A Hull-born lawyer has been named the ‘rising star’ of the claims profession at a national legal awards ceremony.
Civil liberties and human rights specialist Andrew Petherbridge, of Hudgell Solicitors, secured the industry recognition as part of the 2017 Modern Claims Awards, held at New Dock Hall in Leeds.
Mr Petherbridge’s success came on the back of a year in which he has been selected by many families to represent them in cases of ‘national significance’.
He is currently leading the firm’s representation on behalf of the families of the four victims of murderer Stephen Port, representing their interests as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigates possible failings and missed opportunities by the Met Police to catch him and prevent deaths.
Other cases being led by Mr Petherbridge include representing the daughter of Jacqueline Oakes, who was murdered by her ex-partner Marcus Musgrove – a case in which IPCC findings concluded that 19 police officers and staff should face misconduct cases for failings in investigations into previous incidents of domestic abuse.
The family of Lewis Skelton of Hull, who was shot dead by police officers in the street last November, have also turned to Mr Petherbridge and the Hudgell Solicitors civil liberties department for their legal support.
Mr Petherbridge, who was educated at Beverley Grammar School before studying law, has been with Hudgell Solicitors since 2010 and has led the firm’s rapidly growing Civil Liberties department over the past 18 months.
It handles a significant number of active cases in the department at any one time, including supporting clients wrongly accused of serious crimes including battery, murder, kidnapping, child neglect and firearms and drugs related crimes.
“I am thrilled and honoured to have been recognised for my work at such a prestigious awards event, especially given the exceptional legal talent across the country and in the claims sector, and the strength of other finalists in the category on the night,” said Mr Petherbridge.
“Hudgell Solicitors have given me a great opportunity to work on some really significant civil liberties cases, so I have them to thank for showing their faith in me, as I do the many clients and families who have turned to us for help in such difficult times.”
The awards proved a hugely successful night for both Andrew and Hudgell Solicitors, which was also highly commended in the Law Firm of the Year Category.
It reflected how the Hudgell brand has become national on the back of a huge financial investment into new freehold properties in London, the heart of the legal district in Leeds, and in new three-storey, purpose built headquarters in Hull, East Yorkshire.
Judges were also impressed with the firm’s commitment to campaigning for those it serves, including a national awareness campaign around preventing abuse and neglect in care and residential homes, improving maternity training and equipment in hospitals, providing better support to people with brain injuries and reducing mobile phone use at the wheel by drivers.
Managing director Neil Hudgell said: “This recognition highlights not only the expertise of our specialist solicitors, but how we as a business go that extra mile to ensure we provide the very best support to clients at all times, and to call for changes in law and services to protect them. There is no greater recognition than that of your clients and your peers.
“It comes at a time when as a firm we are developing exciting plans to build on the success of the past two years and ensure we continue to grow the business and improve our offering to clients. We are thrilled by the recognition and look forward with great positivity.”
The winners of the Modern Claims Awards are chosen by a diverse range of judges who represent each and every aspect of the claims industry.