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I am a Partner and Head of the Asbestos-Related Disease Team in Leeds. I have over 20 years’ experience working exclusively for claimants with mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural thickening. I've helped a wide range of people including teachers, architects, policemen, office workers, surveyors, joiners, plumbers, and electricians.

I'm passionate about my work and lecture widely about this specialist field. I also work closely with healthcare professionals to support the needs of sufferers.

I recently secured a ‘landmark agreement’ with defendant insurers to cover the costs of future cancer treatment for a client with mesothelioma. The agreement creates a Periodical Payments Order and means that a settlement did not have to wait until doctors actually advised that he should receive immunotherapy treatment. This avoided the need to estimate treatment costs ahead of time in an area of breath-taking change both in terms of the drugs available and their cost.

The team and I raise funds for charities and we've participated in the Leeds and Hull 10k run. The Leeds team has recovered over £330,000 for hospices within the region following a landmark High Court ruling in a 2010 case led by Irwin Mitchell.

I have extensive experience in both the High Court and Court of Appeal. I always strive to provide swift, accurate and expert assistance to people suffering from the effects of mesothelioma.


"As a family, we cannot speak highly enough regarding Nicola Handley and Ian Toft, and the rest of the IM team that looked after us, after the sad passing of our Mother. Right from the start, they dealt with our family incredibly sensitively and professionally, and were always on hand to answer any questions we may have had, throughout some very hard and emotional times..."- Client (read full 5* Trustpilot review)

"We engaged Irwin Mitchell to pursue a claim on behalf of my father-in-law, who tragically died from mesothelioma. At all stages of the process the team demonstrated exceptional skills, experience, professionalism and empathy. I would strongly recommend Irwin Mitchell to anyone who is thinking of pursuing a compensation claim for Mesothelioma or any other occupational illness and injury." – Client

What Inspired You To Get Into Law?

I wanted to pursue a challenging career that would make a difference to people, groups and organisations.

What Is The Most Rewarding Aspect Of Your Role?

The one thing which I enjoy the most is meeting people: discussing their problems and trying to find solutions.

What Do You Do Away From The Office?

Both my wife and I were born in Yorkshire and returned to bring up our young family in 2008 (two daughters, one aged six and the other eight weeks old). At the moment life is on hold following the birth of our second child in April 2014!

Read My Comments On The Latest News

  • 12/11/2018
    Settlement For Leeds Man Diagnosed With Asbestos-Related Cancer

    “This settlement is a hugely important step forward for Grahame and his family. “Mesothelioma is a very aggressive form of cancer, and unfortunately there is no known cure. However, it can be treated and immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that can help boost the body’s defences to fight cancer by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells. “The treatment can be costly and is not routinely available on the NHS so some patients do have to undergo the treatment privately. This can lead to financial worries, which thankfully this settlement removes for Grahame.”

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  • 06/11/2018
    Leeds-Based Asbestos Lawyers Get Specialist Recognition From Industry Association

    “I am extremely proud to lead a team which boasts over half of the accredited asbestos disease specialists by APIL in Leeds. I, Lucy, Oliver and Nicola make up four of the seven accredited specialists in the city. “At Irwin Mitchell we aim to provide an unrivalled level of support to those who have suffered from an industrial illness, obtaining access for clients to the best possible treatment and care services to provide the best quality of life. “We will continue to offer help and guidance from our experience in this field to those who are also hoping to become accredited by the claimant lawyers’ leading association.”

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  • 12/10/2018
    Hospice To Receive Care Costs For Huddersfield Man Who Died Of Asbestos-Cancer

    “Hospices play a hugely important role in many communities and we are delighted that we have been able to give back to a vital organisation like Kirkwood Hospice. “I am proud that as part of our work, the team at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds has managed to secure £332,000 for hospices across the county, by recovering the care costs for those who were exposed to harmful materials during their working life. “Hospice Care Week presents us with a chance to promote the great work done by hospice staff and to raise awareness of the challenges they face.”

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  • 11/10/2018
    Cancer Patient Information Event In York To Support Those Diagnosed With Asbestos-Related Cancer

    “Over 2,500 people are dying from mesothelioma every year in the UK due to the negligence of their employer’s decades ago. “The vast majority of the people we represent were never warned of the dangers posed by asbestos and sadly were never given any protective equipment that would have reduced their exposure to the deadly substance. “Individuals suffering from cancer frequently require care, support and information urgently and we are hosting this day to provide them with an opportunity to be armed with the knowledge that they will require prior to the progression of their disease.”

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