Helen grew up and lives in the South West and has over 27 years of experience in litigation and asbestos-related illness cases, with specialist APIL Asbestos Disease Accreditation. Helen is highly recommended in the leading independent legal publication – Legal 500 where she has been noted for “leaving no stone unturned” and this is important for the difficult low-level asbestos exposure cases.
With a dedicated close-knit team, Helen can provide her clients with speed, efficiency and keeps everything very simple and straightforward, so that the legal claim does not end up causing an additional layer of stress and anxiety. With experienced Macmillan trained staff and Helen’s own personal experiences, there is also genuine care, compassion and empathy for clients and their families.
The vast majority of cases do not require detailed evidence and Helen has a strong track record for settling straightforward cases very quickly and efficiently with 3-9 months of taking on the case and often uses the Mesothelioma Payment Scheme. For some people, especially where there is no spouse, or where the spouse has the greater earning capacity, there is a real need for the cases to settle very quickly and Helen has excellent streamlined systems with her team to ensure this happens.
Since the early 90s, Helen has specialised in asbestos illness cases and has worked at many different types of a law firm including; Trades Union firms, High Street Legal Aid and large national law firms – all with clear differences in styles and approach and Helen has been able to take these experiences and blend with her own unique systems that go to the heart of client care, to create a gold standard personalised service for her clients and their families.
Sometimes cases such as this can be quite involved and upsetting and it is necessary to work closely with your appointed specialist Solicitor. Helen understands the importance of forming a good bond and trusting working relationship.
Helen has personal family experience of mesothelioma and has acted for some of her Dad’s former work colleagues from the Strachan & Henshaw factory in Bristol. Helen’s Dad worked as a maintenance fitter and worked at the factory for over 20 years. Helen’s relative, Steve, (aged 57) had mesothelioma for over 3 years and worked in the Curtains Dept at Gardner Haskins in Bristol where he unwittingly drilled through asbestos boarding on the in-store pillars, for displaying the curtains and blinds.
This personal experience has given Helen empathy and insight into the true effects this diagnosis has on sufferers and their loved ones and she is, therefore, able to naturally and easily connect with her clients and understand what they are going through; these qualities have been recognised in the legal publication, Legal 500.
Helen regularly acts for people who were employed or self-employed sub-contractors who often wrongly believe that due to their self-employed status they will not have a claim.
Helen’s first cases were from the Newport area whilst working for a trade union firm, Russell Jones & Walker. Helen regularly helped people who were exposed to asbestos at the Llanwern and Ebbw Vale Steelworks and regularly saw many clients at the Lysaght Institute in Newport.
Since the mid-90s, Helen has acted for people from areas in and surrounding Bristol, Bath, South & West Wales, Cheltenham & Gloucester, Somerset and Devon & Cornwall and has built up a good knowledge of the past and current employers in these areas where asbestos was used.
Many clients benefit from this as Helen often comes across the same companies such as; Westland Helicopters, British Cellophane, Milk Marketing Board, RNAS Yeovilton, W Coombes Builders, Dyer & Sons, Clarkes Shoe Factory and Hinkley Point Power Station (Plant A).
Over the years, Helen has acted for many people in the Devon & Cornwall area and has helped many people who worked at Devonport Dockyard, Falmouth Docks, Standard Telephone & Cables in Paignton and many other local factories and Schools in Devon & Cornwall and for many painters and decorators working on maintenance in Local Authority housing, (Cornish Units).
Many of Helen’s clients regularly help each other by sharing their witness statements, making the cases less complex and easier to settle amicably, without the need for Court proceedings.
Whilst dealing with the case, Helen’s own secondary school was fined £300,000 by the Health & Safety Executive when the asbestos suspended ceiling in the Humanities Block caved in, showering pupils and teachers with asbestos dust and debris. In view of such instances, which are commonplace throughout the UK, Helen feels very strongly that all asbestos in our schools is safely removed, rather than the current situation of sealing it and leaving in place which is just storing up the problem for another day.
You can sign the online petition set up by Lucie Stephens for all asbestos to be removed in our UK schools by 2030 by clicking on; https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petition.
Recently Helen’s niece has had her education interrupted after asbestos was discovered at her secondary school – see attached article –