Solicitors firm to become employee owned after 25 years in business

Hudgell Solicitors is to become employee owned following a decision by founder Neil Hudgell to transfer the majority of shares to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

Hudgell, who established the firm in Hull in 1997, says the move is being taken to “embrace the talent” within the business, to “give something back” and to protect its long-term future.

Employees will collectively acquire the majority stake in the business as a group, held on trust, enabling them to become involved in the firm’s decision-making, strategy and direction, as well as benefiting from future profits.

Hudgell said the time is right to give staff a “direct voice in the management and ownership of the business and its future.”

He added: “There are many law businesses that have been around 50 and 100 years, so my mind now is to create a bit of a legacy. 

Neil Hudgell

“The best way to do that, and protect the long-term future of the firm, is by embracing the talent we have in the business, elevating that and giving them more of a direct voice in the management and ownership of the business for the future. 

“This will also ensure we retain the culture and ethos of the business, and provide continuity for our team and our clients.”

“I don’t expect people will notice too many immediate changes, certainly from my perspective I’m going nowhere, this is about transitioning over a measured, quite considerable period of time.

“I don’t see my role and involvement changing for five years or more. I still have the energy and passion for what I do, I still enjoy the work and I still enjoy the people, that’s not changed. This is all about the next 25 years and beyond.

“My real driver is to encourage and reward the people in the business who have energy and ideas, and with the drive to become more prominent leaders within the business. I want to invest in the people that have helped us achieve what we have achieved so far. It’s time to give them something back.”

Hudgell will remain on the senior executive team alongside chief executive Rachel Di Clemente and the rest of the team.

Di Clemente said: “It is business as usual, but people will have more opportunity to become involved in the journey we are now on.

“Even though it already feels that way, it will now be our peoples’ business, not just Neil’s, and that is very positive.

“I think our people will embrace the opportunity this provides. We are a cohesive team here and this almost formalises how we look to do things, ensuring our colleagues are able to help shape the future of the business and share in its success.”

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...