What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Our solicitors understand that this condition will have a huge effect on your life and the lives of those close to you. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, our lawyers could help you claim compensation.

The condition most commonly affects the lining of the lung (pleura), but mesothelioma can develop in the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum) and the heart (pericardium).

Can I Claim Mesothelioma Compensation?

Many of our clients have developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos at work decades previously, so you can trust our experience to investigate your employment history and track down those responsible for your illness. We can also help you make a claim through the Government’s Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme if you’re unable to find the employer responsible for your condition.

How Much Mesothelioma Compensation Can I Claim?

Mesothelioma compensation amounts can vary, but we take into account a number of factors when calculating your claim. We'll look at the impact of the illness on your life, as well as your loss of income and any care costs. You may also be able to make a claim for 'dependency' if a loved one - someone you were financially dependent on - has passed away from mesothelioma.

  • In 1995, we represented June Hancock in the first ever environmental asbestos case. June’s case was the first of its kind. It extended a company’s duty of care to those affected by secondary exposure to asbestos, not just its employees. Adrian Budgen successfully represented June and secured £4.37m compensation for her - the highest ever award for an industrial disease or fatal injury case at the time
  • We can secure hospice care costs as part of a client’s compensation settlement. We have recovered over £600,000 for hospice care since 2018.

Are There Time Limits For Making A Mesothelioma Claim?

You’ll normally have three years to make a claim from the date you were diagnosed with mesothelioma. If you want to claim on behalf of a loved one who has sadly died because of mesothelioma, you’ll have three years to make a claim from the date of the death or from the point where a post-mortem revealed asbestos exposure as the cause of death.

Asbestos-related diseases often take decades to develop but we could still help you make a claim. We could help you act against your former employer, even if you haven’t worked there for a long time, or if they’ve ceased trading.

Why Choose Irwin Mitchell?

We’ve helped many people with mesothelioma claims after a diagnosis of the asbestos-related disease – we’re very familiar with the symptoms of mesothelioma and the issues you’ll be facing with your loved ones.

We also understand all the legal ramifications for someone with this debilitating disease and how we can help you access much-needed compensation. Our solicitors will work hard to make sure your quality of life is the best it can be, and that your family’s financial future is secure.

Our Work With Mesothelioma Charities

We work with a number of local and national mesothelioma charities. Our support team is unique in that they are there for you, not just through your legal claim but to help with rehabilitation, finding local care services, understanding benefits available to you and more.

Mesothelioma UK are dedicated to providing free specialist information, support, care and treatment for those suffering with asbestos-related diseases.

We work closely with the charity, and are listed as recommended legal support for those looking for compensation and additional support.

As well as a number of local charities, we’re a proud supporter of the:

  • Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
  • June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund
  • Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund

We also recently represented the Forum of Asbestos Support Groups in the Supreme Court.

Listen to our podcast where our client, lawyer, and rehab team are joined by Sue Ryder to share personal experiences of grief, how to support someone's who's grieving, and the support that's available:


Can I Make A No Win No Fee Claim?

A No Win No Fee agreement means that you don’t have to pay any upfront fees when you make an asbestos claim.* And if your claim doesn’t succeed, you won’t have to pay anything at all.

What happens if your claim does succeed depends on what type of claim you make:
  • For mesothelioma claims – you keep 100% of your compensation.
  • For asbestosis, asbestos-related lung cancer, pleural thickening, and pleural plaque claims – we don't ask you to make any contribution to your legal costs but you will need to pay the litigation insurance premium from your compensation if you win the case.

This is because in 2012, the UK government decided that mesothelioma is so serious that the normal No Win No Fee rules shouldn’t apply.

Contact Us

We encourage you to contact us as soon as you’re diagnosed, even if you’re not sure when you were exposed to asbestos. We can help you identify at what point you were exposed and will help you make a claim against your present or past employer.

Handled landmark asbestos cases in the High Court
No Win, No Fee*
UK's largest team of asbestos solicitors
Advice on benefit eligibility

Call us for a free initial consultation

0800 056 4110

Or we can call you back at a time of your choice

Phone lines are open 24/7, 365 days a year
Adrian Budgen

Mesothelioma Claims - More Information

Mesothelioma client Sue

The money has allowed me not to worry if I need to pay someone to help out. It was settled out of court… but at least it was some form of recognition. Clive would have been pleased with that."

Sue, client

Rose’s Story

Nicola Handley

“I’m proud to have been able to support Rose on her legal journey by providing invaluable support through the litigation process, which was often challenging, by signposting her to charities and other healthcare professionals" - Nicola Handley, Associate Solicitor

"Without Nicola’s support I think I’d have just given up, which I did say to her many times I’d like to. She was a fighter and told me to keep going, which we did. Her support has been tremendous." - Rose, our client

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Causes Of Mesothelioma?

The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, which can happen in many different ways and places. There are three main kinds of asbestos exposure: 

  • Occupational: when the exposure happens at work
  • Secondary: when an employee’s loved ones are exposed to asbestos through dust/fibres on their work clothing
  • Environmental: when the area around an asbestos site is contaminated by airborne fibres. We represented June Hancock in her ground-breaking case against an asbestos factory in Armley.

We’ll work hard to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve, whatever the nature of your asbestos exposure. Even if you were exposed to asbestos decades ago and aren’t sure exactly where it happened, we’ll investigate your case thoroughly to find those responsible for your illness. Our mesothelioma lawyers are highly qualified and experienced, and we’ll always put your best interests at the forefront of everything we do.

Our team includes many of the country’s most respected mesothelioma lawyers. We offer the highest level of legal expertise in mesothelioma claims and can visit you at home if necessary. Please phone us on 0800 056 4110 to begin making your claim or contact us online.

What Precautions Against Asbestos Exposure Should My Employer Have Taken?

Employers have a legal responsibility to protect their workers from harm. This duty of care extends to doing as much as possible to prevent you from coming into direct contact with harmful substances like asbestos.

Even though asbestos was only completely banned in 1999, its health risks became well known in the 1960s, so employers can still be held legally responsible for asbestos exposure that happened years ago.

If you worked with asbestos, your employer should have:

  • Warned you of the harmful nature of asbestos
  • Safely disposed of asbestos waste/dust, preventing any contact with workers or the general public
  • Provided you with respiratory protection (as well as other safety equipment) to stop you coming into direct contact with asbestos when working with it

When employers fail to follow asbestos safety procedures, the consequences can be tragic - not only for the workers who are directly exposed to asbestos but also for their families. For example, we’ve helped people who developed mesothelioma after washing their partner’s asbestos-covered overalls.

If you’ve developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos, our solicitors could help you secure vital compensation. Phone us on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation about your case.

What If The Company I Worked For No Longer Exists?

Even if your ex-employer is no longer in business, you may be able to claim compensation. Since 1972, it’s been a legal requirement for companies to have employers’ liability insurance covering the risk of their workers being harmed.

These insurance policies will still be valid after the company itself has gone out of business, so you can still claim compensation through them many years later.

Many employers had this kind of insurance before 1972 but if your employer didn’t, you can still make a compensation claim through the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payments Scheme. This scheme is also intended to help people who aren’t able to track down the details of their employer or insurer. Please visit our Diffuse Mesothelioma Payments Scheme page for more information.

We have access to a number of databases that we can use to investigate your employment history. Our solicitors have years of experience tracking down those responsible for our clients’ exposure to asbestos. Call us on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation about your case or contact us online.

Is my child at risk from asbestos in their school?

Is there asbestos in my child’s school?

School leaders don’t have to inform parents that they have asbestos on their premises. Their duty is to manage the asbestos in their building.

If you’re worried you can ask the headteacher or the school governors for more information. You can also ask to see the school’s policy for informing parents if asbestos is damaged or disturbed.

If there’s asbestos in my child’s school, what can I do about it?

If there’s asbestos in your child’s school, there should be an asbestos management plan. You can ask to see this plan at any time, to familiarise yourself with the location of asbestos in the building and to reassure yourself that it’s being managed properly.

If you have any concerns about the management of asbestos, you can raise them with the person responsible for health and safety on the premises.

If you believe that asbestos is being disturbed in your child’s school you can contact the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for further advice on 0300 003 1647 or via the HSE website.

Who’s responsible for managing asbestos at my child’s school?

The responsible person in a school depends on the type of school.

  • For community schools, community special schools, voluntary-controlled schools, maintained nursery schools and pupil referral units, it’s the local authority.
  • For academies and free schools, it will be the Academy Trust and for voluntary-aided and foundation schools, it will be the school governors.
  • For independent schools, it may be the proprietor, governors, or trustees.
  • In situations where budgets for building management are delegated to schools by the local authority, the duty to manage asbestos will be shared between the school and the local authority.

What’s the risk from asbestos?

If asbestos is not disturbed, the risk is minimal, but it’s never zero. Its presence alone shouldn’t cause concern, provided it’s managed properly. Problems arise as buildings age and asbestos starts to deteriorate. With repair budgets stretched it’s becoming more of an issue.

If asbestos is disturbed it releases fibres into the air, which can then be inhaled by people using the space. Inhaling asbestos fibres leads to an increased risk of developing an asbestos-related condition later in life.

I’m worried that my child’s been exposed to asbestos during building work at school / there’s been a specific incident of damage to their classroom or a room they use. What can I do?

If you believe your child has been exposed to asbestos, you should make a record of that exposure. You can ask their GP to record the date and details of possible exposure to asbestos in their records. You should also keep a copy of any letters/documents relating to their exposure.

Is there anything else I can do?

Our charity partner Mesothelioma UK is calling time on asbestos with it’s Don’t Let The Dust Settle campaign. They want a central register of asbestos, including where it is and what condition it’s in.

They’re also calling for a timeframe to be set for the safe removal of asbestos, prioritising high risk settings such as schools and hospitals.

You may also wish to contact your local Asbestos Victim Support Group for further advice. It’s very likely they will have come across similar issues before. You can find details of your local support group at www.asbestosforum.org.uk.

If you, or someone close to you has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, our team are on hand to offer help and advice. More information can be found on our dedicated asbestos-related disease pages.

Awards & Recognition

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.

The Times Best Law Firms 2019
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Hold their ground under pressure
Aggressive litigators prepared to take on large insurers in asbestos litigation on behalf of individuals (usually with fatal asbestos diseases). They are prepared to hold their ground under pressure and develop new points of law."
Head and shoulders above others
They make themselves available to their clients and are willing to go the extra mile."

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