Rachelle Mahapatra > Irwin Mitchell > Leeds, England > Lawyer Profile

Irwin Mitchell

Work Department

Personal legal services.


Rachelle headed the medical negligence team from 2002, the Leeds team being a Legal 500 and Chambers Tier 1 team. She stood down in 2019 after she was promoted to the Regional Managing Partner of the Leeds office on 1st June 2019. She continues to be a partner in the Medical negligence team with responsibility for managing a team and the Business development strategy for Leeds Medical Negligence, working to improve the Leeds office profile within the market. She promotes diversity and wellbeing programmes for staff in the Leeds office. Her objective is the growth of the Leeds office within the legal sector.

She qualified in 1993 and has 28 years’ experience in the field. She has acted for hundreds of clients injured in Hospital. In the last year she settled a failed resuscitation claim for a newborn baby, failure to diagnose a spinal abscess in a 68 year old man, resulting in paralysis, failure to diagnose and treat sepsis in a 2 year old, who now has a significant brain injury and is blind negligent management of forceps causing brain injury in two cases are amongst her recent cases.

She was the solicitor appointed as the patient representative on the Government ordered Inquiry into events surroundings Drs Kerr and Haslam, two North Yorkshire Psychiatrists who were sexually abusing patients.  The Inquiry reported in 2005.

She is a member of the Law Society Medical Negligence specialist panel, a referral solicitor for Action for Victims of Medical accidents and a Fellow with APIL.

She regularly publicises risks to patient safety that occur in the hospital environment. She has supported awareness campaigns with client testimonials to raise awareness about the dangers of non-diagnosis.

The IM advertising campaign included real former clients and featured a former client of Rachelle’s with cerebral palsy.

She has been an expert on the Victoria Derbyshire show, presented to the AVMA conference and sat as an expert on their panel at local meetings. She also took part in a debate featuring 100 Years of Women in the Law.

She has featured as lawyer in the News in the Times and won Yorkshire Partner of the Year at the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2017.


Trained Hatley & Worstenholme, qualified 1993, partner 1997; partner Keeble Hawson Solicitors 2001; partner Irwin Mitchell 2002 to date.


APIL (fellow); accredited brain injury specialist wilth APIL; Law Society clinical negligence panel; referral solicitor for AvMA; honorary legal secretary of the Leeds and West Riding Medico-Legal Society 2003-2010.


Woodhouse Grove School, Bradford; East Anglia Polytechnic (LLB); York Law School (Law Society finals); Leeds Metropolitan University (diploma in personal injury litigation).


Horse riding – in 2008 rode across Transylvania to raise funds for World Horse Welfare, keen follower of the arts.

Lawyer Rankings

Yorkshire and the Humber > Insurance > Clinical negligence and personal injury: claimant

(Leading individuals: Clinical Negligence)

Rachelle MahapatraIrwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell is ‘the best in the business for looking after clients, on both a human and a legal level’. Based in Sheffield, Julianne Moore co-leads the medical negligence practice with Sarah Coles in Leeds. The group has extensive experience handling the gamut of complex, high value negligence claims, specialising in birth injury, spinal injury and amputation cases. The team includes Rachelle Mahapatra, Rachel Roach, Tom Mather, Sarah Rowland and Tim Annett, who work together to provide ‘an excellent and highly personal service’. Adrian Budgen and Sion Kingston jointly lead the personal injury practices in Sheffield and Leeds, respectively. The firm continues to be highly regarded for asbestos disease cases, with Ian Toft noted for his work relating to immunotherapy. The Yorkshire team has a substantial number of APIL accredited specialists, including Rachael Aram and Louise Jenkins . Carolyn Heaton is also recommended.