Highly-experienced clinical negligence specialist Elizabeth Maliakal has been promoted to an ‘associate solicitor’ position just months after joining Hudgell Solicitors as part of an acquisition of the clinical negligence practice where she formerly worked.
Mrs Maliakal was part of a nine-strong team to transfer to Hudgells from HH Legal in a deal last November.
She has become the ninth member of the Hudgell legal team to be appointed an ‘associate’ at the firm, a role which sees them support a team of lawyers and senior managers in the ongoing development of their departments.
Mrs Maliakal says she has thoroughly enjoyed her first six months at Hudgell Solicitors and is proud to have been given the ‘associate’ role so soon.
“Changing jobs during lockdown was challenging and rewarding but Hudgells’ superb IT systems allowed us to integrate quickly in to the business and work remotely immediately without difficulty,” she said.
“Whilst of course we would have all preferred to have met our new colleagues in person immediately, we were made to feel very welcome remotely and look forward to meeting everyone in person soon.
“Hudgells is a progressive law firm and the clinical negligence department is a team of highly skilled, experienced and professional people, all driven by delivering the highest standards of client care.
“People across the firm are commercially minded and aware of the changes in the legal market in which we operate, and that has been demonstrated by Hudgells’ success in many areas recently as well as the continued growth of the business.
“I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to use my experience to lead a team myself, as well as helping support trainee solicitors too.
“I am thoroughly enjoying the role and relishing being able to play a part in the development of the business whilst of course continuing to do what I have enjoyed doing for more than 20 years; representing clients in serious clinical negligence cases.”
Having qualified as a solicitor in 1998, Mrs Maliakal worked for firms in Newcastle and Leeds before spending 12 years at Heptonstalls, which was acquired by HH Legal in September 2020 and sold to Hudgells in November.
There she developed a strong practice in which she handled many claims relating to GP negligence, having at one stage of her career focussed on defending allegations made against GPs.
She also specialises in claims relating to negligent treatment in hospital accident and emergency departments, such as failure to admit patients for further treatment or errors related to assessments and scans.
She is also experienced in handling cases relating to fatalities and in representing families at inquests and has previously successfully challenged a coroner’s unlawful decision in the High Court to ensure a fair outcome for the deceased’s family.
It is a job she says she thoroughly enjoys, and feels remains as important and relevant as ever.
“The NHS does a tremendous job as we have all seen over the past year, but it remains vital for avoidable errors to be fully investigated on behalf of patients who suffer as a result,” she said.
“In cases where people lose loved ones or see a loved one injured, often answers and explanations are what they want more than anything. Even if an investigation finds that there was no negligence, a family can still get answers which puts minds at rest.
“I am driven by delivering those answers for my clients, and one of the parts of the job I love most is really getting to know and understand my clients and their families. You want to do your best for them as you can see the impact losing loved ones, or their injuries has on them.”
Rachel Di Clemente, chief executive of Hudgell Solicitors, said: “We were delighted with the quality and experience of clinical negligence specialists we acquired from HH Legal last November and Elizabeth has already established herself as a much-valued team member.
“She has considerable experience in running and managing high-value cases relating to serious injuries as a result of clinical negligence and that experience and knowledge can support both our senior managers and also our staff working on cases day to day.
“Elizabeth demonstrates all the key skills we want to ensure run through all of our teams, a dedication first and foremost to do the very best for each of her clients, a passion for the type of legal work she does and crucially exceptional legal knowledge, experience and skills which she is willing to pass on to others.
“Elizabeth will thrive in the role and be a great support to both her senior managers and those working alongside her, whilst continuing to provide a first-class legal service to her clients.”