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David Johnston-Keay

Senior Associate


I am a Senior Associate in the Occupational Disease team in Sheffield, acting for employees who have suffered injury as a result of their employment. I have 10 years experience of handling a variety of disease claims, qualifying as a solicitor in April 2007.

I primarily act for clients who suffer with respiratory conditions (particularly asthma), noise induced hearing loss, hand arm vibration syndrome and work related upper limb disorders.  I have also acted in various niche disease claims including a claim brought by a gentleman with toxic brain syndrome, caused by exposure to paint fume.

I presently act for a number of former military personnel who have suffered injury as a result of their service.

What Inspired You To Get Into Law?

I failed to get into medical school and took a law degree instead, inspired by Mr John Grisham. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I only began to like the law when reading for my degree and once practicing it, I came to love the everyday challenges posed by it.

What Is The Most Rewarding Aspect Of Your Role?

Knowing that there is very rarely a 'right answer' and that a well reasoned argument, good tactics and a bit of luck can make or break a case.

What Do You Like About Working At Irwin Mitchell?

It’s a very friendly place to work.  I work alongside some talented colleagues who on many occasions have come up with some great ideas when I couldn't see the wood for the trees.  Knowing you always have someone willing to talk through your ideas, including busy partners, is always very comforting.

What Do You Do Away From The Office?

In days gone by I would have said football, squash and golf.  Now that my son is growing up, he keeps me busy for any period I would previously have referred to as 'spare time'.

Read My Comments On The Latest News

  • 28/07/2014
    South Yorkshire Coke Oven Worker Died From Industrial Disease

    Terry had worked for 12 years on the oven tops breathing in the potent fumes. Many workers were put at risk of serious and terminal illness by working for long periods of their careers on the coke ovens, and in particular the oven tops where the fumes were at their worst. “The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council believes that the risk of illness is doubled when an oven top worker had spent five years or more on top of the ovens. The inquest has examined Terry’s career and has now confirmed that his work contributed to his illness. “Hundreds of former workers are now suffering from terrible conditions simply because of the work they carried out on a day-to-day basis from the 1950s right through to the 1980s and 90s. Employees have a basic right to be able to go to work and return home safely at the end of the day. We continue to represent many people in a battle for justice and to provide for their families in future as they are now suffering from diseases after working on the coke ovens.”

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