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I am a Partner based in the London office and lead the Workplace Illness and Disease team. Essentially this means that the team provides specialist legal advice and obtains compensation for those people who have become seriously ill principally as a consequence of exposure to asbestos.
I have acted for many hundreds of clients suffering from terminal asbestos diseases who have been exposed to the substance at work, or those who have lived close to factories producing asbestos products including the infamous J.W. Roberts factory in Leeds.
We act for clients based principally in the UK but also overseas including clients in New Zealand, Australia and mainland Europe.
I have helped the families of many clients who have been fatally injured in accidents at work, in agriculture, working on the railways or working in the construction industry.
I am committed to ensuring that my clients receive full and proper compensation for their injuries or illness.
I was very pleased to be recognised by Chambers and Partners for my expertise as a lawyer, being acknowledged a “hard-line but sensible negotiator.” I think this sums up what I always try to be.
Ian is "very impressive," "very pleasant, efficient and knowledgeable." - Chambers & Partners, 2017
He is admired as "very knowledgeable, experienced, kind and personable with clients." - Chambers & Partners 2016
I suppose what first got me hooked was the challenge of acting for David against Goliath and ensuring that, in so far as the law allowed, my client was helped to put his or her life back together following serious injury. I think that also applies where my clients have lost their loved ones in accidents, where I see it as my role to make sure that severe financial hardship does not result for a spouse and family as a consequence of the loss of a wife, husband or a partner.
Perhaps the most rewarding aspect is the number of clients I stay in touch with after conclusion of their cases and see how their lives have developed since the event that meant they came to see me for help in the first place. I hope this means that they are keen to tell me how they have moved on and what a difference our help has made!
I have also been a training principal for the many young lawyers that come to Irwin Mitchell. I have always enjoyed helping trainees develop their skills to become well-respected independent solicitors upon qualification.
I have worked at Irwin Mitchell for almost all of my working life (since 1992) and for all of my career as a lawyer. The thing about working here is that the place is always changing and evolving. That always makes each day exciting and interesting.
I have always enjoyed delivering seminars which I do internally and externally. I would not, however, be doing what I do without acknowledging the many wonderful, brave and determined clients for whom I have acted. The privilege of acting for people who need our help at such difficult times in their lives is not to be underestimated.
I enjoy socialising with friends and family I am an accredited FA level 1 coach. I have always enjoyed language learning and am still at it! I am learning to play the guitar again (hopefully with some improvement this time). After that and a very busy family life with three teenagers, there's not much time left really.
“This is an alarming case of workers and potentially members of the public being exposed to asbestos. The dangers of even small exposures to asbestos dust have now been known for many years. Asbestos dust is deadly and for this reason the court takes breaches very seriously.
“Despite the high levels of publicity around asbestos and the campaigns from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) promoting the need for tradespeople to be aware of these dangers, it is very concerning that this sort of incident continues to occur.
“No one can be complacent about the risks from asbestos exposure. It is not a historic issue as many of our old buildings still contain this deadly material and even now, we are dealing with the legacy of low level asbestos exposure affecting teachers and doctors who are affected by the terminal condition mesothelioma.
“We call upon the Government to have a clear management plan for asbestos and its removal in our public buildings to ensure that this and future generations are properly protected.”
“Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes so much distress for its victims and their families. Through our work we represent a large number of people who develop mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos decades ago.
“Before he died, Richard told us that during his time at Potton Timber & Engineering he made blocks from modular housing, sawing his blocks to size for use in the building industry.
“Richard told us he and his colleagues were not warned of the dangers of working with asbestos, nor were they provided with any training or any respiratory protective equipment such as masks. He said the cutting process caused dust to spread through the factory and it was each man’s job to clear up the mess they each made.
“Sadly, Richard will never have the answers he hoped for prior to his death, but it is important to his family to know how he came to be exposed to asbestos. Nothing can of course bring Richard back, but with these answers his family can focus on happier memories and, of course, the future.”
“The dangers of asbestos exposure were well-known from as early as the 1950s, yet throughout the 20th Century, many employers continued to expose their workers to asbestos by negligently failing to provide adequate training and protection.
“Deaths from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are significantly higher in areas of past industry and despite exposure to asbestos happening many years ago, the numbers of deaths from this awful disease are predicted to rise to a peak over the next few years. Sadly, it is our clients who are now paying the price for simply going to work to earn a living.”
“Asbestos was commonly used in the construction of public buildings, such as the palace, schools, local government buildings and universities. At Irwin Mitchell we have recently seen an increase in people affected by asbestos-related diseases who have spent time working at these institutions.
“Diseases caused by asbestos exposure are more commonly associated with heavy industry but clearly the substance is posing a danger to those outside these traditional industries. We have regularly called for the improved monitoring, management and auditing of asbestos in public buildings and we have also called for a clear plan to ensure the material is removed from public buildings.
“Whilst we are pleased that the asbestos is to be removed from the Houses of Parliament, we would like to see MPs who will be forced to relocate while renovations are carried out, have a similar commitment to other workers and members of the public to ensure that there is a clear plan to remove asbestos from all public buildings.”
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