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, now recognised as one of the 200 largest law firms in the UK and operating from bases in Hull, London, Leeds and Manchester.
The firm now represents thousands of clients in claims for personal injury, clinical negligence, civil liberties, abuse and serious injury and illness abroad.
Neil has long been recognised as an innovator in the claims sector, reacting and anticipating changes in the industry to continue building as others have exited the market, completing close to 40 deals for practices of varying size, taking on and supporting thousands of new clients to satisfactory conclusions in their cases.
He continues to personally lead the firm on strategy and business development, leading it into new areas of work and establishing successful departments in civil liberties and police misconduct, abuse, criminal injuries and injuries abroad in recent years.
Neil also continues to personally represent clients in high-profile civil liberties cases.
When I founded Hudgell Solicitors in September 1997, I set out to create a specialist personal injury and medical negligence law firm where client care is always the priority. That focus remains the same today.
As a personal injury lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience, I have successfully represented many clients who have suffered trauma and loss. Today, I 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. I ensure that we take a holistic approach to all our clients and offer much more than legal solutions, with a network of partners established able to give high quality rehabilitation support to clients.
As well as our headquarters in Hull, we have offices in London, Leeds and Manchester, enabling us to serve clients across England and Wales.
In my opinion, lawyers and solicitors all too often are not focussed on the customer service of their work and simply the legal side of things, but at the end of the day, that is what we provide.
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 Trust, in the communities which have helped our business to grow and continue to thrive.
My role for some years has been mainly in strategy and development but in 2017 I returned to personally representing in cases when the firm was instructed by the four families of the victims of murderer 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 inquests are held in 2020.
I have also jointly led the representation of 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