I qualified as a solicitor in 1998 and am now head of the medical negligence team in Leeds. I have always specialised in medical law handling an array of cases involving cerebral palsy, cauda equine, Erbs Palsy, amputation and sepsis issues amongst others.
I have obtained over £60million in damages for clients and families, but realise its not just a matter of obtaining damages but helping clients get answers as to what happened and support their rehabilitation. To many this is far more important than the award of damages.
My clients and their objectives for pursuing cases are my primary concern.
"She is an efficient and pragmatic lawyer who gets the job done, but she is also a delightful person who is a pleasure to work with and has huge empathy with her clients." - Chambers & Partners, 2019
"Sensible, empathetic and highly effective in all her dealings with clients and opponents alike." - Chambers & Partners, 2018
"Very experienced" - Legal 500, 2017
"Sarah Coles was my first point of contact and has been right though until the end of the court case. I cannot thank Sarah Coles and Irwin Mitchell enough for everything they have done for our son and my family.
"Sarah is a very experienced solicitor who put me at ease and instantly gained my trust. She showed compassion and understanding to not only to our son but also to us as a family." - Danielle Gough, client (read full review)
"Sarah Coles has been our solicitor for the last 7 years and was very successful in settling our case. It had been a very difficult time for all the family throughout what was a very long and arduous time but throughout Sarah worked above and beyond, was a true professional, and always put our interests first.
"Sarah's compassion, insight and empathy were second to none and she is in herself an amazing role model to everyone around her. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah and her team to anyone who finds themselves requiring their services." - Julie, client
"Irwin Mitchell pursued a medical negligence case for my daughter's birth and we had full support all the way from Sarah Coles and the team. I feel that the company go that extra mile to always keep you informed of progress. My family and I are more than happy with the services that were provided throughout the case - we would definitely use Irwin Mitchell again and would also recommend to others." - Stacey Keira Perkins, client
What Inspired You To Get Into Law?
From a very young age I either wanted to be a policewoman or a lawyer as I wanted to help others and stop injustice. I chose Law as an A Level and loved it, so went on to study at Hull University and never looked back.
What Is The Most Rewarding Aspect Of Your Role?
It is often difficult to prove a successful claim in the complex area of medical law and not all cases successfully recover damages. However, what is often more rewarding is helping families understand what happened and to reassure them it wasn’t their fault, they couldn’t have done more.
In those cases where there is an award of damages, it is amazing to see lives change and even little changes make huge differences. I have been contacted recently by a former client who was 9 years of age at the time of his case. 14 years on, he found me and wrote to me to say he is studying law because 'it is heart-warming to know you have continued to help families obtain both answers and compensation and I went into the law to help others in the way you helped me, I shall be forever grateful'. This is why I do the work I do - for my clients.
What Do You Like About Working At Irwin Mitchell?
Irwin Mitchell is a superb firm with extremely talented people. I am very lucky to be surrounded by genuinely lovely people who all excel in their field and I am honoured to now head the Leeds medical negligence department. The fact that Irwin Mitchell is also dedicated to supporting local and national charities such as KIDS, UK Sepsis Trust, Jorvik Warriors Power Chair Football team, West Yorkshire CANN, Cauda Equina Syndrome Association and SNAPS is so important to me and it makes all the hard work so worthwhile.
What Do You Do Away From The Office?
I love being with my friends and family and enjoy lots of sports and happy to take part in extreme activities such as sky diving, bungee, scuba diving etc often for charity as well as fun! I lost my nephew who was 22 as a result of depression and so now work closely with MIND and other mental health charities to raise funds, recently completing the London Marathon raising over £5000 for Heads Together and MIND.
My main love is football and I am an ardent Norwich City supporter which has its own challenges!