Hudgell Solicitors has enjoyed a year of further growth and increased national profile in 2016 as we have secured industry recognition for our campaigning, the achievements of our business and key people, and our continued commitment to supporting victims of personal injury and medical negligence.
Here is a look back at the first half of our year in 2016:
- A new year brings a new home for Hudgell Solicitors in the capital as the London-based personal injury and medical negligence teams move into newly purchased premises in Fleet Street. The move is a significant step forward on the back of a successful first three years based in the capital, in which the Hudgell Solicitors brand has become established as serious personal injury and medical negligence specialists with a track record of securing high-value settlements and providing a rehabilitation led service to all clients.
- A key appointment is made to the team in London as former Irwin Mitchell partner Amanda Stevens joins as Group Head of Legal Practice. Amanda, who has an established reputation in the area of rehabilitation having sat on various influential committees with regards to the claims industry, is tasked with securing further high-value work for the firm, representing those who have suffered catastrophic and life-changing injuries.
- Our Love Our Vulnerable and Elderly (LOVE) campaign brings the issue of care home abuse and neglect under the national media spotlight as we lead a campaign calling on the Government to consider making CCTV compulsory in care facilities. We launch the campaign after representing a number of families who’d turned to secret filming as they feared their loved ones were being neglected or abused in care and residential homes.
- Hudgell Solicitors highlights the major failings of medical professionals across the UK in the national media relating to ‘Never Events’ – incidents and errors the NHS accepts are ‘wholly preventable’ and therefore, should never happen. It comes as a report reveals how almost 1,200 such ‘unacceptable serious events’ occurred in hospitals in England over four years, with mistakes including operations taking place on the wrong patient and the wrong limb, objects being left inside the body, a kidney removed instead of an ovary and falls through windows that were not properly secured. Our clients Christine Hibbard and Elise Cattle tell their stories.
- The firm’s standing as one of the UK’s leading medical negligence and personal injury compensation specialists is underlined with a triple shortlisting at the national 2016 Modern Claims Awards. Hudgell Solicitors are named as finalists in the Law Firm of the Year and Client Care categories, whilst catastrophic injury claims specialist Matt Tuff is shortlisted for the Claims Professional of the Year award.
- A prize of a place at the New York City Marathon is announced as an incentive for runners of the Humber Bridge Half Marathon in 2016, as Hudgell Solicitors provides the new prize as part of a three-year sponsorship package. The prize includes flights, a four-night stay and race entry.
- Personal injury solicitor Ben Marsden appeals on BBC radio to discuss the increasing problem of distracted driving in relation to road traffic accidents and how he sees the devastation caused when handling compensation claims. Mr Marsden calls for stronger punishments for drivers when using mobiles at the wheel, something announced by the Government later in the year and due to come into force in 2017.
- Matt Tuff is named Claims Professional of the Year at the national Modern Claims Awards in April, recognising his track record of managing a large case book of serious injury cases, securing high-value settlements and providing access to vital rehabilitation, often in the face of strong denials from defendants.
- With the support of Hudgell Solicitors, company ambassador and brain injury survivor Paul Spence opens the Paul For Brain Recovery support centre in Hull. The facility fills a crucial gap in the care provided to those facing the huge challenge of rebuilding their lives after a brain injury, with Paul and his team providing guidance and support through inspirational and motivational talks, and educational sessions on topics from coping strategies to healthy nutrition, fitness, recovery and well-being.
- Hudgell Solicitors’ Andrew Petherbridge appears on BBC television and radio broadcasts to express concerns that hundreds of bereaved parents in Hull may have wrongly been informed there were no ashes from the cremations of their children over a 10-year period – resulting in ashes either being kept in storage or scattered without their knowledge. It comes as the firm represents a number of parents given the wrong information, some as many as 23 years ago.
- More than a quarter of people questioned in a survey conducted for Hudgell Solicitors on the quality of maternity care say they felt midwives and doctors had a ‘dismissive’ or ‘not overly concerned’ attitude during their pregnancy. It comes as NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens tells midwives ‘better listen to warnings from expectant mothers’ and as our client Kelly Attree tells national radio stations and newspapers how she was still waiting for an apology from a hospital four years after mistakes made during her pregnancy led to the stillbirth of one of her twins.
- The case of Freda Jobson, an 85-year-old woman who was cruelly taunted and mimicked by her carers, makes national news headlines as her family release shocking images through Hudgell Solicitors of the ‘horrific pressure sores’ she suffered whilst in the same home. The case is featured in many national newspapers and on television as signatures on a petition calling on the Government to consider making CCTV compulsory in care homes surpasses 10,000. Mrs Jobson’s family, and solicitor Lauren Dale, appear on ITV’s This Morning to discuss the case and the petition.
- Chris Moore, Joint Head of Clinical Negligence in Hull, is again recognised as one of the country’s leading figures in supporting victims of serious clinical negligence, handling some of the most complex, high-value cases, as he is selected onto The Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel. Only solicitors who can demonstrate extensive knowledge, skills and experience in dealing with high-value and complicated injury cases are selected and his reselection to the panel means he will have served as a member for 20 years by the time his latest renewal expires at the end of 2020.
- As part of the ongoing Love Our Vulnerable and Elderly (LOVE) campaign, a national care home operator is named in the national media after admitting being at fault for the death of a resident at one of its homes after facing legal action through Hudgell Solicitors. Prime Life Ltd – which runs more than 50 care and nursing homes across the country – was the subject of a major investigation around care provided at its Wyton Abbey facility near Hull, East Yorkshire, following the deaths of two residents within 10 months of one another. At the time, seven of Prime Life’s facilities were rated as ‘requiring improvement’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), whilst two were rated as ‘inadequate’.
- Paralegal Nicola Downey shares her story in the national media after having a double mastectomy on her 27th birthday. Nicola inherited the cancer gene that had claimed the lives of three generations of women in her family, and opted to have the surgery to remove both breasts when blood tests showed she had the faulty BRCA1 gene.
- Nicola shared her story and urged all other woman to ensure they are examined at the earliest possible time, as new figures revealed that the number of women in England taking up NHS invitations to undergo breast cancer screening had fallen to its lowest level in 10 years.
- More than 2,200 runners cross the starting line together for the 17th annual Humber Bridge Half Marathon – a record number in the first year of Hudgell Solicitor’s sponsorship of the event. Managing director Neil Hudgell leads the way in the Hudgell team of runners, crossing the line in a time of 1 hour 40 minutes and 24 seconds. Paralegal Nicola Downey, assistant solicitor Ben Marsden, and new claims handlers Kelsey Drewery and Laura Wilkins also complete the course.