The award recognised Patrick’s contribution to the profession and coincides with the firm’s 40th anniversary year.
Speaking about the award, John van der Luit-Drummond, deputy editor of Solicitors Journal, the world’s longest-running legal publication, said: “During a lifetime of legal practice, Patrick Allen has been a tireless campaigner for social justice with the simple aim of making people’s lives better. He has taken on cases that others wouldn’t and used the law as a tool to effect change.
“After 40 years of practice, the editors of Solicitors Journal felt it right to honour a solicitor who has been described as a ‘titan’ and a ‘senior statesman’ by his contemporaries and who has done so much for the profession. His achievements speak for themselves, however, what is truly remarkable is that despite running an extremely successful law firm for four decades, Patrick shows no signs of slowing down and he is rightly seen as an inspiration to young solicitors rising through the ranks of the profession.”
Patrick Allen qualified as a solicitor in 1977 and founded Hodge Jones & Allen in the same year with Henry Hodge and Peter Jones. He was managing partner from the day the firm opened and combined that role with that of senior partner following Henry Hodge’s retirement in 1998.
For the last 20 years, Patrick has specialised in complex personal injury and multi-party cases, leading the HJA team that managed the Gulf War illness claims for UK veterans and the New Cross fire inquest. He also managed the MMR and Sheep Dip multi-party actions and played a lead role in the King’s Cross Fire and Marchioness litigations.
From 2003 to 2005 Patrick also acted for a number of the women who had been incarcerated as slave labour workers in the so-called Magdalene laundries and who have since been awarded compensation by the Irish government. He was also instructed by the Bridgewater Four in their miscarriage of justice claim against the Home Office.
Today Hodge Jones & Allen is renowned for being at the forefront of some of the UK’s most important legal cases particularly in multiparty actions, medical negligence, housing, civil liberties, family, human rights and criminal law. The firm employs over 220 people and is one of the largest ‘personal law’ providers with ten departments and an annual turnover of £16m.
Accepting the award last night, Patrick Allen paid tribute to his wife Penny, his PA of 14 years’, Bree Knight, and to Henry Hodge, his fellow founding partner who died in 2009. He also thanked the “amazing and dedicated partners, managers and staff at Hodge Jones & Allen.”
He also said:
“I became a lawyer to help people assert and defend their rights, often against very powerful opponents. At Hodge Jones & Allen we have stuck with this ethos and we are still true to it 40 years on.
“I have had the privilege of acting for some wonderful clients and became involved in a number of challenging group actions. One of the highlights was issuing warrants for the arrest of vessels in the Marchioness litigation all filmed by arrangement with the BBC and ITV.
“When my legal career began, we had a flourishing and well-funded legal aid scheme. I have watched it being gradually dismembered. Access to the courts is becoming once more reserved for the rich and powerful.
“Our work and the funding we rely on is under constant attack. Our clients’ needs have never been more pressing. It is getting harder to deliver but we innovate and find ways and we must never give up. Who knows, perhaps one day austerity will end and there will a progressive government that restores the legal aid scheme and champions rather than criticises human rights.
“In conclusion, I dedicate this award to all who have provided and will continue to fight to provide access to justice to everyone in society who needs it, regardless of ability to pay. Such provision is the hallmark of a modern, progressive and civilised nation.”
For further information, please contact:
Kerry Jack at Black Letter Communications on 020 356 1208, firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for Editors
Hodge Jones and Allen
- Hodge Jones and Allen is one of the UK’s most progressive law firms, renowned for doing things differently and fighting injustice. Its managing partner is Patrick Allen.
- For almost 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.
- Co-founder Patrick Allen is still at the helm of the firm he co-founded in 1977.
- 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.