I am a specialist medical negligence solicitor, with expertise in a broad range of negligence claims including delayed diagnoses of cancer, surgical negligence, care home abuse and wrongful birth.
I began working at Irwin Mitchell in November 2015 as a paralegal in the Public Law and Human Rights department. During my training contract, I completed seats in our serious injury, medical negligence and child abuse teams.
I graduated with a 2.1 Law degree from the University of Warwick in 2014 and went on to achieve a Distinction on the Legal Practice Course in 2017.
In February 2022 I was appointed as the Co-Chair of IM Equal, Irwin Mitchell’s LGBTQ+ support network.
I was a finalist for 'Rising Star of the Year' at the Northern Law Awards 2022.
What inspired you to get into law?
I'm passionate about making sure that people have a voice and that there is accountability for wrongdoing.
At 12 years old, I planned to pursue a career in law so that I could drive a red Ferrari. I quickly realised that this was an unrealistic outcome, but I continued to gain unpaid work experience in as many areas of law as I could. Certain work experiences helped me to recognise where my skill set lay, which was with people, and typically those at their most vulnerable. My clients inspire me on a daily basis.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
Achieving a positive outcome for people is of course incredibly rewarding, but for me the most rewarding aspect is being able to be a flicker of light in someone’s darkest times. Ultimately, people only need my assistance where they have experienced potentially substandard care which has had a major impact on their lives. I want to be there to offer reassurance and to help to gain some answers.
What do you like about working at Irwin Mitchell?
Having worked at Irwin Mitchell for a number of years, I like the collaborative nature of our working styles across departments and offices. I know that I can call upon the expertise of my colleagues in other departments to make sure that my clients get the best service possible.
I'm also consistently impressed by the firm’s commitment to diversity and the ability of colleagues to engage with this. I lead the Diversity & Inclusion Group within the Newcastle office and see first-hand the fantastic work that my colleagues voluntarily do in order to advance LGBTQIA+ rights, and to educate on race, culture and religion. We work tirelessly both internally within Irwin Mitchell and externally in linking up with our local communities, and the firm supports us with this.
What do you do away from the office?
I enjoy keeping fit, and having successfully completed Couch to 5k in September 2020, I now run on a regular basis. I make sure however that I balance exercise with socialising and enjoying some good food.
I've volunteered for Parkinson’s UK since 2015 as a Walk Ambassador and have raised over £2,500 for the charity in memory of my grandad. I am also a Helpline Volunteer for Action Against Medical Accidents.
In 2020, I joined the Board of Directors of The LGBT+ Federation North East, which is a volunteer-led LGBTQIA+ organisation based in Newcastle. We meet on a monthly basis and have a number of ongoing projects, working for the benefit of our members.
"Thank you for all your help at the family’s lowest edge from start to finish you have kept in touch by phone email and letter so we always had a point of reference even if there was no new update you kept in touch even when our original lawyer left we were given an absolute gem in Ashlee Coates held our hand all the way right to the end we can’t thank you enough it wasn’t the money but the fact that someone took responsibility. Thank you." - 5* Trustpilot review
"What can I say about my solicitor Ashlee, she’s been AMAZING, not only in the work that she did, which was fantastic. But also the emotional support she has given me (I'm pretty sure I was very demanding) I will be forever grateful to Ashlee and although this part of my journal is over there is a lot healing to go." - 5* Trustpilot review
"Excellent working with Irwin Mitchell. Ashlee Coates is approachable, dedicated and always willing to give you her time. Pleasure to work with." - 5* Trustpilot review
"I have been working with Ashlee while looking to settle a medical negligence claim. Ashlee has throughout been informative, professional, reliable and knowledgeable. I hope I never require her assistance in the future however if I did I would have no hesitation. Highly recommended thank you Ashlee." - 5* Trustpilot review
"Ashlee Coates was fantastic and nothing was too much trouble for her. She kept me updated every step of the way. Thank you." - 5* Trustpilot review
"I particularly value working with this company who are wise and professional. I have had most communication with a staff member Ashlee Coates who is extremely efficient and helpful." - 5* Trustpilot review
"I would highly recommend this knowledgeable, efficient, and structured company. They work in a very supportive and calm manner, highly professional and very good. There is also a personal touch and I have found Ashlee Coates to be very reliable and reassuring to work with." - 5* Trustpilot review
"I would like to praise Ashlee Coates highly for the empathy, sympathy and support she has given me over a long period of time in pursuit of a successful outcome in my claim for medical negligence whilst in the employ of Irwin Mitchell. Ashlee has shown tenacity and has provided clarity when in conversation or in the emails sent to me. I believe Ashlee will be a great success in her profession and wish her well for the future." - 5* Trustpilot review