As part of our free service we help people diagnosed with an asbestos-related lung disease (mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening) to make a compensation claim.
The National Asbestos Helpline team works closely with Birchall Blackburn Law and its team of specialist asbestos compensation solicitors. We have worked with the same lawyers for more than a decade because they have helped us support hundreds of hardworking people given the devastating news that they have an asbestos-related disease.
Meet the Birchall Blackburn Law specialist asbestos lawyers
Craig has more than 23 years’ experience as a lawyer and has been a partner at Birchall Blackburn Law since 2010. He is a solicitor of the Supreme Court and accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers as a Senior Solicitor.
Craig specialises in asbestos litigation and has conducted hundreds of asbestos cases during his career, including multi-million pound litigation.
Craig says, “I pride myself on achieving success for my clients. Asbestos-related diseases take decades to develop, which often denies hardworking people the justice they deserve because the exposure occurred so long ago. It’s my job to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Craig was involved in the decisions in Kelly v Kitsons (an asbestosis case where the court allowed the claim to proceed despite being outside the primary limitation period) and Passmore v Evan Cook (a living mesothelioma claim where the claimant succeeded in a liability trial). He has also been involved in cases which have reached the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He has achieved high value settlements in asbestos cases including settlements up to £850,000 and he is an experienced advocate in the Asbestos Court.
Craig has written articles on asbestos litigation and he likes to keep up to date with legal developments within the area of industrial disease.
Away from the office Craig enjoys spending time with his family, and sports including football, rugby, tennis, and swimming. He is also a keen reader.
Helen studied Law at Leeds University and is a solicitor and partner at Birchall Blackburn Law. She is accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and a member of the Law Society.
Helen started to focus on industrial disease work 25 years ago and worked for many years in a National Trades Union firm. She now specialise solely in asbestos disease work.
She has acted for ex-pats in mesothelioma claims across the world, including Australia, and settled mesothelioma cases within 12 weeks of instruction.
Helen says, “I chose to specialise in asbestos work because I find this work particularly interesting and rewarding. I have had family members who have suffered from asbestos disease so acting for claimants is close to my heart. The impact of asbestos on people’s lives is devastating and to be able to help these people in some way is a privilege.”
In her spare time, Helen focuses on her children. This includes being the Secretary of the PTA, manager of the rugby team, and setting up a dyslexia group for local children. At weekends, given that her children enjoy surfing, she is likely to be found at the beach.
Fiona has been a qualified solicitor since 1995 and a specialist lawyer in mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases for more than a decade.
She says, “I’ve worked in many areas of law throughout my career but asbestos-related litigation has been the most rewarding. I’m able to genuinely help a generation of hardworking people who have almost been forgotten. They have been let down by their employers, successive governments and insurance companies, but I’m in a position to help and make a significant difference to their lives.”
Fiona has recover thousands of pounds worth of compensation to help support asbestos victims and their families. She has been involved in a number of high-profile asbestos-related cases. The most recent involved the use of a Tomlin Order to secure future financial provisions for mesothelioma sufferers, which will pay for cutting-edge and expensive immunotherapy that could prolong their life.
As a former contemporary dancer, Fiona likes to keep active in her spare time by walking and hiking. She also enjoys watching sport and tries to find as much time as possible to spend with her family.
Joanne qualified in November 1995 as a solicitor and has been a specialist in asbestos disease claims for the past 15 years. She is accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and a member of the Law Society.
Jo says, “My Great Uncle Tom worked at Crewe Railway works and died due to asbestos-related mesothelioma some years ago. I remember what a great hole that left in my Great Aunty Mary’s life. It seemed so unjust that his life was taken early as a result of him turning up for work every day.
“I get a lot of job satisfaction helping people at a very difficult time in their lives and it is an immense privilege to represent them.
“I also enjoy the challenge posed by asbestos-related disease claims. It involves being thorough with an eye for detail, a bit like being a detective, especially when tracing a company’s history and insurers from years ago.”
Jo is inspired by people like Mavis Nye, who campaigns tirelessly to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos whilst battling asbestos-related disease herself. She is in awe of the medical profession that provides such high levels of care to those suffering with asbestos-related disease and by those involved in researching and trialling new drugs in the hope of find a cure for mesothelioma and lung cancer.
To unwind Jo enjoys walking, going to the gym and baking.
Joan has been a qualified solicitor since January 2015 and has more than six year experience in asbestos and industrial disease law. She is a member of the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Joan says: “Industrial disease fulfils every aspect of why I became a solicitor. I am able to help vulnerable people obtain the justice they deserve and get access to financial support and help at a time when they require it the most. It is a very fulfilling and rewarding area of law.
“The most satisfying part of my job is being able to help claimants following the devastating impact of an asbestos-related disease. Whilst compensation cannot change their diagnosis, financial support can provide access to the treatment and care which may otherwise be unattainable and can provide them with the peace of mind that they are providing financial security for loved ones. It is rewarding to be able to help provide some security to people in their time of need.”
In her spare time Joan enjoys going to the gym and running. She has helped raise thousands of pounds for Maggie’s Merseyside Cancer Centre by taking part in regional 10ks and half marathons.
Victoria has been a qualified solicitor since February 2005 and is accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers. She has been a specialist in asbestos disease claims for more than a decade.
Victoria says: “I start to specialise in industrial disease and specifically asbestos-related claims because I wanted to make a difference for people who couldn’t necessarily make it happen for themselves. If I hadn’t done this I would have been a nurse.
“The most inspiring aspect of the job is our clients and their families. We meet some lovely people in what are often very difficult circumstances. We also come into contact with some fantastic charities, nurses and other professionals who work tirelessly to improve the lot of those suffering with asbestos related conditions. Being able to give clients peace of mind is the most satisfying part of the job.”
To wind-down and relax after the working week Victoria enjoys jogging – although it’s at quite a leisurely pace these days – and watching her children enjoy and take part in their hobbies.