Cathy joined JMW as partner and Head of Catastrophic Injury in October 2022 working in the Personal Injury department.
Cathy is renowned for her work in the field of Serious Injury claims specifically Spinal Cord Injury as well as Traumatic Brain Injury, Amputation and poly trauma. She is a recognised leader in the field in all the legal directories for both her skilled client care and legal excellence in pursuing technical and difficult cases.
Cathy has won cases for injured people in the Supreme Court:
- Woodland v Essex CC (2013) a case for a child brain injured during a school swimming lesson, changing the law to an assumption of a non-delegable duty of care of a school towards its pupils;
And several in the Court of Appeal:
- most recently the case of Colley v MIB in March 2022 which applied EU law to make the MIB liable to compensate a tetraplegic client injured in a vehicle, where the insurers had avoided the policy. This centred on the failure by UK government to properly implement EU directives into UK insurance law.
Most of Cathy’s cases, whilst litigated, are not precedent-setting, but are just as vital for the client and prepared with the same attention to detail. They can be huge in quantum. She has settled cases with a value of tens of millions for clients and keeps in touch with many of them after the case is over.
Charitable Relationships and Awards
Cathy is a key supporter of the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) and has been a fundraiser for the charity for over 20 years as a founder of The Cornflower Ball. This continues as do other initiatives including The Bicycle Ball and SIA Bike Ride annually. Cathy was also involved in the early development of peer support with the charity and for this she was delighted to be recognised twice at their annual award ceremony:
- 2013 SIA Rebuilding Lives Awards- Excellence in Legal Care – Cathy Leech
- 2018 SIA Rebuilding Lives Award - Fundraiser of the Year – Cathy Leech
For her legal work, Cathy has also won:
- The Law Society Excellence Award for Solicitor of the Year in Private Practice 2013
- The 2019 Personal Injury Lawyer Awards where Cathy was named Catastrophic Injury Lawyer of the year
Cathy has consistently been named as a Star Performer in the Chambers and Partners directory and a member of The Legal 500 Hall of Fame.
Cathy was recruited to JMW from Irwin Mitchell where she was a partner and head of the spinal cord injury group, and before that was a partner at Pannone LLP in Manchester.
Outside of work Cathy is a retired rower, dusting off her blazer and reliving past glories at Henley Regatta these days - but a keen cyclist, runner and open-water swimmer. Cathy is a firm believer in the power of exercise and fresh air as an antidote to the stresses of modern life. Recently, as her children have left home leaving empty bedrooms, Cathy and her husband have taken two Ukrainian refugees in which has been an interesting, and good, experience all around.