as a defendant lawyer for major tour operators and the past 10 years acting on behalf of holidaymakers.
Our Civil Liberties team also continues to grow under the leadership of Head of Civil Liberties Andrew Petherbridge.
Our lawyers are now representing survivors, residents and bereaved family members at the Grenfell Tower inquiry, core participants of the Infected Blood Inquiry and 35 people who were wrongly convicted of drug driving by unsafe forensic testing as part of the Randox Testing Services scandal.
Inquest representation has also been an increasing area of work for our Civil Liberties and Human Rights team, with managing director Neil Hudgell personally representing the family of former Welsh Minister Carl Sargeant.
Our other lawyers have represented families at hearings where the actions and responses of police forces have come into question, including the death of Jacqueline Oakes, from Birmingham, where failings across a number of agencies to protect her were criticised.
The team also continues to represent the families of murderer Stephen Port’s victims, with the inquest process into the deaths of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor beginning in August.
Named one of the top 200 legal firms and featured in leading legal guide
This year saw Hudgell Solicitors break into the list of the Top 200 UK law firms for the first time.
The list, complied by the highly-respected The Lawyer magazine, provides the most detailed analysis of the UK’s biggest firms and is published after months of data collection, interviews and research into the performance and financial health of solicitors.
The firm was one of only eight new names on the list from 2017, reflecting the continued growth of the business, something further demonstrated when opening a new office in Manchester in December, which has a legal aid franchise for representing people in claims against public authorities.
Further recognition came in the publication of the 2018 Legal 500 guide, with Hudgell Solicitors listed across London, Leeds and Hull in clinical negligence and personal injury, and described as being ‘firmly established as a national leader’ in supporting people who suffer life-changing injuries’ with a ‘growing national reputation’ for police misconduct claims.