Asbestos Experts Welcome All-Party Group’s Letter On Legal Aid Bill

Peers Condemn Plans In The Times


A letter published in a national newspaper criticising the government proposals which would see victims of asbestos-related disease pay up to a quarter of their compensation in legal costs has been welcomed by an expert at Irwin Mitchell.

Published last week (March 3rd), the letter published in The Times from the all-party group of peers has condemned the plans in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Prosecution of Offenders (LASPO) Bill, which they have described as “risible”.

In the letter, Lord Alton of Liverpool, Lord Avebury and Lord Beecham, amongst others, suggest that making those who suffer from mesothelioma pay legal costs ignores the fact that “many sufferers are so defeated by their illness they never make a claim as things stand now”.

Adrian Budgen, national head of asbestos litigation at Irwin Mitchell, said that this issue is one of several consequences which the LASPO Bill could have on so many lives.

He outlined: “Damages in all personal injury cases are calculated in a manner designed to reflect the loss of earnings and severe impact that injury and illness, including the onset of asbestos-related cancer, can have on the victim.

“This means that those who have gone on to develop a terminal illness through someone else’s negligence would see the compensation, which they have been rightly awarded, eroded by these proposals in the legislation.

“The suggestion that victims of asbestos-related illness should be included in this proposal could be a serious blow to the many people who may need legal support to help them through an incredibly difficult time.”