Asbestos compensation claims

Our specialist asbestos solicitors represent victims and their families from all over the UK and are highly experienced in investigating asbestos claims to track down the responsible parties.

We offer free advice and guidance while we initially investigate your claim without obligation to proceed. We can arrange home visits and can help you access, where appropriate, early interim compensation payments and benefit entitlements. All ongoing work is carried out on a no win, no fee basis.


We understand what you’re currently going through and are here to help. If you have any questions, big or small, get in touch..

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that was first mined in South Africa in 1805. There are three different types of asbestos which have varying levels of toxicity; these being blue asbestos (crocidolite) which is believed to be the most potent, brown asbestos (amosite) and white asbestos (chrysotile).

Asbestos was mainly used for its insulation properties and was often mixed with other materials. It was commonly used in steel production, ship building and the construction industry. Over the years, the UK has banned the import of asbestos, with the ban on blue and brown coming into force in 1985 and white asbestos being banned in 1999. Read more in our FAQ’s.


What diseases are  caused by Asbestos?

Asbestos exposure can cause a range of illnesses, including:

  • Mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The condition most commonly affects the lining of the lung (pleura), but mesothelioma can develop in the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum), the testes and the heart (pericardium). Around 2000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the UK each year. There is currently no known cure, although there have been recent breakthroughs in treatment options and we can look to recover the cost of such treatment through a legal claim.
  • Asbestosis is a fibrosis (scarring) of the lungs themselves. There are various causes of lung fibrosis, but if you have been exposed to heavy levels of asbestos dust, then it’s possible that asbestos exposure has caused this condition. Symptoms include breathlessness and pain.
  • There are different forms of lung cancer, which result in the formation of malignant tumours within the lungs. Causes of lung cancer include heavy asbestos exposure. Even if you have smoked, we may still be able to show that asbestos exposure increased the risk of you developing lung cancer.
  • Pleural thickening is a term which refers to a thickening of the lining of the lung (pleura) caused by scar tissue. It can arise from a number of causes, which include asbestos exposure. Symptoms include breathlessness and pain.

If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos condition it is important that you find out as much as you can about your illness from your doctor.


Who is at risk from Asbestos exposure?

Exposure to asbestos may result in serious illness and even premature death, for up to 70 years after the initial exposure. Exposure to asbestos can arise from a variety of different circumstances such as:

  • Employment – many of those that suffer with asbestos related illnesses have previously been employed in a trade that used asbestos products. Most commonly these include builders, carpenters and plumbers who used products such as asbestos boards, rope, insulation and more in the course of their working lives.
  • Environment – some sufferers of an asbestos related disease are exposed to asbestos by working in a particular environment such as in factories, steelworks, on buildings site and ships where asbestos is used in and around the work environment. Less common environments which contained asbestos materials also include hospitals, schools and farms.
  • Secondary Exposure – this is when dust and fibres released from asbestos related products are transferred from one person to another. Anexample of this is when a wife washes the overalls of her husband which had been contaminated with dust through his work with or near asbestos related products.

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis or pleural thickening then you may have the right to make a compensation claim. Even those who have been exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with lung cancer may be eligible to claim.


Can I claim compensation for Asbestos exposure?

If you have been diagnosed with an illness such as mesotheliomalung cancerasbestosis or pleural thickening then you should contact our specialist solicitors to find out whether you’re eligible for compensation. We will ask you some key questions about your working history and your illness so that we can make further investigations and advise you on the likelihood of your claim succeeding.

We may even be able to help you if your lung cancer has been attributed to smoking, if you have a history of working in an asbestos based environment.

Our investigation process is free of charge and we will advise you in detail about the next steps before you agree to instruct us.

If you decide to instruct us we will act on a no win, no fee basis which will be fully explained to you beforehand.


How much will an Asbestos compensation claim cost me?

Your claim will be dealt with under a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement. If your claim is not successful it will not cost you anything. Please speak with one of our solicitors for more detail on how these agreements work.


Are there time limits for making an Asbestos claim?

Technically, you have three years from the date you were diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition in which to make a claim. There are however exceptions to this and it is worth contacting us in any event, even if you are outside this time frame. If a loved one has passed away from an asbestos-related condition, you have three years from the date of their death in which to make a claim.


Why choose Hugh James?

We are experts in dealing with mesothelioma and asbestos-related disease claims. The specialist Hugh James team will ensure that you and your family get the help you need.

We regularly help people who have been diagnosed with the following conditions:

Our lawyers have been successfully handling industrial disease and asbestos cases for individuals and families for over 50 years. We understand that the time following diagnosis with an asbestos-related condition is distressing, so we provide on-going support for our clients and their families and make sure the process is as straightforward as possible.

We are relentless in the pursuit of justice. Our specialist team will provide expert legal advice to ensure you receive the best care, treatment and the highest level of compensation.

Find advice

Key contact

Richard Green specialises in asbestos related disease claims. Primarily mesothelioma, asbestosis, diffuse pleural thickening and lung cancer.

View team

Organisations we support

Hugh James are passionate about ensuring that our clients receive the best possible care and support. We have therefore developed links with a number of asbestos charities and support groups which strive to help and assist patients affected by asbestos disease. These include:


Mavis Nye Foundation

The Mavis Nye Foundation was created to inspire victims of mesothelioma an asbestos related cancer. Through its board and members it gives hope to fellow victims and shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel.


Mesothelioma UK

Mesothelioma UK is the leading charity supporting those with mesothelioma in the UK and provides specialist information, support and education.  The charity is also focused upon improving care and treatment for all UK mesothelioma patients and their carers. Hugh James are one of eight firms selected to provide UK wide support to mesothelioma sufferers. 


Local Support Groups


Featured case studies

Watch the stories of Eileen Inman and Wayne Churches. Eileen, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 2016 – 48 years after starting work at the high street retailer’s store in Staines, Surrey. She was employed in 1968, at the age of 15, and worked there until 1973. Her condition is terminal and she only has months to live. Wayne, 73, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2017. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of lung cancer which is exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. Mr Churches was exposed to asbestos whilst working as an engineer at Pen-y-Fai Hospital, Bridgend and Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny.

Your questions answered

What is asbestos?


Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that was first mined in South Africa in 1805. There are three different types of asbestos which have varying levels of toxicity; these being blue asbestos (crocidolite) which is believed to be the most potent, brown asbestos (amosite) and white asbestos (chrysotile).

Asbestos was mainly used for its insulation properties and was often mixed with other materials. It was commonly used in steel production, ship building and construction. Over the years the UK has banned the import of asbestos, with the ban on blue and brown coming into force in 1985 and white asbestos being banned in 1999.

Whilst asbestos is no longer legally imported or used by industry in the UK many individuals continue to be exposed to its harmful fibres. Many buildings, including, schools and hospitals may contain asbestos.

Asbestos related illnesses can take decades to appear and with its heavy industrial use and presence in public and private buildings, we are still seeing large numbers of people being diagnosed with asbestos related diseases each year.

As the effects of asbestos exposure can take many decades to present themselves it is estimated that a further 60,000 people shall die from the asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma in the next 30 years in the UK alone.

How do I make an asbestos exposure compensation claim?


Making the initial enquiry to see if you are able to pursue a mesothelioma compensation claim is easy, simply contact our specialist asbestos solicitors either via telephone or our online enquiry form.

We understand that dealing with a diagnosis of an asbestos related disease is difficult for both you and your family. To make pursing a compensation claim as easy as possible you will not have to visit any of our offices. We can arrange home visits across the country and shall verbally discuss everything with you via telephone.

In our initial consultation we shall discuss your potential claim free of charge, without obligation. If your claim has a reasonable chance of being successful we will then run you through your options and give you the opportunity to instruct us to act on your behalf on a no win, no fee, basis.

Our team of lawyers are accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

How much compensation will I receive?


This is personal to you and will depend upon the asbestos condition you suffer from. Many mesothelioma claims settle for sums between £100,000 and £400,000.

Our specialist team is experienced in ensuring that you and your family receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

Compensation will include an award for the pain and suffering caused by your illness. In addition compensation can also be claimed in respect of care needs, financial losses, medical care and treatment.

What other financial support are there for Asbestos Related Disease patients?


The most common benefits you may be entitled to include:

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB)

You may be able to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) if you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease arising from exposure to asbestos at work, and your disease is causing you symptoms.

You can make an application for IIDB if you have developed one of the following:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Asbestos related lung cancer
  • Asbestosis
  • Pleural thickening

If your application is successful you will receive IIDB weekly for life. If you have mesothelioma, you will receive £182 per week. If you have one of the other asbestos related diseases then the amount you receive will depend upon how serious your condition is. IIDB can also be backdated for up to 13 weeks.

Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979

If you have developed mesothelioma, asbestos related lung cancer, asbestosis or pleural thickening arising from occupational asbestos exposure, and have been awarded Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, you will also be entitled to a lump sum payment under the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act. You may also be able to claim if a loved one has died from an asbestos related disease.

The lump sum is assessed based on both your age, and the severity of your condition. If you have mesothelioma for instance, the lump sum awarded ranges from £14,578 upwards.

2008 Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme

You may be able to claim a lump sum through the 2008 Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme if you have developed mesothelioma arising from exposure to asbestos outside of work, for instance if you were self-employed, if you were exposed to asbestos at school or even if you are unsure where you might have come into contact with asbestos dust.

As with the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act, the lump sum paid depends on the age you were diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Diffuse Mesothelioma Payments Scheme (DMPS)

The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payments Scheme (DMPS) is a scheme set up for those who have developed mesothelioma arising from asbestos exposure at work, but who are unable to make a civil compensation claim because their employer has since been dissolved, and no insurance can be traced for them.

Care related benefits

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Attendance Allowance (AA) provide a weekly payment to assist with personal care. In addition PIP also offers a mobility component, which provides additional funds to help if you need assistance travelling. If you are in receipt of PIP or AA, you might also be entitled to apply to your local council for a Blue Badge to assist with car parking.

PIP is available to those aged under 65 and AA is available to those aged 65 or over. How much you will receive depends upon an assessment as to your care needs.

Finally, if a friend or family spends a large amount of time caring for you, they may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance.

Next steps

We understand that the benefits application process can seem daunting. In addition, applying for the benefits listed above might impact on your current benefits entitlement. Accordingly, we suggest that you have a chat with an asbestos specialist lawyer before making any application. Our specialist team here at Hugh James have are experienced in completing benefits application papers and would be happy to assist you with your application(s) for welfare benefits. We do not charge for this service.

Am I able to claim for pleural plaques?


It is no longer possible to claim compensation for pleural plaques in England and Wales. You may be able to claim compensation for pleural plaques if you were exposed to asbestos in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

What if my former employer is no longer trading?


We will trace the employers’ liability insurers of your former employers who will be responsible for paying the compensation you are entitled to.

If your former employer did not have insurance, it may be possible to pursue a claim under the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme if you suffer with mesothelioma.


Members of the Asbestos Team have put together several videos to mark various recent International Global Event Days


Hugh James have been exceptional at a very difficult time. From the onset the procedure was clearly explained and if I had a query it was answered straight away. My case has been handled with great sensitivity. I can’t thank Hugh James enough and would recommend them to all my friends and family.

Eileen Inman


I am really pleased with the way Hugh James is dealing with my claim. They are most helpful and take the time to explain in detail anything I ask; nothing is too much trouble. I am treated with respect. I would like to thank the team; I would not hesitate in recommending Hugh James.

Peter Ruggles


The service I have received from Hugh James has been fantastic. I cannot fault anything. The team at Hugh James have always been there for me. I cannot emphasise enough the help they have given me; always on hand to give me advice. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.

Raymond Parr


Attentive and tactful at a time that is distressing given the palliative nature of their asbestos-related malignancy.

The Legal 500


Richard Green is a gentleman when in contact with patients/clients and attentive to their individual circumstance.

The Legal 500


I would advise anybody to do business with Hugh James. Their service, their speed in dealing, their communication. From start to finish they have been outstanding in everything. They have dealt with my claim brilliantly.”

Mr H.


From the first contact and throughout the processing of my asbestos claim, I found the staff very helpful, lucid, clear and considerate. The communication was prompt and precise. Hugh James presented my case in a legible way. I would highly recommend them.

Eric Michael Greenham


Having very little to do with solicitors in the past, I was very grateful for Lauren's relaxed and helpful way of guiding myself and family through the whole process of claiming compensation. Lauren was very respectful and sensitive when my husband passed away and kept us up to date with things as they progressed. Very good service from start to end. I would recommend Hugh James services.

Mrs L


From start to finish I had excellent communication with my appointed solicitor, they never left any stone unturned, I was always kept up to date all the way through my case and was given excellent advice, nothing was to much trouble.

Mr Huw Lawrence


I would like to express my appreciation to solicitors Hugh James, in particular Ceri Clark for the way she handled my compensation claim. Everything was explained in ways that I could understand. I would be happy to use their services again should the need arise.

Client testimonial


I would like to say thank you for the wonderful work Chris has done. The level of communication was excellent. I would be very willing and happy to recommend your services.

Client testimonial

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