Pioneering London law firm, Hodge Jones & Allen is today marking its 40th anniversary.
On 5 September 1977, Henry Hodge, Peter Jones and Patrick Allen opened for business on Camden High Street. The firm was founded with a strong ethos of helping individuals assert and defend their rights, to correct miscarriage of justice and to use the law constructively to improve people’s lives.
After days, the trio attracted their first client sent by the bank manager. They set up strong links with local Law Centres and signed up to various duty solicitor schemes in north London. By 2 November 1977, the firm’s first report to its bank showed 120 opened files.
Today the founding values of the firm are as strong as ever and Hodge Jones & Allen is renowned as being at the forefront of many of the UK’s landmark legal cases, priding itself on ‘David v Goliath’ battles against government, public authorities and big business (some are listed below).
It has 220 staff across eight departments in offices near Euston station, where the firm moved to in 2007. It combines the still-dominant desire to gain justice alongside a continuously growing range of personal legal services for its loyal clients.
As part of this landmark in its history, the firm plans to extend its Hearing their voices campaign by launching #40voices to amplify clients’ stories from the last 40 years. Over the coming months, videos and other media will be used to raise awareness of justice issues.
Henry Hodge sadly died of leukemia in 2009 and Peter Jones went on to become Pro Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University. However, Patrick Allen has been at the helm from the beginning, having been managing partner since day one and is now senior partner.
Patrick Allen says: “As I look back, I am immensely proud of what we have achieved and the impact we have made. I only wish that my dear friend Henry was here to see it.
“Today, the work we do is under constant scrutiny and attack from government, insurers and others. Our clients’ needs have never been more pressing and it is getting harder to deliver. But we continue to deliver by being innovative and tenacious.
“My hope is that austerity will end and there will be a progressive government that restores the legal aid scheme and champions rather than criticises human rights. Access to justice is a fundamental right – in my view it is the hallmark of a modern, progressive and civilised society.”
The firm’s 40th anniversary celebrations officially kick-off with a 1970s-themed staff party and awards ceremony on 12 September. This will be followed by a gathering of over 250 business colleagues, friends and supporters on 28 September.
Notes for Editors
- Patrick Allen acted in the inquests of those killed following the New Cross fire and in the litigation arising from the King’s Cross fire and the Marchioness disaster.
- The firm represented Winston Silcott in a successful appeal against his conviction for the murder of PC Keith Blakelock at Broadwater Farm in 1985.
- During 1984 – 1985 represented miners charged with offences during the UK miners’ strike.
- Assisted former inmates of the Magdalen Laundries to obtain compensation.
- In the landmark 2013 decision in the Supreme Court (Smith & Ors v Ministry of Defence  UKSC 41), the firm’s joint head of civil liberties, Jocelyn Cockburn, secured the extension of the duties owed by the MoD to soldiers ‘on the battlefield’ under the Human Rights Act 1998. This year she secured a detailed apology from the MoD and settled the civil cases on behalf of the families after a ten-year battle.
- Jocelyn Cockburn has acted for the father of murdered black teenager, Stephen Lawrence, since 2004, when she brought a judicial review against the Director of Public Prosecutions for his decision not to prosecute anyone for the murder of Stephen Lawrence. As a result, the investigation into the death was reopened and in January 2012 two men were convicted of his murder. She continues to act for Mr Lawrence in relation to undercover policing.
- The firm’s head of social housing, Jayesh Kunwardia, acted in the leading case on the question of whether it is lawful for a local housing authority to accommodate a homeless person a long way from the authority’s own area where the homeless person was previously living [Nzolameso v City of Westminster  UKSC 22].
- The firm represents several of the families of Hillsborough victims in their ongoing legal challenge.
- Personal injury specialist Peter Todd acts for over 90 claimants, many of them children, who have developed narcolepsy after receiving the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine in 2009/10.
- The firm is currently instructed by over 30 survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.
About Hodge Jones & Allen:
- Hodge Jones and Allen is one of the UK’s most progressive law firms, renowned for doing things differently and fighting injustice. Its senior partner is Patrick Allen, recently awarded a lifetime achievement award by Solicitors Journal.
- For 40 years’ the firm has been at the centre of many of the UK’s landmark legal cases that have changed the lives and rights of many people.
- The firm’s team of specialists have been operating across: Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, Industrial Disease, Civil Liberties, Criminal Defence, Court of Protection, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Family Law, Military Claims, Serious Fraud, Social Housing, Wills & Probate and Property Disputes.
- In 2016, the firm launched Hearing their voices – a campaign to raise awareness and build conversations around the issues and the injustices we might all face.