Ian McFall is an experienced industrial disease solicitor and a member of Thompsons Solicitors’ Supervisory Board. He is acknowledged as one of the UK’s top specialists in asbestos litigation, with 30 years’ experience in the field.

As Thompsons’ head of asbestos litigation, Ian is based in the Newcastle office but manages and advises a dedicated team of lawyers throughout the firm’s national network. He is responsible for developing litigation strategy and - together with victim support groups - initiating campaigns on behalf of the victims of asbestos-related diseases, especially the mesothelioma cancer.

Before becoming head of asbestos litigation, Ian won compensation for hundreds of people in cases brought by clients from across the North East of England suffering from pleural thickening, asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Ian is proud of his “uniquely well-resourced team” leading legal challenges against the vested interests of insurance companies and employers. Ian seeks to protect and advance the rights of working people and organise campaigns for justice.

Away from work Ian is a voracious reader. His tastes range from novels and poetry to philosophy, embracing Kafka, Seamus Heaney and Bertrand Russell among others. He has a wide-ranging collection of music on vinyl and likes a drink and a good argument. 



Ian has been a leading participant in many of the ground-breaking cases involving exposure to asbestos:

The mesothelioma “trigger issue” test case in the Supreme Court in 2012 provided clear rules governing the way in which Employers’ Liability (EL) insurances should respond to mesothelioma claims.

The Barker and Others test case in the House of Lords in 2006 which led to legislation benefiting thousands of mesothelioma sufferers.

The pleural plaques test litigation in the High Court in 2005, the Court of Appeal in 2006, the House of Lords in 2007 and a subsequent political campaign by trade unions and Thompsons Solicitors which resulted in the Ministry of Justice introducing the pleural plaques extra-statutory scheme in England and Wales.



Diane Humberstone: “I am writing on behalf of my mum to sincerely thank you for all the help and support you have given us whilst pursuing the case against my dad’s employers. You were very gracious with my dad when you visited him and patient with me. You have kept us fully informed of the process throughout.

“When my dad found out he was suffering from mesothelioma he was extremely brave and didn’t think of himself – only my mum. He wanted to pursue a case for compensation for her sake so that she would have some financial support when he was no longer there. We were surprised at the size of the settlement as we didn’t dare hope for as much, but the amount means my mum can buy her own house and live comfortably for the rest of her life. It was always my dad’s dream to buy his own house – but for a combination of factors, it was never possible to do so. It is wonderful to think that his dream can now be fulfilled.”

Michael Cuskern: “I am writing to express my appreciation for the services I have received from your firm of solicitors regarding my personal injury claim. After being told by a previous firm of solicitors that I was unlikely to win my claim I am more than pleased with the outcome and settlement I have been awarded. I would be most grateful if you would pass on my thanks to Ian McFall who acted for me. His whole approach and manner impressed me tremendously.”

Mrs Balbirnie: “I would like to thank you very much for your excellent service. I will certainly recommend Thompsons and your good self to anybody who should need help.”

Anne Craig: “Thank you for your care and support and for bringing what has been a difficult time to a satisfactory conclusion.”

Diane Hurst: “I’d like to thank you for the contribution you made for the food at the charity night. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for attending and offering your support to myself and the family even though you are a busy man. Can I also say I was truly moved by the touching speech you made it was a fitting tribute to “Chunky” (Stephen), my gentle giant who I adored with all my heart and soul and who I miss dearly. He was such a special and unique person as you can tell by the amount of people who turned up at his funeral and also the charity night. Chunky wasn’t the first person and certainly won’t be the last to suffer from the terrible disease that claimed his life and I’d like to tell you that we managed to raise £3000 to help fund research to help future sufferers of mesothelioma.”

Gillian Nicholson: “Thank you for all your hard work and all you have done for me and my family. It is a sad circumstance that meant I needed your help but I know Brian would be pleased with what you have done.”