Helen represents family members exposed to asbestos dust brought home on the overalls of workers. In the last three years alone, Helen has recovered over £5m for injured claimants. According to an impressed source in Chambers & Partners UK, Helen’s work was “absolutely superb from the outset“, and she demonstrated “phenomenal attention to detail“. She is also recognised in Chambers as a “Leader in her field“, whilst The Legal 500 UK praises her as a “savvy asbestos litigation star”.
Helen’s most prominent successes include:
- £375k recovered in compensation for a journalist who had developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while doing summer building jobs in his university vacations. Helen obtained a further £50k for his father, alongside whom he had worked, and who had died of mesothelioma in 2002.
- £250k for the family of a 59 year old woman who died of mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos from her husband’s work clothes, when he was in the Royal Navy.
- £175k for the family of a woman who developed mesothelioma as a result of laundering her husbands work clothes. He was a carpenter at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Aldermaston.
- £150k for an electrician at the AWE. This claim was settled within just three months of instructions being received.
- £750k in compensation for a man who had worked for Foster Wheeler and had visited many different oil refinery and power generation sites. By using her knowledge of the various different sites he had visited and letting him see what other workers in similar occupations had done, Helen was able to prove that he was exposed to asbestos in the aftermath of a big explosion and during regular maintenance and repair work.
- Over £750k for a man who had worked in shipbuilding during his apprenticeship. His claim was particularly valuable because he was only 65, and was earning a six figure salary in the offshore oil industry. He intended working for many years into the future and the evidence indicated he should have been able to do so because there was a real skills shortage for experienced people like him.
- In the much publicised case of P v Portline, Helen proved that employers were aware of the dangers of exposure to asbestos as early as the 1950s. This case made it possible to claim compensation for diseases caused by exposure to asbestos back then. Before this case was won, claims for exposure this early invariably failed.
Helen is a regular speaker at seminars, public meetings and charity fund raisers. She supports several charities which assist both the individuals injured as a result of industrial diseases, and their families.
Helen lives with her two children, Joe and Lucy, who manage to take up most of her spare time. However, when time allows, she loves gardening, cooking and baking, sewing/dressmaking, swimming, cycling, running, and long walks.
APIL and CPIL (at Fellow Level).
I have always wanted to work in this area of law. For me, personal injury law is about the combination of the human element; helping people to get recompense for often devastating accidents, with the thrill of the chase; working out who was at fault and forcing them to accept responsibility and pay the compensation that’s due. Moving into asbestos claims was a logical progression for me. My clients are invariably lovely people who have been dealt a very bitter blow with their diagnosis of an often very serious illness, or the loss of a loved one. Listening to their life stories is fascinating, and working out who is responsible for their loss can involve detailed forensic analysis, and is always really interesting and hugely rewarding. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to help each and every one of my clients.