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Catherine Leech

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I am a solicitor specialising in claims for people who have had all manner of serious injuries, especially brain and spinal cord injuries. I love getting to know my clients and their families who have had a terrible accident befall them; it is very satisfying to apply my experience over the last 20 years to help them in their rehabilitation and in getting compensation so that they can have all the support, care and opportunities they need in the future.

I am passionate about ensuring settlements for my clients are tailored individually to their needs and interests. It is about setting the client up to have the best possible future.

I am prepared to fight cases to the highest court in the land if necessary to see justice is done, and as a result of one case I took to the Supreme Court the law was changed.

I will leave no stone unturned in getting the best evidence to get the best result for my clients. Whether this relates to how the accident happened, in which case I will trace as many witnesses as possible to try and present the evidence; or whether it relates to how much compensation a client needs.

I was instructed by a professional footballer signed to a Premier League Club who was badly injured and could no longer play football. I was able to obtain witness evidence from over 40 key witnesses to talk about his potential as a footballer and how his career and earnings may have progressed had he not been injured. This resulted in an award of compensation for loss of earnings which was believed to be higher than any previous footballer cases.

I will fight any battle to get the best outcome for my clients – my job satisfaction comes from the relationships I have with the clients and their families and getting a result which will improve their lives which have been devastated by an accident.


"Her personable nature makes the litigation process far less daunting, as she supports her clients through it. She is incredibly passionate about helping clients and is dedicated to their causes," - Chambers & Partners, 2019

A source says: "She combines a sensitive and straightforward approach to clients with a determination to secure the best results in even the most difficult cases. There is no other solicitor to whom I would rather turn if I were the victim of a catastrophic injury." - Chambers & Partners, 2018

"Top of the tree" and "one of the best personal injury lawyers in Manchester." "She puts clients at ease and takes the pressure away from them as much as she can." - Chambers & Partners, 2017

"One of the most knowledgeable spinal injury lawyers in the UK" - ​​Legal 500, 2017

According to one commentator, "she is intelligent, practically astute and completely approachable for clients." - Chambers & Partners 2016

Sources say that she is "always on the ball" and "very sympathetic." - Chambers & Partners 2015

Catherine "has a calm head and is hardworking, thorough and detailed but never misses the big picture” - Chambers & Partners 2013

What Inspired You To Get Into Law?

I was given two bits of advice at university.

1. A computer-generated questionnaire suggested several careers for me: Army, Navy, RAF, Police, Prison Service (I think I may have over-emphasised my love of team work being a very keen rower at the time!). 

2. The careers adviser suggested if I liked “People, paper, words” I might think of being a solicitor. That sounded more my kind of thing and had the added benefit of making my mum proud too.

The careers advisor was right. I love my job and it is all about people, paper and words.

What Is The Most Rewarding Aspect Of Your Role?

I enjoy the relationships with clients and their families and keep in touch with many of them long term, their experience helps me with advising newly-injured people too. To watch people who have been through a really traumatic experience emerge from their rehabilitation and build in confidence for the future and help to support them through that is a privilege.

I also value enormously working with charities which support injured people; particularly the Spinal Injuries Association with whom I helped develop initiatives to support Spinal Cord Injured people, like the Peer Support Service and Health Care Professional study days as well as doing a lot of fundraising for them. They must be a worthy charity if they can make me run marathons and ride a bike for miles!

What Do You Like About Working At Irwin Mitchell?

I am proud to work for the national firm which I consider has the most dedicated and able team of lawyers acting on behalf of seriously injured people. The team at IM are top quality and share the belief, that I also hold, that the client is at the centre of all that we do and deserves the best and most comprehensive legal service. The breadth of expertise at IM which includes providing rehabilitation, disability rights advice and Court of Protection support means we can give our clients a seamless service.

What Do You Do Away From The Office?

I am a wife and mother of three children. I am a former rower and do a bit of junior coaching these days but mainly enjoy running and riding my bike. I will always look for an excuse to leave domestic chores behind and get out on my bike in the fresh air. There is no truth in the rumour that I love my bikes more than my family. Absolutely not – but bikes are a close second! Combining riding my bike and fundraising for SIA is the perfect combination of leisure activities for me. I have helped raise over £600,000 for SIA over the past 18 years.


2017 Winner: Spinal Injury Association Fundraiser of the Year
2013 Winner: Solicitor of the Year in Private Practice – National Law Society Excellence Awards
Judges quote: “Catherine Leech has outstanding legal ability, tenacity and empathy, championing the rights of victims of severe injury and attaining landmark personal injury rulings securing positive and equitable results for claimants.”
2013 Winner: Spinal Injury Association Award for Excellence in Legal Care
Cathy was nominated for “outstanding work in the legal field and also improving the quality of care for spinal injured patients including implementing study days for staff in District General Hospitals nationwide to receive training from spinal injury specialists.”


Profile of Catherine Leech - Law Society Gazette 10/2/2014

Who’s to blame? [Woodland v Essex] - New Law Journal 6/12/2013

Flight Fight - New Law Journal 14/3/14

Making the solicitor-expert witness role work - Solicitors Journal Summer 2014 supplement

Read My Comments On The Latest News

  • 12/08/2019
    Wolverhampton Wheelchair User Takes On A Triathlon

    “Since first meeting Ainsley back in 2016, it was obvious he was a remarkable man and I’m very proud to be joining him and his family on the Superhero Tri. Ainsley has refused to let his injuries hold him back and his work on our Don’t Quit, Do It and I Am Able campaigns is proving vital in encouraging others to discover the benefits of sport for themselves.”

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  • 01/11/2018
    Dog Walker Left With Life-Changing Injuries When Hit By Car Speaks Out As Driver Sentenced

    “This is an incredibly sad example of the life-changing consequences of dangerous driving. “As experts in spinal cord injuries we see the devastating impact that dangerous driving can have on those who are victims of it on a regular basis. It was telling to hear the judge suggest that this graphic CCTV footage should be shown to young drivers nationwide, as it highlights the damage that can be done. It is shocking to see it on film. “We will continue to work with Wilfred and Janette to ensure they have the support they need as Wilfred continues with his rehabilitation.”

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  • 17/10/2018
    Disability Sport Has Given ‘Independence’ To Man Who Suffered Spinal Cord Injury In Car Crash

    “Twelve million people in the UK have a disability but only one in six takes part in sport regularly.. “Our work with people, like Ainsley, who have suffered life-changing injuries means we recognise the many benefits that physical activity and sport can have. Don’t Quit, Do It showcases how sport helps people recover from serious injuries and other major traumas in their lives. It does not have to be competitive; the social and physical benefits of sport are manifest at all levels of participation. “Everyone has a story and Ainsley is a prime example of the huge difference that disability sport can make to so many lives. He has faced an incredibly difficult few years but sport has helped improve his well-being and confidence.”

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  • 27/07/2016
    Irwin Mitchell Proudly Sponsors The Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony

    “We’re delighted to be able to support the Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony and help promote an event which celebrates amazing sporting achievements. “We see on a day-to-day basis the impact a serious injury or major trauma can have on someone’s life and how in the rehabilitation process sport and meaningful activity can play a huge part. “There are more channels dedicated to sport than ever before but it seems that the majority of high-performing, disabled athletes only get the worldwide audience they deserve every four years. “Our Don’t Quit, Do It campaign runs all year round and is dedicated to raising the profile of disability sport and increasing the numbers that take part by showcasing the amazing skill on show and the wide-ranging benefits of taking part for everyone whether they are Olympic champions or just enthusiasts. “This is a fantastic event to be involved in and it’s one that demonstrates that disabled athletes can achieve so much with the right opportunities, belief, talent, determination and support.”

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