The Lawyer’s “Hot 100”: Hugh Hitchcock

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The Lawyer’s “Hot 100”: Hugh Hitchcock

The Man Behind One Of The UK’s Fastest Growing Litigation Teams

Not only was Hugh Hitchcock, Partner and Shareholder at Acuity Law, recently named as one of The Lawyer’s “Hot 100” list for 2024, he heads up one of the UK’s fastest growing litigation and dispute resolution teams.

Counting the likes of Elton John, Simple Minds and The Beatles’ record label as past clients, Hugh is well-known within the industry, having consistently been noted in the Legal 500 as a “tenacious litigator with successful results against national and international firms”.

Since Hugh joined Acuity in 2016, the firm’s litigation and dispute offering has grown three-fold, with that growth trajectory set to continue over the coming years.

What is your background and what brought you to Acuity?

I’ve been litigating for over 25 years now. I trained and qualified in litigation and have been litigating ever since. It’s my passion. I started out at a media firm in London and was lucky enough to work with some really high-profile clients. But, being a Welsh boy from Carmarthen, I was always going to be drawn back to the green grass of home, and so I returned to Swansea where I spent 21 years with a local firm, building up a successful dispute resolution and litigation team. In October of 2016 I came across this bright, new, entrepreneurial firm in Acuity, so I made the move across and haven’t looked back since.

What litigation services do you offer to clients?

We cover all aspects of commercial disputes and are really proud of the broad range of services we offer. We deal with a lot of shareholder disputes, high-value contractual disputes, as well as intellectual property arguments. We’re lucky enough to have an incredibly talented team who are well-versed in the most complex of contractual matters, as well as experts in defamation and reputation management. My forte tends to be Section 994 or unfair prejudice claims, and I’ve been involved in a lot of high-level, complex joint venture disputes in my 25 years.

Acuity’s litigation function has grown exponentially in recent years, what do you attribute this growth to?

I’d say that our rapid growth is down to three main factors – our impressive win rate, the quality of service we offer, and the quickly growing reputation that we’re building for ourselves within the legal world. As a team, we’re very results driven and our outcomes speak for themselves.

In litigation, it’s all about finding that winning angle in complex disputes, and that’s where our litigators shine. Whether it means being particularly pugnacious, petulant, or argumentative, the quality of our team and service means that if there’s an angle to be found, we’ll find it.

We’re dealing with some high-level work outside of London and against city opposition that even the biggest London firms would be happy to deal with, and it’s that quality of work that’s getting us noticed. I can’t say too much, but we have one very significant case against an international powerhouse that is set to become national and international news. That we are attracting such work is testament to my team and what we are doing

Our credibility is building rapidly, and we’re being increasingly noticed by prospective clients as well as others in the litigation world, such as funders and counsel.

It’s a catch 22 really – you need a certain amount of success to get to the next level and to be seen as contenders, but now we’re certainly at that level and it’s opening many new doors and challenges. 90% of our work comes from recommendation, with the other 10% coming directly from funders who find us easy to work with, which is something we’re very proud of.

What does the future look like for Acuity’s litigation team?

The next 12 months looks very exciting indeed as we see the quality of work coming through increase. We’re also growing as a team and plan to add more talented litigators to our offering in 2024. This will also allow us to grow our specialisms, developing separate teams for construction, property litigation, general commercial litigation, shareholder disputes and so on.

Long term, I see that growth continuing and our portfolio increasing greatly. We’re also working closely with litigation funders and plan to build on and extend these relationships, which will no doubt open many new doors for us as a team.

What advice would you give a client in need of litigation support?

The simplest bit of advice I’d give would be to get in touch. As well as I, there are ten other very talented partners in the team, and we’re always open to having a discussion, coming up with ideas and seeing where we could add value. Any opportunity to do that we would certainly welcome.

Personally, I get a huge buzz out of being presented with a complex dispute and giving my thoughts. Every dispute is so different, and every dispute has an ending. You’d need a crystal ball to know what that ending will be, but you get a gut feeling and, after 25 years in litigation, my instinct is very rarely wrong.

Hugh can be contacted on hugh.hitchcock@acuitylaw.com and more information on our Litigation & Dispute Resolution team can be found here.

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