Helen is a highly experienced senior serious injury solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors Leeds office, supervising the Yorkshire and Humberside serious injury team.

Helen specialises in high value and complex cases involving brain injury, spinal injury, multiple fractures, serious burns and amputations that are life-changing and catastrophic. 

With 19 years’ experience, Helen understands the importance of rehabilitation and therapy to help her clients rebuild their lives after serious injury trauma. Helen will ensure that her clients are provided with therapeutic support, appropriate adaptations, equipment and prosthetics, funded by interim payments. 

Helen’s focus is on getting the right individually-tailored care and rehabilitation package and to create a meaningful plan for her clients’ long-term needs. With access to the best medical advice and evidence, Helen’s clients know that they are in good hands.

Helen is sensitive and empathetic, working for both adults and children, seriously injured through accidents at work or on the road. With a reputation as a determined litigator who wants justice for her clients, who pursues cases to gain the maximum amount of compensation in the shortest possible time, Helen has secured millions of pounds for her clients. 

Helen shares Thompsons’ ethos and has only ever acted for those who are injured, rather than those who have been responsible for the injuries. She is proud to work for a firm that will fight those challenging cases and issues that other solicitor firms won’t.

Helen’s case experience

Thomas, a carer, was run over in a road traffic accident and suffered a life-changing serious brain injury. A complicated case, Helen nevertheless took it on, securing payments for medical treatment and an eventual settlement of £1.1m. 

Helen acted for an education worker who, following an accident at work, sustained long-term injuries that meant she could no longer work, recovering substantial compensation.

A client had to have his arm amputated as a result of an accident at work. Helen took on the case and secured a six-figure sum in damages.

Helen gained a six-figure award a refuse collector who could no longer work after having had his leg amputated, following extensive injuries from an accident at work. 

Helen secured an award of £3.9m for a motorcyclist who suffered life-threatening injuries when he was involved in a collision with a car. The accident left the Claimant seriously disabled, with a non-functioning right arm due to a severe brachial plexus injury, and significant cognitive and behavioural problems due to a severe brain injury. The case was complicated by the fact that the Claimant’s helmet was dislodged in the collision, with expert evidence indicating that the strap must have been unfastened, causing his unprotected head to collide with the rear door pillar of the car. 

Nevertheless, settlement was achieved with no reduction for contributory negligence.  The award included a substantial sum to enable the Claimant to purchase a bungalow, in addition to his lifetime loss of earnings and support worker costs. 

Helen secured a multi-million pound settlement for a pedestrian who was run over by a speeding car whilst walking their dog. The accident left the Claimant seriously disabled with significant leg injuries as well as a severe traumatic brain injury. The settlement allowed the Claimant to move to larger and more suitable accommodation and included lifelong therapy and support costs. 

Professional membership

Helen is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and the brain injury charity Headway.

Praise from the Legal 500

“Helen Shakespeare is outstanding. She has a sound legal knowledge and excellent client-handling skills, but above all her instincts are always right. She has the innate ability to sense when to settle and when to fight on.” Legal 500 2019

“Helen Shakespeare is absolutely top notch. Very experienced and will fight relentlessly for the client.”  Legal 500 2020


Mr T, a former Thompsons serious injury client, said:

“Many thanks Helen. Thank you for all the help and support you gave to me throughout  It’s something me and my family will never forget.”

Marion, a former Thompsons serious injury client, said:

“Thank you for all your support yesterday and for the last four and a half years. I know I said yesterday, but you’ve made a very difficult time of my life a lot easier. I remember back at the start of all this, I had no idea who to turn to and I spoke to a few solicitors.  As soon as I spoke to you my gut instinct was you were the right person. I’m so glad I did. I know I don’t know the half of what you’ve done behind the scenes but I really appreciate everything.  I’ve woke up this morning feeling a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and it’s over. I’m still struggling to comprehend the money, but that’s going to take time. I couldn’t have asked for a better solicitor and a better person to have on my side.”

David Knifton, of Queen's Counsel, said: "Helen Shakespeare, senior serious injury solicitor at the Leeds office, brings a wealth of expertise to her role, with several 7-figure settlements to her name. Her down-to-earth and good-humoured relationship with clients enables her to coax even the most reluctant to engage with rehabilitation, enabling them to see the enormous possibilities of life beyond a catastrophic injury. Calm and composed under pressure, her determination to succeed unfailingly leads to outstanding results, despite the most unpromising odds. She recently secured a full admission of liability for a child who suffered a severe brain injury when he ran in front of a bus over 20 years ago."