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Rebecca Smith

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

Biography

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

  • 01/07/2019
    First British Family Commence Legal Action in USA following Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Crash

    “While the official accident investigation continues, the exact cause or causes of the Ethiopian Airlines disaster remains unknown. Despite this sufficient evidence is now available to enable proceedings to be commenced against both Boeing and Rosemount Aerospace. These proceedings have now been filed in the Federal Court in Chicago.. “The proceedings involve allegations of a catalogue of serious failures by Boeing. The allegations include criticism of Boeing’s decision to fit new, larger engines to the existing 737 airframe. These engines altered the aircraft’s handling characteristics and, in particular, caused the nose of the aircraft to pitch upwards in the period following take off, increasing the risk of an engine stall. To reduce this risk Boeing introduced a new software system called MCAS which automatically pitched the nose of the aircraft downwards when the Angle of Attack Sensors fitted to the aircraft signalled that the angle of the aircraft was too steep. "However, it is also alleged that the MCAS software was faulty and it is now being re-designed. Further, pilots of the new MAX 8 aircraft were not made sufficiently aware of the operation of the new software and were not adequately trained to deal with a situation like the one that arose on flight ET302. “To compound matters, an Angle of Attack Disagree Light, fitted as standard to previous 737 aircraft, was not fitted to the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft. The Disagree Light could have alerted the pilots to a problem with one of the Angle of Attack Sensors which in turn may have caused them to take alternative action to save the aircraft. The Disagree light was only made available by Boeing on the 737 MAX 8 as an optional extra. “Rosemount Aerospace is also a defendant in the proceedings. Rosemount manufactured the aircraft’s Angle of Attack Sensors, at least one of which appears to have been faulty. The sensor sent inaccurate information to the MCAS system which repeatedly pitched the nose of the aircraft downwards, over-ruling the actions of the pilots who repeatedly tried to gain altitude to avoid the aircraft hitting the ground.” “This is a small selection of the list of allegations we are making against Boeing and Rosemount Aerospace and the entire fleet of MAX 8 aircraft are still grounded World-wide pending remedial work to satisfy the Federal Aviation Authority and other Regulators who have banned the continued use of the aircraft in their airspace.”

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  • 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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