Dr Neil Hudgell
Neil established the firm in 1997 and has led its continued growth and expansion for more than two decades, taking it from a locally based business in Hull to an established national brand and recognised as one of the ‘Best Law Firms 2021’ by The Times, which lists the leading 200 legal firms in the UK. The firm operates from bases in Hull, London and Manchester.
When I founded Hudgell Solicitors in September 1997, I set out to create a specialist litigation firm where client care is always the priority. That focus remains the same today.
As a lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience, I have successfully represented many clients who have suffered trauma and loss. Today, we have built a team of expert lawyers with a reputation for achieving settlements that enable people to get their lives back on track and look to the future. I have led the business through continued expansion, ensuring our commitment to client care remains first class.
As well as our headquarters in Hull, we have offices in London and Manchester, enabling us to serve clients across England and Wales.
Clients can easily find someone else who knows the law. What they want is someone to care about their case and situation, care about looking after their needs and give them the best possible service.
That fits our values of righting wrongs every day, and seeing the person, not just the claim.
I also ensure that we never forget our roots. That’s why we support many local activities through the Neil Hudgell Solicitors Trust, in the communities which have helped our business to grow and continue to thrive.
Securing a landmark victory for former subpostmasters to overturn long-standing convictions, some of which saw people serve time in prison, as a result of the Post Office Horizon Scandal. The case is widely recognised as the ‘biggest miscarriage of justice the UK has ever seen’, as hundreds of subpostmasters were wrongfully accused of stealing money when accounts showed unexplained shortfalls running into thousands, which had in fact been had caused by a faulty IT accounting system.
We were successful in representing the first 33 former subpostmasters to finally secure justice, when in October 2020, the Post Office said it would not oppose their cases, which had been referred to the Court of Appeal.
Making representations on behalf of prisoner Steven Gallant – one of those who confronted and stopped the London Bridge terrorist when on day release in November 2019 – leading to him being granted the Royal prerogative, enabling him to apply for release from prison early.
The Royal Prerogative of Mercy is approved by the Queen on the advice of the Government, and came after I made representations on his behalf to the prison and probation service, supported by others including Karl Turner MP.
It recognised that Mr Gallant’s ‘exceptionally brave actions helped save people’s lives despite the tremendous risk to his own’.
Mr Gallant had been out on licence attending a prisoner rehabilitation event when terrorist Usman Khan stabbed Cambridge University graduates Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, to death on November 29, 2019. He tackled the terrorist, helping wrestle him to the ground. His actions assisted armed police in stopping Khan, with officers shooting him dead before he was able to threaten the lives of others.
In 2017 I was instructed by the four families of the victims of the Grindr killer Stephen Port. We have supported them through an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into possible failings by the Met Police, and will continue to do so as jury inquests are held in early 2021
I represented the family of former Welsh Cabinet Secretary Carl Sargeant, who was found dead days after being sacked from the Labour party. Carl committed suicide in November 2017 after being sacked from his cabinet post as Secretary for Communities and Children. Allegations had been made against him, but he was never told what they were, and his impending removal from government was leaked to the media before he knew. I represented the family at inquest, when the coroner recorded a conclusion of ‘suicide’ and said he believed there was ‘a real risk that future deaths will occur in the event of political sackings unless action is taken by the Welsh Government.’
I was also proud of my role in securing a Court of Appeal ruling (Budana) in which it was ruled that ‘no win no fee’ agreements could be validly transferred from one firm to another. It was ruling which will ensure potentially thousands of people who suffer a personal injury will be able to secure the legal representation they need, especially as many firms have been leaving the market
Career, qualifications and memberships
Neil has previously been crowned “Outstanding Innovator of the Year” in the legal profession’s Claims Innovation Awards, and shortlisted for the highest national accolade for lawyers – the Solicitor of the Year – at the Law Society Excellence Awards.
- Solicitor LLB.
- MA Criminology
- LLM Law