Here we chat to Gill Connelly, a 51-year-old senior lawyer who has dedicated her whole working life to Thompsons and the clients we act for. She started at the age of 17 in a secretarial role, working her way up the ladder to become a paralegal and then a lawyer. She has worked in the asbestos team since 2004.
How do you start your week at Thompsons?
Usually enjoying the peacefulness of working from home, having worn myself out chasing after my small grandchildren at the weekend.
Gill Connelly, one of our asbestos disease solicitors
What are your day-to-day responsibilities at the firm?
I act for claimants suffering from asbestos-related disease; predominantly mesothelioma but also asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening. Those claims can either be from exposure to asbestos dust at work or, less frequently, exposure to asbestos dust following secondary exposure, such as washing work overalls contaminated with asbestos dust.
What do you have planned for the week ahead?
I will be away from my desk for an afternoon as I will be visiting a new client at home who has, tragically, developed mesothelioma. I will be taking a statement describing circumstances in which she was exposed to asbestos to start the ball rolling in a claim for damages on her behalf.
I will also be attending a virtual session of the Readley support group, which works with victims of mesothelioma and their families in the local area. Thompsons is on the list of panel solicitors that Readley recommend to patients.
Looking back at last week, what was your most memorable moment?
Last week, I visited a woman recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, a terminal asbestos-related disease, who is still coming to terms with her diagnosis. She doesn’t recall any direct asbestos exposure in her employment, but I took a statement from her husband, who was exposed to asbestos while working as a fitter in the North East shipyards. It’s clear to me, that he innocently took asbestos dust into the family home on his work overalls, which were subsequently washed by his wife, resulting in her illness decades later. In this tragic situation, at least I was able to reassure my client that I thought a claim against her husband’s employer would be successful.
What is your favourite part about your job?
The elation I feel when I secure justice for families whose lives have been turned upside down because of exposure to asbestos dust.
How do you like to unwind after a working week?
I love to enjoy a meal and a glass of wine with my husband at the pub on a Friday night – although I don’t like piling on the pounds as a result!
Asbestos disease diagnosis? Talk to us for advice and support on how to secure compensation.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, we can support you with advice on how to make a claim.
The process will be explained in plain English and with no obligation – our priority is to provide you with the best, expert advice on whether you have a valid case for compensation, and to signpost you to further sources of support.
There are strict time limits applied to making a claim – usually three years from the date of diagnosis. It doesn’t matter if the exposure to asbestos took place – as it often does – decades ago, the three year time limit applies to the date of knowledge of diagnosis or date of death.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.