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Deborah Sleightholme


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Working alongside fellow partners in the Individual Services Division, Deborah’s role involves developing and leading on regional and national business development strategies, building strong and valuable relationships with professionals and charities working with seriously injured and bereaved people, and understanding and showcasing the expertise of the different individual lawyers and specialist teams at the firm.

Deborah’s background as a serious injury lawyer and representing clients over many years puts her in a unique position to create opportunities and work together with others to build networks for effective signposting and ensure clients receive the holistic support they need.

Her role involves managing the firm’s relationships with lots of different charity partners whose work aligns to that done by the Hugh James teams, as well as the staff-nominated charities of the year.

Career and education history

  • Keele University BA Hons 2:1 Law & German
  • Chester College of Law Law Society Finals 1992 – 1993
  • Irwin Mitchell – Articles – started 1993, qualified 1995
  • Irwin Mitchell – 1993 – 2005
  • Fentons LLP – 2005 – 2013, became partner in 2006 and equity partner in 2010
  • Slater and Gordon – 2013 – 2018 – Principal Lawyer & Head of Business Development (Serious & Specialised Personal Injury)
  • Hugh James – 2018 – 2023 Consultant, 2023 onwards Partner & Head of Strategic Relationships


  • Law Society
  • Association of Persona Injury Lawyers


  • Deborah was one of the first solicitors to input into the training of police family liaison officers, something she has done since 2002, educating them on legal options available to families through the civil courts. Since 2008, she has been a trustee of Brake The Road Safety Charity, becoming Chair in 2010. The charity’s work is close to her heart following the death of her grandad in a road crash in 1990.
  • Deborah is Vice Chair of FLACSS (Family Liaison Affiliated Collective of Support Services), a group of charities working with family liaison officers to support those affected by murder, manslaughter and road death.

I would like to recommend Deborah for her pro-active nature, her efficiency and her professionalism. In my dealings with her, she has been nothing but friendly and warm.