Leading personal injury (PI) lawyer Anthony Hughes has left his role as chief executive of defendant insurance firm Horwich Farrelly to set up a management consultancy targeted as the PI and insurance sector.
His new business’s name – Jackson Hughes – is inspired by the changes wrought to the market by Lord Justice Jackson’s reforms.
He led Horwich Farrelly for nearly five years, before when he was a senior partner at DWF. As managing partner of Ricksons, Mr Hughes merged the firm into DWF in 2007. In 2008/9 he was president of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers.
Though predominantly defendant focused, at Horwich Farrelly he also oversaw a claimant practice, and Mr Hughes revealed to Litigation Futures that he was the driving force behind the creation of PI Gateway – a collection of four leading Manchester claimant PI firms that joined forces last autumn to buy out practices wanting to exit the sector.
He said: “I’m hoping to exploit the experience and expertise I’ve developed in how to change businesses for the better and how to sustain them in times of change.”
He argued that “a lot of people are still ignoring the consequences of LASPO or hoping it will go away”, with too few monitoring the underlying performance of their businesses. He warned that while firms are still benefiting from the more remunerative pre-April 2013 matters, many are not considering what will happen when those cases started to run out.
Mr Hughes said he had a particular interest in helping firms considering mergers and acquisitions – about which there was little expertise in the claimant market, he argued – and would borrow from the experience of the consolidation of the defendant side in recent years.
Philip O’Hagan has been named the new managing partner of Horwich Farrelly. In a statement, he said: “As a firm, Anthony’s departure doesn’t alter our objectives at all. We’ll continue to maximise the opportunities that the current changes in the legal market present, and we’ll be looking to ensure that the business continues to innovate and offer a class leading service in insurance litigation.
“We are grateful for Anthony’s contribution in working with the partners to help shape the Horwich Farrelly of the future.”