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I joined Irwin Mitchell in 2002 and have been the head of clinical negligence at the Leeds office since 2005 acting for patients in claims against doctors and hospitals. I am particularly interested in mistakes made surrounding the delivery of unborn babies causing injury sometimes serious to the baby or their mother, complications of abdominal surgery and late diagnosis of cancer. The department in Leeds covers all aspects of clinical negligence.
Some of the cases I've been involved with include:
Brian Hogan, the then head of the legal faculty at Leeds University, was a family friend and told interesting stories about criminal law. I originally intended to be a criminal solicitor but was lucky enough to work with a specialist clinical negligence solicitor during my training and the rest is history.
Enabling people to get as much out of their lives after devastating injuries whether by equipment, care or computers so that they can have control of their own lives.
The people are really passionate about what we do and working with people who want to do the best for their clients.
Riding my horse Brookie who lives next to the very beautiful Harewood estate. It is a great way to wind down. I was a Trustee of the Dogs Trust, the largest canine welfare charity from 1999-2014 and remain committed to all aspects of animal welfare, including Compassion in World Farming. I rode a horse 200 kilometres across Transylvania in Romania to raise funds for a welfare and training programme in Romania run by World Horse Welfare. I’m a keen supporter of the arts and have just taken up yoga!
"Our experience with Irwin Mitchell has been excellent.
"They have dealt with our family’s negligence claim in a professional, courteous and extremely understanding manner especially in light of the grief you as a family are going through at the time. We had the pleasure of dealing with Lauren Bullock in the main, Rachelle Mahapatra and Victoria Moss and others...(read more) - Monique, client
"They explained every step and contacted us to keep us updated with the process of our case. It was a long and difficult process but support was available. We are gratefully for your help and support." - Salina Begum, client
"Rachelle is highly experienced and provided an excellent and professional service, proactively working with us, within a very difficult timeframe, to collate all the necessary professional information and putting together the evidence required to support the claim." - Carolyn Rigg, client
"Excellent service - Rachelle Mahapatra was so professional, kind and caring. Always there for us the last 3 years, they never lost sight of my daughter's case and did everything they could to get the best claim for the rest of her life. I would definitely recommend Irwin Mitchell to anybody." - Beverly Schofield, client
Rachelle is "incredibly hard-working and nationally respected" by market commentators. Clients enthuse that "she was always realistic and down-to-earth, and able to put things across in a manner that we could understand as the claim went through." - Chambers & Partners 2018
"A national leader in her field" - Legal 500, 2017
Rachelle Mahapatra is seen as "a force of nature - an extremely forceful, driven and committed clinical negligence lawyer." - Chambers & Partners 2015
Rachelle “receives effusive recommendations from all quarters, with sources emphasising her compassion and commitment to her clients. Cross her at your peril. She is not someone you go into battle against unless you really know your ground. She is very efficient and doesn’t suffer fools gladly.” - Chambers & Partners 2014
“We see first-hand just how important awareness of mental health is, both awareness from the individual and those who care for them.
“Unfortunately, we have acted for those who have lost a loved one due to them being let down when they went to seek help.
“The stress and pressure on the NHS is well-known, and those who work in it do a fantastic job helping those in need. Like all industries though, there are areas where room for improvement exists. Mental health is one of these areas.”
“Tim’s story is an inspirational one for anyone who has suffered a similar injury.
“He continues to be active, going to the gym, he still supports his sports teams, plays snooker and going out., His garden was adapted so he can do most of the garden which he enjoys, he still has a work bench and he makes beautiful garden furniture or has made a play house for his grandson he travels extensively with his wife, Jackie.
“At Irwin Mitchell we see the effects that spinal injuries have on people, not just the physical effects but the emotional and mental effects too. There will always be financial needs that have to be met in the claim but it’s also vital that they can achieve things that they want to.
“They may need special equipment or support but many of our very injured clients are able to return to sports and activities that they had enjoyed before. Irwin Mitchell have been campaigning about the benefit of sport through its Don’t Quit Do it campaign, which aims to raise awareness and participation of disability sports across the country.
“We are delighted to help support Tim and Spinal Cord Injuries Awareness Day.”
“I'm excited to join such a dynamic and leading law firm which puts the care of its clients first.
“Medical negligence work is very specialist and requires a sensitive touch as you are assisting vulnerable people day in day out, who have been let down through no fault of their own. I am delighted to be a part of a team that is so highly respected in this field.”
“We would like to thank everyone involved with tonight’s performance, particularly the writer of the play, Annie Eves and cast, who captured a very accurate interpretation of brain injury and the effect on an individual and their family.
“It truly was a stunning performance and moving play which also included humour. It delivers a strong message about the struggles of someone who suffers from encephalitis and the impact of a failure to diagnose and treat at an early stage. One of the purposes of this play to help raise awareness of the condition, and I believe the performance did that.
“At Irwin Mitchell, we see first-hand the terrible impact the condition can have on people’s lives and not just the impact on those diagnosed with encephalitis, but also their family and friends.
“That is why we work closely with The Encephalitis Society to raise awareness of encephalitis to the general public. I would like to thank the Society for their help in producing the play.”
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