By Legal Futures Associate Hudgell Solicitors 
Hudgell Solicitors  has today launched a new community programme in which it says a focus will be placed on being ‘locally loyal’ by partnering with neighbouring businesses and organisations.
Chief Executive Rachel Di Clemente  says the aim is to ensure that, wherever possible, the firms invests back into the community in the locality of its two main operational hubs in Hull and Manchester.
Announcing the plans, Hudgell says its CSR programme will focus on four areas;
- Local partnerships and investment – Partnering and using locally-based businesses for services wherever possible and supporting community groups and good causes which have a positive impact on the lives of people in their locality.
- Benevolent fund and pro bono advice for clients in need with limited means.
- Annual Charity of Choice – Selecting a charity of choice each year to which fundraising and awareness support will be provided across the firm, via donations, events and support in kind.
- Departmental charity support – Allowing departments across the business to choose good causes close to their own hearts to support, with each member of staff given a minimum of a day a year volunteering for the chosen cause.
Now recognised as one of the top 200 law firms in the country and hailed nationally for its recent work in overturning convictions relating to the Post Office Horizon scandal, Mrs Di Clemente says Hudgells is determined never to lose sight of its roots, and the benefits which come with being an active part of the communities in which it is based.
“As a business we have never lost sight of the fact that we have developed to become recognised as a top 200 law firm in the UK because we have been able to draw exceptionally talented and motivated people from within the communities we serve, firstly in and around Hull for 23 years and more recently in Manchester where our impact to local people is growing,” she said.
“We have found that the most successful and rewarding partnerships we have entered into have been those with local businesses and organisations, where we both come into it with a collective passion to do well for one another, and the locality.
“We want relationships with business partners to be collaborative, working together to support one another and sharing a common passion to do the very best for each other’s clients.
“We see this as a collective responsibility to support our community and to ensure our clients benefit from the close relationships with our partners who truly understand our values and purpose.”
Hudgells already has a number of established relationships with local organisations, service suppliers and charities.
It’s PR and media activities have been managed by Willerby-based Arrival Design and PR since 2013, most recently handling national media interest in cases including the Post Office Horizon scandal and the Manchester Arena Inquiry.
Hudgells has also partnered with:
- Pace Communications, based in the Fruit Market, Hull, on a number of branding campaigns;
- Hull-based Eskimo Soup, which is bringing the firm’s work to life through video story-telling;
- Digital marketing specialists 43 Clicks North;
- IT services firm Intrasource;
- Audio production specialists Engine 7.
Recruiting local talent and upskilling through training
Mrs Di Clemente says the ‘locally loyal’ approach also runs through recruitment and its commitment to upskilling those it employs.
Earlier this year, the firm launched a new training contract programme which supports trainees to earn and learn over two years as they complete a Legal Practice Course (LPC) part-time, offering people a more flexible and attainable route into the highly-desired legal sector.
It also introduced a new ‘Associates’ role within the business, positions to which 10 senior members of the legal teams in Hull and Manchester have been promoted, offering them greater opportunity and the chance to progress their careers.
“Our aim is to have a positive impact within the community in every aspect of what we do. That will include how we recruit people into our firm and how we develop them when they are here,” she said.
“It will influence decisions as to the businesses we choose to work with long term, and ensure we support organisations which align not only with our own purpose and values, but also the aims, needs and aspirations of the wider community.”
Hudgells has long supported the P.A.U.L. for Brain Recovery community centre in Hull, which it has provided dedicated support for those adapting to life after a brain injury. Sports clubs including the Electric Eels Powerchair Football Club, Barton Old Boys FC, Bridlington Town FC and Hull Kingston Rovers have also been long-term partners.
Recently it revealed its 2021/22 Annual Charity of Choice to be Martin’s Mountain, which is raising funds for the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) .
The charity was chosen in support of client Martin Hibbert, who was one of the closest people to the terrorist blast at the Manchester Arena in May 2017 to survive, suffering life-changing injuries that left him in a wheelchair.
He is hoping to raise £1m to provide better support to people who suffer spinal injuries in the UK by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in a custom-built Bowhead hand bike.
Hudgells have not only pledged to support the cause, but raise £100,000 towards it themselves.
“Martin is from Bolton which is of course local to our Manchester office and the SIA is a charity which is aligned to our focus of securing our clients access to organisations which give them the best chance at ‘life after’ injury,” added Mrs Di Clemente.
“We have set ourselves the goal of raising £100,000 of the overall £1m target and we will look to achieve this through a series of internal and external fundraising events, and through personal and corporate donations from people who, like us, want to make a positive difference to lives.
“Today marks the start of us setting our goals of being much more than a successful business. We are striving to be a successful local business, making a positive impact within the communities we serve in all that we do. If we achieve that, we’ll continue to be successful.”