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I am a Partner at 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.
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.
“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.”
“Exposure to asbestos can lead to range of respiratory diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma and it is vital asbestos found in domestic and commercial properties is handled correctly.
“The HSE has produced guidelines on the correct dismantling and removal of asbestos containing materials and the process should only be carried out by trained and licensed professionals.
“The dangers of handling asbestos are now well-recognised and I hope that this successful prosecution acts as a reminder to tradesmen and building companies of the need to adhere to these guidelines, so as not to put staff and members of the public at risk of exposure to the deadly dust and fibres.”
“We see first-hand the terrible consequences that asbestos exposure can have on so many lives, not just victims affected by mesothelioma but also their loved ones.
“Paul has been left devastated by Tracey’s sudden death and is understandably desperate for answers.
“While we believe Tracey may have been exposed to asbestos during her time at Ford Tractor Plant, we would be keen to hear from anyone who worked with her across her roles in Purfleet, London, Southend and Benfleet.
“Any information could prove vital in helping Paul get the answers he deserves.”
Asbestos can be a dangerous substance if it falls into a state of disrepair and is disturbed in any way. We have seen the severe and, in some cases, fatal impact inhaling asbestos dust and fibres can have.
“The material was commonly used in the construction of public buildings, like hospitals, Tube stations and schools for its fire retardant and insulating properties, but as a result of this we are now seeing a significant increase in the number of people exposed to asbestos in public buildings.
"Asbestos is highly dangerous and it is important appropriate measures are put in place so it can be continuously audited, monitored and managed in public buildings so that we can identify the asbestos that is at the highest risk of causing harm and take steps to safely remove it.