12 December 2013Print This Post

Acquisitive PI firm agrees case swap deal

Michael Lewin (l) and Neil Hudgell

Hugely acquisitive personal injury and clinical negligence firm Neil Hudgell Solicitors has struck an unusual reciprocal arrangement with Leeds practice Michael Lewin Solicitors that will aims to boost their respective areas of specialism.

Neil Hudgell – which has been on an acquisition spree since launching webuyanyfiles.com in 2011 – is buying, for an undisclosed sum, Michael Lewin Solicitors’ entire medical negligence caseload.

In addition, Neil Hudgell will refer any employment cases and inquiries to Michael Lewin Solicitors, which will continue operating in industrial disease and road traffic cases.

The eponymous Mr Hudgell said: “Michael and I have been talking for a while about how we can work together to the mutual benefit of both our businesses. This new working relationship fits with Neil Hudgell Solicitors’ strategy of providing a specialist, high-quality niche offering focused on personal injury and medical negligence cases.”

His counterpart, Michael Lewin, said: “This reciprocal arrangement enables both our businesses to develop our core areas of legal expertise enabling both companies to move forward and to continue to expand.”

As part of the arrangement, clinical negligence solicitor Kay Barnes has transferred to Neil Hudgell Solicitors. She is also a qualified nurse and midwife.

Neil Hudgell Solicitors, which was established in Hull in 1997, employs 110 staff at offices in Hull, Leeds, Bristol and now London after opening in the capital at the end of November. This followed its acquisition of a substantial book of work, mostly high-value and catastrophic injury cases, from Harris Cartier, which went into administration in October after failing to secure professional indemnity insurance.

The Chancery Lane office currently has eight legal and two administrative staff, and is looking to recruit 10 more lawyers by Christmas to service new caseloads currently being acquired.

Mr Hudgell said: “As well as offering greater opportunity to raise awareness of our expertise and niche offering, our London base enables us to serve better our increasing number of clients based in the south. Having a strong presence in London is also crucial to the development of our brand nationally.”

He said he is also considering opening offices in other major cities, but “the immediate priority is establishing the London office, with a heavyweight marketing campaign scheduled for the New Year”.

Meanwhile, Lincolnshire law firm JMP Solicitors has become the latest practice to advertise its willingness to buy work-in-progress from solicitors and administrators, with a basic new website ExitPI. The firm said it took on hundreds of personal injury cases from Blakemores when it shut down.

By Neil Rose