Since qualifying in 1985, I've spent my career working for victims of personal injury specialising in product liability, aviation and military claims. I've been involved in many high-profile cases, including Piper Alpha, Lockerbie, Chinook Mull of Kintyre Crash and the British Midland Crash at Kegworth. I'm 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'm a former Chair of the Trainee Solicitors Group, Young Solicitors Group and was President of the Manchester Law Society in 2002 – the Commonwealth Games Year.
I regularly appear at inquests, including those of Corporal of the Horse Matty Hull, who was killed by A10 friendly fire and Sergeant Steve Roberts, who was the first soldier fatality of the Iraq war.
What inspired you to get into law?
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.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
I run legal clinics at rehabilitation centres and get 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.
What do you like about working at Irwin Mitchell?
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 teamwork 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'm also greatly assisted by the press and PR team.
What do you do away from the office?
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.
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.
"Thank you to Geraldine and her team for the past years they worked on my case. It was a long and complex case but I was kept up to date throughout, I was supported exceptionally on what is a minefield of emotions." – RD, 5* Trustpilot review
"She is a fount of knowledge for all things military, just outstanding. "The work she has done has been outstanding, and her work in support of injured servicemen has been of national importance." - Chambers & Partners, 2021 (Leading Individual - Band 1)
"She is impressive in the military personal injury sphere. Her breadth of knowledge in these cases is probably wider than anyone else’s in that area. She also has a genuine interest in the people that she helps, and is realistic in the advice that she gives." – Chambers & Partners, 2020
"Simply one of the best lawyers I know," – Chambers & Partners, 2019
"Geraldine and her team – Kristy, Danielle and Elizabeth – have been amazing every step of the way, making a stressful situation so much easier to deal with. The team always had time to take a call when I was unsure about some of the legal talk, and were quick to follow up on any email that I sent." – Andy, 5* Trustpilot review
"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
- Co-author of the Civil Litigation Handbook published by the Law Society
- Co-author of Multi-Party Actions published by the Legal Action Group
- Former author of the Litigation column for the Gazette
- 'Lessons of a tragedy', an article for the Law Society Gazette on the legal legacy of the 1985 Manchester air disaster