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Hudgell Solicitors acquires all ongoing personal injury cases from established specialists Hinchliffes Solicitors

Neil Hudgell


Hudgell Solicitors have completed the acquisition of all case files from personal injury specialists Hinchliffes Solicitors, the firm has today confirmed.

It comes as Steven Hinchliffe, who has been a qualified solicitor since 1978 and established the Worcestershire-based firm in 1999, was keen to ensure the smooth transfer of all ongoing cases into new hands having taken the decision to retire.

With a track-record of successfully integrating large case files into its operations, Hudgell Solicitors is now approaching its 50th completed deal since establishing its www.webuyanyfiles offer in 2011 for firms looking to exit the personal injury market.

Track record of Hudgell Solicitors in taking over caseloads was key in deal

And Steven Hinchliffe, owner and sole principal of the firm, says it was this track record which was key in approaching Hudgell Solicitors when he decided to close the firm.

“Hudgell Solicitors have an excellent track record not only in personal injury and RTA claims, but also importantly in taking over case files from other firms in recent years and ensuring a smooth and successful transition,” he said.

“It was obviously of paramount importance to us that we found a firm to take on the cases which we knew would provide a first-class service to our clients. We have informed all of our clients of the impending transfer to Hudgells, and they are all happy with it. This reflects on the excellent reputation and track record of that firm.”

The case files transferring over include all kinds of personal injury, but around half are related to injuries to truck drivers, either as part of a road traffic accident or under accident at work claims, as many injuries are suffered when loading and unloading trucks and at their employers’ premises.

“Hudgells’ experience and knowledge of the employer liability sector was also a major influence in me talking to them about our cases. They have the right expertise to ensure our clients have the best possible representation going forward,” added Mr Hinchliffe.

Hudgell Solicitors will adapt a mix of electronic and paper-based files into their ongoing work, something it is prepared for with its highly-efficient processes when taking over files from other firms.

The firm is committed to personally contacting its new clients within 48 hours of their case being transferred, with the situation fully explained to them, and a solicitor will begin work progressing their case within a couple of weeks.

Acquisition of Hinchliffes’ personal injury cases continues Hudgell Solicitors’ growth

Managing director Neil Hudgell said: “The acquisition of this ongoing caseload from Hinchliffes Solicitors sits very well with our work in personal injury and in particular our growing representation of those injured in road traffic accidents and when at work.

“We are delighted that Steven saw us as a ‘go to firm’ when considering the best place to transfer his clients to, knowing our track record of ensuring a seamless process for both selling firm and its clients.

“Our dedication to ensuring the complete satisfaction of new clients in situations like this, alongside the many we are already representing, is core to the success of the business as we continue to grow in our long-standing areas of expertise such as personal injury and medical negligence, and in new niche areas of work.”

Mr Hinchliffe added: “It is the right time now for me to step away from what has been a very enjoyable career representing those who have been injured and helping them towards recovery.”

“The firm has been successful and profitable, but given the changes ahead in the industry it becomes ever more difficult to manage personal injury caseloads, but this is something Hudgell Solicitors, given their national coverage and size, can do well.”

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14/08/2017 No Comments

Continued growth of Hudgell Solicitors recognised with shortlisting at Yorkshire Legal Awards in Law Firm of Year category

YLA_Shortlisted


Hudgell Solicitors’ continued growth and success has brought more industry recognition as the firm has been shortlisted for the forthcoming Yorkshire Legal Awards.

Organised and staged by the publishers of Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer magazine, the awards were established in 2000 to recognise and celebrate significant achievements by leading firms and individuals across the county.

Judges have confirmed Hudgell Solicitors shortlisting in the Law Firm of the Year category for legal practices with between one and 10 partners, with the winners to be announced at a ceremony at New Dock Hall in Leeds, on October 12.

When selecting finalists in the category, judges sought out firms demonstrating client appreciation and recognition, initiatives setting them apart from their competition, and a dedication to the development and welfare of staff.

This shortlisting follows Hudgell Solicitors being named as a finalist at the forthcoming Rehabilitation First Awards, in which a long-term package of rehabilitation support for the victim of a serious road traffic accident has won recognition.

Awards recognise excellent client care provided by Hudgell Solicitors

Managing director Neil Hudgell, who established the firm in 1997 and will celebrate 20 years in business next month, said: “It is fantastic to see our firm repeatedly being selected by judges in major awards events such as this and the Rehabilitation First Awards.

“To be shortlisted in awards events such as these you have to be able to demonstrate that you are a firm dedicated to excellent client service and value. That has always been the focus of the firm since the first day, and that remains the priority today.

“As a business we have to be prepared to adapt and develop to continue improving our service and look after our clients. Being shortlisted for awards such as this demonstrates that we are doing just that.”

Mr Hudgell has overseen continued growth over the past 20 years from starting out as a one-man operation to now being recognised as a top 150 UK law firm successfully representing thousands of clients and helping many on the road to recovery after serious, life-changing injuries.

Firm has taken steps in 2017 to embrace chances within compensation claims industry

The Yorkshire Legal Awards shortlisting comes as Hudgell Solicitors has taken pro-active steps in 2017 to ‘future-proof’ itself given continued squeezes on the personal injury and medical negligence market.

It saw Mr Hudgell bring together his senior management team earlier this year to consider the long-term goals for his business, to ensure it is a ‘beneficiary and not a victim’ of changes to the legal process.

A new company strategy saw staff urged to embrace changes within the business, with new initiatives launched including incentives for staff to climb the career ladder and to enable trainee lawyers to see a clear path towards qualification and supervisory roles.

Experienced solicitors were also added to the firm’s London operation, established three years ago and now working on many high-value cases of catastrophic injury.

Civil liberties representation has been one of the firm’s fastest-growing work areas over the past 12 months and now handles a significant number of active cases at any one time, including supporting clients wrongly accused of serious crimes including battery, murder, kidnapping, child neglect and firearms and drugs related crimes.

Throughout all of this, Hudgell Solicitors has continued to support the community and good causes, and go the extra mile for clients.

Significant sponsorships have been provided to amateur sports clubs, and to boxer Tommy Coyle to enable him to continue providing free gym memberships for young people across the city of Hull.

The firm is in the second year of a three year sponsorship of the Humber Bridge Half Marathon, an event which helps raise thousands of pounds for charities and good causes, whilst for the third year it supported the Hull Disability Sports Awards, recognising and inspiring those who compete in sports despite injury and disability.

It also continues to support the Paul For Brain Recovery charity and centre, providing vital community-based help, advice and guidance for people who are recovering from serious brain injuries.

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03/08/2017 No Comments

The Future of Hudgell Solicitors: A Q&A with Neil Hudgell and Amanda Stevens

Neil Hudgell and Amanda Stevens


Hudgell Solicitors recently announced a management restructure of the business, appointing highly-experienced litigator Amanda Stevens to the role of chief executive, who will be instrumental in shaping the future of the business in the wake of forthcoming industry changes, alongside managing director Neil Hudgell.

Here, Amanda and Neil discuss the reasons for the changes within the business, their expectations for the claims industry, and ambitions for further growth as a Top UK 150 firm.

Neil, you have announced a restructure of the business this week with Amanda Stevens now in the role of chief executive. Can you explain the thinking behind the changes, how they have come about and how Amanda was identified for this role?

NH: The only constant in our industry is change, and we need to be agile to that change and everything that is coming on the horizon. Amanda has a history of being at many of the top tables when strategy and direction for the profession is explored, not only within the firms she has worked at but also on highly influential legal steering groups, committees and associations. I wanted to bring that experience to the head of our business so we can stay fleet of foot at the front of change and continue to progress.

Amanda, how does it feel to be given this new role and what are your personal goals?

AS: From my first meeting with Neil I knew it would be an exciting adventure as I could see he was extremely pro-active and determined about the future success of his business. We’ve had a number of months to analyse what is happening within the industry, focus on our strengths and identify the opportunities to come up with a plan which also has the unanimous backing of the senior management team. I feel hugely excited and privileged to be asked to lead on that with Neil. My goal is ‘simple’, it is to help others deliver all we have set out to do on time and to enhance awareness externally of all that is special about what Hudgell Solicitors has to offer. We have a great story to tell.

You have personally won industry recognition for your influence on rehabilitation in the claims process, how important is developing this area of Hudgell Solicitors’ work?

AS: One of the things that attracted me to working with Neil and the team here was the priority they have always placed on early and influential rehabilitation for people suffering serious injury. It is already a strength of this firm but we are developing it further. A lot of lawyers talk about doing this, but when you scratch beneath the surface it amounts to little more than lip service. It is absolutely key going forwards that we continue to offer rehab and look for ways to enhance that service. We’ve recently produced a detailed Rehabilitation Handbook for injured people and their families as an extra resource, identifying where they can get vital support immediately after suffering an injury, when leaving hospital, and in the long term. It is part of our commitment to always see the person and not just the claim.

You’ve already mentioned big change ahead in the claims industry and that you are acting now to be fully prepared and grow. What are the key challenges for Hudgell Solicitors, and others in the claims industry, at such times of change?

AS: For me it’s about maintaining our core professional values of excellent service and being a trusted adviser to our clients whilst achieving affordability and accessibility in an increasingly crowded and constrained market.

NH: Yes, for me THE challenge is to do more for less without compromising quality.

With that in mind, what changes do you envisage across the claims industry between now and the reforms due in October 2018?

AS: The market is already showing signs of turbulence with a number of practices seeking to exit and lawyers seeking to move or skill up in different areas, so there is likely to be further consolidation of the market and, as with any time of change, there could be one or two new entrants on a different business model which could cause a further shake up. I hope any new entrants will bring a stimulus to the market, as they advertise the relevance of professional assistance with claims, rather than disrepute, after a short while, as has happened in earlier periods of reform of our sector.

NH: I’m not convinced we will have new entrants in any significant numbers. There will be leavers. Firms will jump into areas of work they don’t currently do in the same way they jumped into ID work, clinical negligence work, and, more recently holiday sickness. Recent press statements already suggests the writing is on the wall for that latter category.

You said in your statement regarding the restructure of the business that the changes and new strategy are about being ‘a beneficiary and not a victim’ of new regulations. What does this mean?

AS: Our lawyers have chosen to specialise in injury work, rather than more corporate types of law, and have done so because they care passionately about helping individuals and their families to get life back on track after completely unexpected and harmful events which could afflict any of us out of the blue. Caring about those people is what makes our staff want to get out of bed in the morning. If terms of the new regulations and pricing restrictions making the legal process more of an inhuman conveyor belt, we will be a “victim” of the reforms, because that is not a business model we would choose to adopt. Similarly, having to pull out of such work because changes have rendered it wholly uneconomic would clearly be a massive blow, and one we are seeking to protect ourselves from through our new strategy. Our goal is to use the experience we have gained from previous reforms, and many years of extremely high customer satisfaction ratings, to roll out a product line which is even more attractive to injured people and their families than what has gone before.

Neil, in the wake of the Jackson Reforms of 2013, many firms sold PI caseloads and Hudgell Solicitors has since completed 32 deals for cases and departments. Are you in a position to buy again or is it a case of being more cautious now given increases in the small claims limit and restrictions on the entitlement to claim for certain injury types?

NH: We sit on a fund to use if the right opportunity comes along. We have three active lines of discussion ongoing at the moment which I’m hoping fall over the line before the summer is out. Unless the price is right though we won’t do business, we will continue to develop our own referral arrangements and direct marketing initiatives.

Amanda, part of your responsibilities in your new role is developing and mentoring the talent currently within the business, just how important is?

AS: We set high standards of client care through our customer charter and as we move forward we are setting the highest standards for staff satisfaction and development within. A few people have helped me along the way, but traditionally law firms have had a mentality of ‘each to his own’, based on competition amongst individuals rather than collaboration. By finding out precisely how people would like to develop their career and then offering constructive feedback and support to help achieve transparent and realistic personal goals, our staff can grow and our business can be enhanced. I feel a happy and motivated workforce is key to all we hope to achieve together as a business.

Neil, how has Hudgell Solicitors changed over the past few years as a firm, and how has that influenced the new vision?

NH: We have a more defined process, greater efficiency across the business, and importantly we are now people led from within, adopting the ideas and energy of the people we employ and using them to provide a better service to our clients.

Where would you say Hudgell Solicitors is placed within the claims sector now, and where would you like the business to be in 18 months’ time given these changes?

NH: We are now firmly established as a UK Top 150 firm, growing various niche areas of the business whilst maintaining our core work areas. We are concentrating on cementing that position in a continually evolving market facing continued price squeezes and regulatory restrictions. In 18 months’ time we will hopefully be looking back at the changes we are making now and reflecting upon how we were right to take a step back, analyse all that we do, and change.

No matter what your injury or loss, Hudgell Solicitors will always be here for our clients. To benefit from our outstanding approach to client care and no win no fee promise, click here to make a claim online now or visit our homepage for further help and support.

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13/06/2017 No Comments

Amanda Stevens becomes chief executive of Hudgell Solicitors

claims mag


Hudgell Solicitors has appointed Amanda Stevens as its new chief executive.

Stevens, who has a been a manager in the NHS as well as a partner at Charles Russell and Irwin Mitchell, joined the firm in January last year.

Neil Hudgell, the founder of the firm, has restructured the firm’s management team after running Hudgell Solicitors throughout its 20-year history. Stevens will now head up various new projects as part of the firm’s new strategy, including developing its management information tools, and undertaking a full analysis of how it treats clients.

Stevens will also oversee costs, “mentoring and talent identification” within the business, and lead the development of the firm’s rehabilitation services – an area in which she has played a key national role by twice overseeing revisions and updates to the Rehabilitation Code in 2007 and most recently 2015.

The move follows a three-month sabbatical that Hudgell took from the business in 2016.

There has been a lot of talk about uncertainty in the claims sector, but what Hudgell Solicitors have been traditionally very strong at, and will be so in the future, is identifying times of change as opportunities.

When you come to a crossroads, you need to have planned your path and know where you are heading, and why. That is what this is all about. It is about ensuring our firm is a beneficiary of the changes, not a victim.

Hudgell said that he will be working with individual members of the firm’s senior management team in ensuring the smooth running of their departments.

We are lucky to have an excellent staff, with forward-thinking ideas to bring to the table. That enables us to stay agile and adapt our business model to changing needs.

The next stage of development for us is in terms of efficiency savings and automation, enabling us to service more clients and continue delivering a first class service in our three locations, so that we can maintain our national position in the areas of work in which we specialise.

I for one am very excited by the innovations and changes we are implementing and I know our team will do as they have always done before and work to further strengthen the business and help it maintain and grow our market position in times of change.

Hudgell Solicitors has launched an aggressive acquisition strategy in the personal injury and clinical negligence sectors in recent years through the launch of www.webuyanyfiles.co.uk.

It has seen the firm take on caseloads from lawyers, insolvency practitioners, accountants and other professionals, with more than 6,000 files acquired at a cost of around £5 million.

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12/06/2017 No Comments

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Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90