Head of Industrial Disease and Illnesses
I am an experienced solicitor dedicating my time to gaining compensation and justice for people who have developed asbestos related diseases and other work- related illnesses and injuries.
I’ve worked in the North of England for the majority of my legal career but, have recently made the decision to move South to join a leading claimant firm, in London. I recognise and support the values of Hodge Jones & Allen as I have committed my professional time and energies to gaining answers, justice and compensation for my clients over the last 22 years.
For me, the most rewarding part of my work is helping people – giving them practical as well as legal support and, getting to know their families.
My legal career includes working with and leading workplace injury teams for Irwin Mitchell, in Newcastle and Ashton Morton Slack, in Sheffield.
My caseload includes representing employees who have suffered workplace injuries including asbestos disease claims, other respiratory and skin conditions. Particular major cases have included mesothelioma claims, lung cancer claims and noise induced hearing loss.
Click here to watch a video clip of me speaking about industrial diseases.
- “Thank you so much. I was a complete mess when you took me on. I have recovered to some extent and, with the money, at least that part of my worries are solved. So thank you with all my heart.” Hilary
- Our client’s husband had died from mesothelioma. She had instructed other solicitors to bring a claim against his former employers whose insurers denied liability and so the case was turned down by them. We took the case on, issued a witness appeal and obtained evidence to prove exposure to asbestos at work with one of the employers whose insurers then conceded liability. As no settlement offer was forthcoming, we issued court proceedings, obtained judgement for our client and an interim payment of £50,000. Shortly before the final hearing, I negotiated a six–figure settlement, achieving an increase of £20,000 on the first offer made.
- I was instructed by a lady with mesothelioma. She was unaware of asbestos exposure though her own work but it became apparent she had been exposed by washing her son’s work clothes. She died shortly after we met and I represented her family at the inquest. We sued the son’s employer whose insurers denied liability, arguing that asbestos products had been largely phased out and that they offered laundry facilities; therefore, any exposure to our late client would have been negligible. I traced witnesses who refuted the insurer’s claim and having disclosed that, and preparing for trial, received a first settlement proposal. After further negotiations, my client accepted an increased settlement which they felt did some justice to their mother’s suffering.
- I was instructed by a gentleman who had developed mesothelioma but was unsure where he had been exposed to asbestos. He had served in the merchant navy, not an engineer but in catering. My enquiries revealed degraded asbestos lagging on steam pipes connected to equipment he used. He also maintained supplies on board, including asbestos products. This was a difficult claim as it involved low exposure levels but having initially denied liability following the issue of court proceedings, faced with my client’s evidence, the Defendant’s insurer capitulated and the claim was settled for a six-figure sum, out of court, during my client’s lifetime.
- I acted for a gentlemen who had been a joiner who, during his apprenticeship and with subsequent employers, had been exposed to asbestos dust and developed asbestosis as a result. He had machined asbestos board to make fire doors, replaced asbestos ceiling tiles, worked alongside laggers applying and removing asbestos insulation. We sued 3 of his former employers, one of whom admitted liability. After engineers’ reports I negotiated settlement with the remaining employers, settling the claim on a provisional basis for a five-figure sum for the effects of the condition to date, with the option to seek a further award if his condition deteriorates or he develops another asbestos disease., providing security against future risks.
Professional Recognition and Accreditation
I am proud to be a Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) as gaining this status required getting through a rigorous assessment process. I’m also a Member of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel.
Working with Support Groups
Over the years, I have come to know and support many of the asbestos support and community groups around the country, including SARAG, Mesothelioma UK and Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK. They all offer an important network for victims and their families and campaign relentlessly, to bring about change when needed and to provide a co-ordinated voice.
I co-wrote an article for the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), reporting on a successful Court of Appeal case I handled (Cox v Rolls Royce Industrial Power (India) Ltd.
I’m an active mountain biker and cyclist. Exploring London on my bike whilst staying safe is my latest challenge. My other pastimes of yoga, knitting, sewing, silver craft and interior design help me to relax and unwind.