Hudgell Solicitors’ success in progressing litigation in innovative ways in the best interests of both those seriously injured, and the law firms representing them, has won national recognition.
The firm has been shortlisted in the Litigation Team of the Year category in The Lawyer Awards 2018, an event established as one of the biggest nights in the calendar of the legal profession.
Hudgell Solicitors success in securing a long-awaited Court of Appeal ruling that conditional fee agreements (CFAs) can be validly transferred from one firm to another was a major reason for the firm’s shortlisting at the prestigious event.
Budana v Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust became a test case in the wake of conflicting decisions in lower courts, as a county court ruling was preventing law firms from recovering certain costs in cases taken over from other firms.
The Court of Appeal ruling secured by Hudgell Solicitors was described by Nick Bacon QC as the most important decision affecting costs since the Jackson reforms were introduced and it is expected to have an enormous financial impact on businesses conducting personal injury, clinical negligence, and likely some other claims types.
Hudgell Solicitors secured damages for relatives of children abused despite no legal precedent
Other work highlights considered by judges of the awards included Hudgell Solicitors’ success in damages claims on behalf of the families of children abused by Cambridgeshire hospital consultant Myles Bradbury.
In securing individual damages settlements of up to £35,000 in relation to six young boys abused, the firm was also successful in claims on behalf of the families of Bradbury’s victims, resulting in 15 successful cases.
This was despite there being no legal precedent or law for families receiving such damages, as it was argued Bradbury’s offending had not only had an impact on the children themselves, but also their wider families, with a devastating impact on their lives.
Interim damages of £2.4m one of highest since discount rate changes
Judges were also aware of the firm’s success in securing a High Court ruling to award £2.4m interim damages to a severely disabled 12-year-old girl. This rare award of such high interim damages was described as ‘life-changing’ for the girl and her family, who had struggled to find suitable accommodation.
It was also a significant moment in the personal injury claims market, given there have been few higher interim payments following last year’s change in discount rate, which is bringing larger final damages settlements.
A £14.3m settlement for a client left brain damaged after midwives failed to properly monitor his heart-rate during birth, and a settlement worth £8m for a 13-year-old girl left with life-long injuries after a catalogue of errors during her mother’s pregnancy, provided further examples of Hudgell Solicitors’ track-record of using litigation to secure significant interim damages payments at an early stage for clients who suffer serious injury, aiding their rehabilitation.
Chief executive Amanda Stevens was delighted with the awards shortlisting and said: “This is tremendous recognition of our work and further enhances the reputation Hudgell Solicitors has in the legal sector as an innovative firm which achieves great results for the people it serves.
“We take great pride that as a firm operating in what can be challenging markets, we constantly look to do more for our clients and to ensure that the law, which is in place to support injured people, does just that.
“That can mean challenging rulings in the highest courts. Budana was a classic situation of business and commercial arrangements evolving but there being no comprehensive or clear black letter law entirely on point.
“CFAs are the primary funding mechanism for people wishing to pursue a personal injury claim and the judgement we secured impacts on thousands of people who rely on ‘no win no fee’ agreements, and the solicitors taking over their cases from others.
“We can look back over the past 12 months and reflect on great success. Our specialist litigators have not only made a hugely positive impact for their clients, but also for those they will represent in the future, not only by ourselves, but other law firms too.”
Awards night in London will celebrate very best legal work
The Lawyer Awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, June 26 at the iconic Grosvenor House Hotel, in the heart of London’s Mayfair and will see more than 1,300 private practice lawyers and senior corporate counsel come together to recognise and reward best practice and excellence across the whole industry.
The shortlisting follow’s recognition for Hudgell Solicitors’ Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury claims teams in the 2017 Personal Injury Awards.
Specialist Solicitor Samuel McFadyen has also been shortlisted in the ‘Unsung Claims Hero of the Year’ Award at The Claims Awards 2018 in June, recognising the hugely influential role he has in ensuring his clients benefit from the very best rehabilitation support at all times.