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Since qualifying in 1985 I have spent my career working for victims of personal injury specialising in product liability, aviation and military claims. I have been involved in many high profile cases including Piper Alpha, Lockerbie, Chinook Mull of Kintyre Crash and the British Midland Crash at Kegworth. I am Vice Chair of the Royal British Legion Solicitors Group, a former Mediator in the Court of Appeal (pro-bono) and former Chairman of the National Young Solicitors Group.
In Manchester I am a former Chair of the Trainee Solicitors Group, Young Solicitors Group and was President of the Manchester Law Society in 2002 being the Commonwealth Games Year.
I regularly appear at Inquests including those of Corporal of the Horse Matty Hull killed by A10 friendly fire and Sergeant Steve Roberts who was the first soldier fatality of the Iraq war.
In 1995 I was a finalist in the Cosmopolitan/American Express Career Awards, and in 2003 I was Voted Cheshire Woman of the Year. Lawyer magazine named me as one of the top 20 lawyers of the last 20 years in 2007. I was also part of the team who won the Innovation Award 2016 for our pro bono work with the Royal British Legion Solicitors Group.
"Simply one of the best lawyers I know," - Chambers & Partners, 2019
"I have worked with Irwin Mitchell on my case since May 2015 and I couldn’t possibly fault any part of the service I received. Geraldine McCool and her team have always been warm, approachable, so helpful and really did my best interests at heart. I was also very pleased with the eventual outcome of my claim." - Client
"A solicitor with enormous experience in complex personal injury cases who brings a calm and measured approach to difficult issues." - Chambers & Partners, 2018
"One of the best lawyers I've ever worked with," has a "clear, decisive approach in litigation. " - Chambers & Partners, 2017
Geraldine is "thorough and extremely efficient... and very highly rated for her expertise in military and aviation claims" - Legal 500 2016
A "great tactician, and understands everything about running a case." - Chambers & Partners 2015
She is an expert on military and aviation claims and is regarded as a “fabulous PI lawyer” who is “incredibly knowledgeable and effective for her clients”. - Chambers & Partners 2013
No-one in my family had previously gone to university but I spent a summer in the late 1970s doing work experience with Dan Brennan, now Lord Brennan QC, in his chambers in Manchester and this motivated me. My career in aviation was shaped by the Manchester Air Crash 1985 and military claims by the removal of Crown Immunity in 1987.
I run legal clinics at rehabilitation centres and gain inspiration from meeting service personnel, often very young, who have been injured in the line of duty. I also enjoy Inquests where I can make a difference to the family who are coping with difficult and tense circumstances in an unfamiliar setting with other parties always having legal representation.
I greatly enjoy leading the MOD team of like-minded lawyers sharing tactics and discussing technical issues, particularly with those lawyers in my team who have served in the Armed Forces. I also enjoy the team work approach with lawyers in other specialist fields who can assist my clients including the Court of Protection and Family Law team. Given the high-profile nature of some of my work, I am also greatly assisted by the Press and PR team.
I play on a golf team of girlfriends who are lawyers or connected to the law and we take part in a number of charity events. I also enjoy walking my dog called Busby – my Principal in articles was a Director of Manchester United.
“It was an honour to have Jamie and Jason come in and I want to thank them for discussing their own experiences with the staff. It was an eye-opening discussion and one that I think will stick with all those who attended the event.
“At Irwin Mitchell, the health and wellbeing of our colleagues is a top priority. It is crucial both to the firm’s continued success and to the betterment of each member of the firm, both personally and professionally.
“The Rock2Recovery event is part of our continued work on normalising mental health, and providing a work environment in which our colleagues feel comfortable and safe opening up about their mental health.”
While our service personnel know the risks associated with their roles, particularly in combat, they should not have their lives put at risk while carrying out pre-flight safety checks on the ground in a non-combat environment.
“This model of ejector seat was in operation for many years, not only in Hawk aircraft but also in Tornado fighter jets, meaning a significant number of pilots were potentially exposed to serious harm over a number of years.
“That action was not taken over the period to address this risk to serious injury, or even death, is extremely worrying.
“It vital that the Ministry of Defence and all manufacturers and suppliers to our forces take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of service personnel so others don’t suffer needlessly in future. There is no excuse for members of the Armed Forces not to be provided with the most appropriate equipment and training, regardless of what their role is.”
I am delighted that Paul has been recognised for the excellent work he has done for the Royal British Legion Solicitors Group.
“The successes that the Group has achieved would undoubtedly have not been possible without his knowledge and professionalism. Paul also excels at making everyone he meets and works with feel valued and appreciated. This is what makes him a truly exceptional person.
“He will be sorely missed after his retirement at Christmas at Irwin Mitchell and the Royal British Legion Solicitors Group. We wish him all the best for the future.”
“The priority has to be on getting the best outcome for our troops. On occasion that will be compensation provided by the new proposed scheme. In other instances that may be via a civil case against the MoD brought by a specialist legal team on behalf of the injured soldier.
“Rather than excluding soldiers from bringing civil claims against the MoD by legislation, they should give soldiers affected the choice of how they want to proceed. Some may feel they want to enter into the MoD scheme, others may want a more independent view at what has happened to them and may want a lawyer to help investigate for them or advise on the adequacy of the compensation they are offered under the new scheme.
“Of course there are incidents which happen on the battlefield which cannot be foreseen and the MOD has enjoyed Combat Immunity in relation to military operations for many years. But there are also many incidents where the MoD has raised Combat Immunity in situations which have occurred miles away from the enemy such as road accidents and the Consultation paper hints that the scope of what is considered Combat may apply to the UK which is clearly not a battlefield.
“The MoD is proposing that it will decide itself which cases should be covered by Combat Immunity and those solders would be forced into a compensation scheme with no independent view from their own lawyers – this will include other instances of negligence not just those injuries sustained on the battlefield.
“Without full independent scrutiny, where is the incentive for the MoD to ensure that it doesn’t cut costs too far in terms of the quality and scale of equipment available? We have already seen major issues with transport vehicles and body armour in recent years. There are serious concerns that by closing the door to potential legal action, it removes this level of independent scrutiny which keeps our soldiers safe.”
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