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Hugh Potter wins Lifetime Achievement Award at Manchester Legal Awards, marking the end of his 35-year career

Hugh Potter wins Lifetime Achievement Award at Manchester Legal Awards, marking the end of his 35-year career


The award, decided by the Manchester Law Society Council, celebrates Hugh’s significant contributions to the legal profession and the Manchester legal community

Hugh Potter, a distinguished partner at Potter Rees Dolan, has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Manchester Legal Awards 2024.

Hugh Potter, aged 63, is stepping down after an illustrious 35-year career during which he co-founded and led Potter Rees Dolan, a leading firm specializing in personal injury, court of protection, and clinical negligence. In October 2022, the firm became part of the national law firm Hugh James, ensuring its continued success.

Accepting the award at The Midland Hotel, Hugh reminisced about the firm's humble beginnings, starting with just himself and his PA Barbara in a cramped office, growing to a thriving office with over 70 employees. "It is a great honor to have been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, reflecting the outstanding work of many people over many years at Potter Rees Dolan," he said. Hugh thanked his colleagues, including co-partner Helen Dolan, and expressed gratitude to Hugh James for their partnership.

Steve Webber, Head of Individual Client Services at Hugh James, praised Hugh's dedication and impact: “Hugh is an exceptional lawyer, held in high esteem for his contribution to complex injury law and his dedication to helping those with life-changing injuries. It’s entirely fitting that Hugh is honored for his contributions to the legal profession in the company of Manchester’s legal community.”

Hugh’s career began with a passion for helping those with serious injuries, inspired by his work as a nurse at a neurological hospital. After graduating from Nottingham University in 1985, he represented his first brain-injured client, a cyclist, in 1986. In 1990, he became a partner at Pannone Napier, where he worked on notable cases such as the Manchester Air Crash survivors and the Haemophilia HIV Positive Group action.

In 1994, Hugh joined Perkins and Co before establishing his own practice, Hugh Potter & Company, in 1998. The firm evolved into Potter Rees Dolan in 2014. As Managing Partner for 25 years, Hugh led the firm to numerous successes, including securing the highest-ever personal injury compensation in English law in 2007 and achieving landmark rulings in cases like Wilkinson v Churchill Insurance (2010).

Throughout his career, Hugh has been recognized for his expertise and leadership. He has served as a Fellow and Accredited Brain Injury Specialist of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), a Headway volunteer, and Vice Chair and Secretary of the Forum of Complex Injury Solicitors (FOCIS). His contributions have also been acknowledged in the Chambers Legal Guide for 27 years.

Steve Webber added, “Our Manchester office is in great shape for the future thanks in no small part to the contribution of Hugh. We’ve enjoyed success in the 2023 UK legal directories and Personal Injury Awards, and have boosted opportunities for our employees. I want to thank Hugh for his dedication and wish him a healthy and happy retirement.”

As Hugh Potter steps down, his legacy of dedication and excellence in the legal profession will continue to inspire and shape the future of Potter Rees Dolan and the wider legal community.

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