Hudgell Solicitors’ newly appointed Head of Clinical Negligence for London James Sherwin says the firm’s dedication to providing outstanding client care will ensure its reputation and work continues to grow in and around the capital.
Mr Sherwin joins Hudgells’ Fleet Street team after 13 years at Attwaters Jameson Hill, where he gained vast experience in running a wide range of medical negligence cases, and also in leading a team given his deputy management role at the firm.
Now handed the task of increasing Hudgells’ market share in and around London, he says he is confident the firm can achieve ‘ambitious’ targets set by Managing Director Neil Hudgell and Chief Executive Amanda Stevens, despite the looming issue of fixed costs on the horizon.
“I was attracted to Hudgell Solicitors because it is a hugely ambitious firm which is very driven by those leading it, with that drive for growth matched by its commitment to doing right by the people it serves,” he said.
“I am passionate in my belief that the best clinical negligence lawyers are not simply the most intelligent or the most brilliant legal experts, but importantly people who do the job for the right reasons, to get justice for clients and bring about change and improvement in healthcare.
“Hudgells has the same ‘moral compass’ as myself in that there is always a real empathy with clients and a real passion about righting wrongs and challenging poor health care which impacts on lives.
“That is why Hudgell Solicitors felt the perfect fit for me. It is a firm I became aware of in recent years as it has become more prominent in the south, and I have heard increasingly good things about it.
“I did my due diligence before leaving a firm I was very happy at and spoke to other lawyers and barristers who know Hudgells well and have worked with the team. All the feedback was really positive.
“The common theme was what an excellent job it does for the people it represents, and essentially you can’t have a better recommendation than that.
“Word of mouth and recommendation is key in our area of work. I know in the modern world law firms heavily market their services and expertise, but the messages are all similar.
“In my experience people affected by serious medical negligence do their research and look for the firms which really focus on supporting clients and going the extra mile.”
Experience ranges from spinal injury cases to delayed cancer diagnosis
With a personal case history which includes supporting clients relating to the negligent treatment of spinal and orthopaedic injuries, birth injuries, complex bowel perforation cases, fatal claims and delayed cancer diagnosis, Mr Sherwin says he passionately believes that whilst exceptional legal knowledge is a key quality required in any clinical negligence lawyer, the ability to empathise and connect with people is equally as important.
“I really enjoy the mix of skills and expertise needed in this field as you have to be part-lawyer, part-detective, part-medic and part-counsellor ” he said.
“I think we have to remember at all times that we are in our role to ensure access to justice, and that justice is rarely related solely to a compensation figure in isolation. The most rewarding part of the job is always being able to help clients secure what they feel is justice and to assist them with any rehabilitation journey they are needing to take.
“I’ve had many cases which have resulted in large settlement agreements, but some of the most important I’ve worked on have not been high in terms of the final compensation figure.
“These have been cases such as fatalities involving neglectful care of elderly people and those who have lost babies at birth. In law such cases don’t always result in huge payouts, but are extremely important in terms of families getting answers and finding out what happened to their loved ones. There is also the more wide-ranging impact of holding health bodies to account to prevent these mistakes being repeated.
“With continued changes to litigation funding being proposed by the Government I think it is vital that we do whatever we can to ensure families let down by negligent care continue to have access to our expertise, whether that be at inquest or through the litigation process.
“Ensuring we are able to offer the best support at Hudgells is something we can do by working closely as a team. I know there is a mix of experience, as there is in all firms, but collectively we are exceptionally strong and developing an open door policy within the business, where we can all contribute ideas and support one another to do the best job possible for each and every client, is something I’ll certainly focus on.”
Amanda Stevens, Chief Executive of Hudgell Solicitors, said: “As a firm we have been recognised as holding a national brand reputation for the work we do and in recent times for the rapid development of our London team which now has many senior staff and a high value caseload.
“James is the latest addition to that team and to be able to recruit somebody with his special skills to lead the development of our London clinical negligence offering, which is already well recognised, is very pleasing.
“As both an Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) accredited Senior Litigator and accredited Law Society clinical negligence panel member, James has demonstrated his excellent leadership and legal expertise in many cases, combined with a dedication to great client care.
“He was described in the Chambers and Partners legal guide as somebody who is a real fighter for his clients, a calm head in any circumstance, a lawyer that you ‘want in your corner’ and someone who obtains good results in difficult cases. That is exactly the type of lawyer we have looked to recruit.
“James’ approach to representing clients matches our ethos, combining empathy and diligence with ruthless determination to secure the right outcome. We are confident this appointment will help our London team reach the next level.”