Hudgell Solicitors has promoted three of its most experienced lawyers to managerial roles within its growing Civil Liberties team.
Chief executive Rachel Di Clemente says the new roles have been introduced as the department has extended its Civil Liberties work into several specialisms, each offering ‘significant opportunity for future growth’ and requiring direct management.
It has seen Associate Solicitor Terry Wilcox promoted to the role of manager of Public Inquiries.
This is an area of work in which the firm has become increasingly involved over the past few years, representing a large group of former Subpostmasters at the ongoing Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry and the Manchester Arena Inquiry, representing two families who lost loved ones in the 2017 attack.
Mr Wilcox represented at his first Public Inquiry in 1998 and for a family in the Hillsborough Inquest, the longest in English legal history.
Solicitor Leanne Stephenson, who has been with Hudgells since 2010, has been promoted to manager of Actions Against Police (AAP), Inquests and Group Actions, another area of work in which the firm has risen to prominence in recent years.
Significant cases have included representing the family of Lewis Skelton of Hull, who was shot dead by officers from Humberside Police, whilst the department has made national headlines in a number of cases relating to police failure to investigate allegations of sexual abuse.
Mrs Stephenson is currently one of the lead solicitors building cases for almost 70 clients in claiming compensation for malicious prosecution, relating to overturned convictions in the Post Office Horizon Scandal.
Finally, Iftikhar Manzoor, who has more than 25 years’ experience in Civil Liberties cases, has been promoted to team leader looking after actions against the police. He has represented clients who have experienced injustices such as false imprisonment by the police, death in custody, police assaults and led malicious prosecution cases.
Most recently he has represented the family of a 17-year-old girl at inquest which looked into the events leading to her death when a patient at a mental health hospital, and the partner of a man shot by an armed officer of West Yorkshire Police.
Strong team of experienced legal experts to lead future growth
Chief executive Rachel Di Clemente says the promotions come on the back of continued success and growth for the department, which has been repeatedly recognised for its work over the past 18 months at national awards events and its client reviews.
Its work continues to be led by Vicky Richardson, who has been with the firm for 25 years, whilst owner and executive chairman Neil Hudgell, who was named The Law Society Legal Personality of the Year in 2021, also continues to play a hands-on role and is involved directly in many significant cases of national profile.
“Our Civil Liberties department has grown rapidly over the past five years, during which time we have established a really strong team of legal experts through a mix of attracting new talent to join the business, alongside the development of some of our existing staff members,” said Mrs Di Clemente.
“The department now has a number of increasingly busy specialist work areas which has presented us with a significant opportunity for future growth, but of course also the need for direct and experienced management.
“These newly created roles and appointments, alongside the support teams we have put in place, will ensure Vicky has the expertise and resource she needs as we continue to further drive the department forward.
“I am confident the new structure we have in place will ensure we are able to continue offering our support to more people who need our help in difficult times, and maintain the high standards of a personal, client-focussed approach we are known for.”