Leanne Windass

Manager, Group Actions, AAP & Inquests & Senior Associate Solicitor

Leanne-stephenson-hudgell-solicitors

I support people whose lives have been forever changed by the acts or omissions of others.  It is fundamental that I develop a good relationship with my clients to ensure that they trust me to do my very best for them.  I pride myself in ensuring that all my clients feel fully supported during the legal process.

Get to Know Leanne

Leanne is a solicitor with more than 20 years’ experience, having worked in law since 1998, joining Hudgells in 2010.

As Manager of Actions Against Police (AAP), Inquests and Group Actions in our Civil Liberties Department, Leanne oversees some of the most complex legal cases within the business.

This has included preparing compensation claims for malicious prosecution on behalf of clients in relation to the Post Office Horizon Scandal. Our clients are a large group of former sub-postmasters who were wrongly prosecuted for crimes they didn’t commit due to a faulty accounts system used by the Post Office.

Leanne has also led on cases involving police assault, unlawful arrest and breaches of a person’s human rights.

She also has experience of representing families at inquests, in cases where loved ones have died whilst under the care of the state, or it cases where there are questions as to whether the state either failed to protect, or in some cases were responsible for lives being lost.

Before joining the Civil Liberties team Leanne previously led on a broad range of serious injury and high-value cases including brain injuries, spinal injuries and amputation cases. Leanne has also supported families whose loves one has been involved in fatal accidents.

Career Highlights

I worked alongside Neil Hudgell in representing the family of Lewis Skelton who was shot dead by an officer from Humberside Police in Hull in November 2016. An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation found officers had no case to answer for misconduct, however, following our representation of the family at inquest, a jury concluded Mr Skelton had been unlawfully killed.

The Humberside Police officer then challenged the coroner’s conduct of the hearing, leading to a Judicial Review hearing in October 2022, at which I and instructed counsel again represented the family, having made strong submissions against the officer’s case. Judges upheld the jury’s important conclusion from the original inquest.

I have also been involved in acting for the family of a young woman who was murdered by her partner. She had reported to the Police on numerous occasions that she was the victim of domestic violence, and no steps were taken by the police to protect her.

In another case I supported the victim of a historic sexual assault by a Police Inspector. This assault was reported at the time, but no investigation or action was taken in relation to this report. Many years later it was discovered that there were many more victims, and that the officer had been using his position of trust to exploit women.

I continue to represent former sub-postmasters across England and Wales who were victims of the Post Office Horizon Scandal. The case has been labelled ‘one of the biggest ever miscarriages of justice in the UK’ as the Post Office has admitted that it prosecuted hundreds of sub postmasters for crimes such as theft and false accounting, using unsafe figures from the faulty Horizon accounting software.

Our legal time is pursuing compensation for malicious prosecution on behalf of all clients who have had convictions overturned. Interim damages of £100,000 have been secured in the majority of cases.

The claims will include damages to recover money sub postmasters were forced to ‘pay back’ to the Post Office, the subsequent loss of earnings and investments, re-finance costs and other direct losses such as the psychological impact of the stigma and trauma caused over many years.

My advice and articles

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Unlawful Killing decision upheld in Humberside Police shooting

Hudgell Solicitors has today received the High Court judgment following a Judicial Review into the outcome of a Jury Inquest, which concluded in October 2021, in relation to the fatal shooting of Hull man Lewis Skelton by a Humberside Police officer in November 2016. The Inquest Jury unanimously concluded that it was more likely than […]

Statement after the Lewis Skelton inquest

Lewis Skelton inquest findings: Statement from Hudgell Solicitors

A jury has returned a verdict that Lewis Skelton of Hull, who died after being shot by armed officers from Humberside Police in November 2016, was ‘unlawfully killed’. At the conclusion of the inquest, solicitor Neil Hudgell, of Hudgell Solicitors, who represents the family of Mr Skelton, made the following statement: “When stripping this incident […]

Lewis Skelton

Statement from the family of Lewis Skelton after conclusion of inquest

A jury has returned a verdict of unlawful killing into the death of Lewis Skelton of Hull, who died after being shot by armed officers from Humberside Police in November 2016. At the conclusion of the inquest, the family of Mr Skelton issued the following statement: “As a family we have had to wait almost […]

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Family hoping for changes to police searches as concerns highlighted at inquest into death of ‘fantastic’ father who took own life

The family of a man found dead at the bottom of a North Yorkshire cliff three days after going missing hope the concerns they raised at an inquest into his death will lead to police reviewing how they handle searches for people with mental health issues. A two-day inquest concluded that Andrew Neil Clark, 41, […]

5 min read time
accident on construction site

Worker receives £2million following accident which led to amputation and takes on new role at ‘supportive and understanding’ employer

A manual labourer who had to have his arm amputated following an accident at work has praised both his employers and the legal process after being able to stay in employment whilst receiving £2million in damages for his life-changing injuries. The man, who has asked not to be named, had been working with equipment involving […]

6 min read time
Stressed young woman talking mobile phone

Lawyer says ‘immediate clarity’ needed over law change under which alleged rape victims may be asked to hand over mobile phones

A lawyer has called for ‘immediate clarity’ over reports that new policies could see police investigations into rape allegations dropped if complainants fail to hand over their mobile phones for scrutiny. Leanne Stephenson of Hudgell Solicitors, fears messages coming from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) could lead to […]

5 min read time
Lewis Skelton

Family of Lewis Skelton want inquest to bring clarity and ‘identify if anything should have been done differently’ to prevent fatal shooting

A pre-inquest review took place this morning at Hull Coroner’s Court into the death of Lewis Skelton, who was shot dead by officers from Humberside Police in November 2016. Mr Skelton, 31, died after ‘two live rounds’ were shot at him in Francis Street, Hull city Centre, following calls from members of the public of […]

1 min read time
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Six-figure dependency compensation will help mother to buy family home after husband died in road accident

A mother whose husband was tragically killed in a road accident three years ago says a £262,000 ‘dependency’ compensation payment has provided much needed long-term security and reassurance for her family. The payment has been made after a legal case was pursued on her behalf by Hudgell Solicitors against insurers of the driver who caused […]

5 min read time
Professional painter worker is painting one wall

Legal case results in £320,000 injury compensation for worker after company alleged he lied about his accident

Hudgell Solicitors has secured £320,000 compensation for a man who suffered a serious accident at work but then faced accusations from the business involved of making up the claim. Newark-based Caledonian Modular Ltd initially disputed a legal claim made against it by a 48-year-old painter and decorator on the basis of ‘fundamental dishonesty’. The firm […]

6 min read time
Lewis Skelton

Statement on behalf of Lewis Skelton’s family as IPCC completes investigation into fatal shooting of Hull man by Humberside Police

Statement from lawyer Leanne Stephenson, of Hudgell Solicitors, on behalf of the family of Lewis Skelton; “It has obviously been a long and difficult year for Lewis’ family who to this day still have many unanswered questions around the final day of his life and the events which led to him being shot dead by […]

3 min read time
Lewis Skelton

Findings of investigation into shooting of Hull man Lewis Skelton expected before end of year

The findings of an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into the shooting of a man by police in Hull last year are expected before the end of the year. Lewis Skelton, 31, died after ‘two live rounds’ were shot at him in Francis Street, Hull city centre, at 9.30am on November 29 last year. […]

2 min read time
Memory teddy

Hudgell Solicitors welcomes swift IPCC response in case of police search which ended with baby’s ashes spilled across floor

Lawyers acting on behalf of a young mother who says police officers tore apart her ‘memory teddy bear’ containing the remains of her 10-month-old son have welcomed a swift investigation into the matter. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has today issued a statement in which it says officers in this incident, which happened in […]

4 min read time
Baby Nathan

Heartbroken mum says police ripped open teddy bear containing remains of her baby boy and left ashes scattered on bedroom floor

Hudgell Solicitors has written to Staffordshire Police Force asking for an explanation as to how and why the ashes of a baby boy – which had been contained inside a teddy bear – were scattered across a bedroom during a search, leaving his parents devastated. Chelsea Wright, 23, says she was left ‘hysterical’ and on […]

6 min read time
Police Cell

Computer intelligence is a step forward but should never replace subjective decisions made by police officers on holding suspects

It has been interesting to read that police in Durham are preparing to introduce an artificial intelligence (AI) system designed to help officers decide whether or not a suspect should be retained in custody. The Data for the Harm Assessment Risk Tool (Hart) classifies suspects as being of low, medium or high risk of offending. […]

4 min read time

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