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Rebecca Smith

Senior Associate Solicitor
  • +44 (0)207 400 8733


I joined Irwin Mitchell's Aviation department in January 2014. I have worked exclusively in the field of personal injury claims for over 25 years, acting on behalf of seriously injured people in high value and complex claims. I am experienced in head and spinal injuries, including fatal claims.

My particular area of expertise has been in acting on behalf of those having sustained serious brain and other serious injury, where there is more often than not a desperate need to ensure early rehabilitation and interim payments. Securing the right evidence is key to the success of any claim.

What Inspired You To Get Into Law?

From a very young age, I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer. Achieving justice has been my driving force - especially in the face of adversity. I have spent my whole working life representing those who have needed a voice.

What Is The Most Rewarding Aspect Of Your Role? 

Without doubt, the most rewarding aspect is the knowledge that you have done your best to achieve justice for those who really need it and ensured the best possible financial outcome to enable those affected by tragedy to move towards a positive future 

What Do You Like About Working At Irwin Mitchell?

The firm has a modern approach in its outlook. It really is all about the client. Irwin Mitchell is the leading claimant aviation firm in Europe with a reputation in international litigation.

What Do You Do Away From The Office?

When time allows, I enjoy active sports such as skiing and waterskiing. Have even managed to keep up with my teenage son and learned to wakeboard!

Read My Comments On The Latest News

  • 08/03/2019
    Shoreham Airshow Disaster: Pilot Andy Hill’s Criminal Trial Concludes

    “Now that the criminal proceedings have concluded attention will now turn to the Inquest where the entirety of the Shoreham Airshow tragedy can be fully examined. While the criminal trial purely looked into the actions of the pilot involved, the Inquest will be able to investigate the wider organisation and planning of the event including the safety precautions taken, the aircraft involved, location of spectators and the management of the pilots. “While there have been some recommendations from the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) following their early reports, it is only once the whole event has been examined at the Inquest that lessons can be fully learned to prevent something like this from ever happening again. “Hopefully then the families and those affected will finally have all the answers they need to be able to begin to move on from this tragedy.”

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  • 20/06/2017
    Families Affected By Shoreham Air Show Crash Call For Fearless Investigation At Pre-Inquest Hearing

    “We are approaching the 2nd anniversary of the Shoreham Air Show crash and the families affected have shown tremendous patience in waiting for answers as they deal with their loss. The AAIB report gave them some information on possible causes of the crash but they now want the Inquest to be a full, frank and fearless investigation into what happened on that fateful day so that lessons can be learned to prevent a similar incident. “The AAIB has previously made 32 recommendations across a number of reports but there are concerns among those affected as to the length of time it is taking to implement these. “From what we know already, the Shoreham Air Show tragedy appears to have been a disaster waiting to happen, and one that should have been avoided. “The Inquest is an important opportunity to reassure the public that lessons have been learned to reduce the risk of a similar crash happening again and improve the safety of air shows in future. “Nothing can turn back the clock and many of those affected may never fully recover from the trauma of what happened. We are working with our clients to ensure that they secure the best possible support to maximise their recovery and rehabilitation.”

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  • 24/03/2017
    Germanwings Crash Legal Update

    “This is a tragedy that will live long in the memories of those who suffered the loss of a loved one. “Those people who lost someone in this crash want to understand exactly how this devastating incident was able to occur. It is already known that Mr Lubitz had seen 41 doctors in the five years before the crash, including for depression, and had practiced the sharp descent manoeuvre on his previous flight. “Although the European Aviation Safety Agency announced six recommendations for improving safety standards to ensure this kind of tragedy never re-occurs, the consultation process has resulted in some of the initial recommendations being watered down. “The EASA recommendation for ‘random testing’ for drugs and alcohol was abandoned in favour of testing based on risk assessments, following pressure from representatives of pilots and airline operators during the consultation process. “In any case, at present the implementation of even these adjusted recommendations is still an ongoing process, which is frustrating for our clients. “The main concern remains that currently, there is no system for regular psychological assessment of flight crew is being proposed by the EASA. “The current proposed changes to the Regulations only require a detailed psychological evaluation to take place at the start of a pilot’s career, with no further psychological assessments required unless the pilot voluntarily reports an issue with their mental health or this is discovered by another means. It is concerning that a pilot could pass an initial psychological assessment and not be required to have any more psychological evaluations over perhaps a 25 or 30 year career. "Our clients want to see more done to reduce the risk of similar incidents. “We are working with our clients to ensure that they achieve the justice that their loved ones deserve and have today commenced legal proceedings in London.”

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  • 03/03/2017
    Families Affected By Shoreham Air Show Crash Want Lessons Learned As AAIB Report Published

    “The families have been waiting almost 18 months for answers as to what went wrong on that tragic day and more importantly why. The AAIB investigation and report has been central to the families’ desire to establish the truth as to what happened. They finally have some answers which is clearly a relief. “The overwhelming concerns which remain are the lack of adequate safety regulations which were in place before the accident together with the failure of the organisers of the Air Show to implement existing CAA procedures which were in force at the time. Tragically, it appears that this was a disaster waiting to happen and one that could have been avoided. “It remains a significant disappointment that 18 months after this tragedy occurred, many of the recommendations made by the AAIB to improve the safety of future Air Shows have still not been implemented by the CAA. The CAA has stated they may not be in a position to complete aspects of their investigation until 2018. “The families affected want to be reassured that lessons have been learned to reduce the risk of a tragedy like this happening again and it is distressing to them to see that recommendations which they see as common sense have still not been acted upon. “Indeed, the seeming reluctance by the CAA to adopt a number of the AAIB’s recommendations is a cause of major concern. Questions may now be asked about whether the CAA has given adequate priority to ensuring the safety of the public. At the same time, the families and individuals who we represent have shown astonishing patience, dignity and grace in dealing with tragic loss and terrible injury. We call upon the CAA to acknowledge this and act upon all the recommendations of the AAIB as a matter of urgency. “Nothing can turn back the clock and some of those affected may never fully recover from the trauma of what happened. We are working with our clients to ensure that they secure the best possible support to maximise their recovery and rehabilitation.”

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