Our ‘Week in the Life’ series aims to find out more about the day-to-day job for people across the firm.
Here, we chat with Mark Allen, 49, who has been senior supervisor of our industrial disease team in the Leeds office for two years.
How do you start your week at Thompsons?
I generally start my week by checking our management reports. These reports, which cover things like client satisfaction and how well we’re performing, help me get a feel for how close we are as a team to achieving our long-term goals on a variety of benchmarks.
Reading them at the start of a busy week means I can make informed decisions about when my team needs me to get involved to help out, and it also ensures I’m always thinking about the experience we’re giving our clients and any ways we can improve that.
Of course, I also check my calendar for the week ahead. Dealing with my own cases, and supervising others’ cases, takes up the majority of my time and is definitely the part of the job I enjoy the most, but time management is critical. I can be out seeing clients, at court or at Union meetings (covid restrictions permitting).
What are your day-to-day responsibilities at the firm?
As senior supervisor for the industrial disease team in Thompsons Solicitors’ Leeds office, I manage the team and oversee the cases we are dealing with – providing support and advice where needed. As a firm, we’ve run test cases in the UK that helped establish the right to claim for compensation for quite a few of the conditions that my team will be dealing with, including asbestos disease, industrial deafness, vibration white finger, welder’s lung and occupational cancer. We have pursed more successful industrial disease claims than any other law firm and the cases we won as a firm – some of them years ago mean there are laws to protect the workers my team act for today..
In addition to supervising others’ cases, I also handle a number of industrial disease cases myself and have national responsibility for centralising noise-induced hearing loss and hand arm vibration syndrome (or HAVS) claims. The aim of this project is to provide a better more efficient service to our clients which, in turn, will lead to better results all round.
What do you have planned for the week ahead?
It’s a busy but hopefully productive week for me. I am attending two conferences – one on the control of substances hazardous to health, provided by a Senior Barrister, and another on diesel fume exposure, which also involves Counsel and a number of senior representatives from Unite the Union. These both cause significant illness among workers. Thousands die each year from illnesses caused by overexposure to hazardous substances at work and diesel engine exhaustion emissions are known to have toxic effects.
I’m also appearing at court on behalf of a client and am having an annual leave day to take my son back to university in Newcastle.
Looking back at last week, what was your most memorable moment?
Last week, I was in London being filmed as part of centenary events at Thompsons Solicitors London office - an unusual but enjoyable experience. William Henry 'Harry' Thompson founded Thompsons Solicitors in 1921 and during filming, I was able to talk passionately about an important test case and the key role that Thompsons and the trade unions played in that historic moment.
How do you like to unwind after a working week?
I love both coarse and fly fishing and try to get a few hours in each weekend, weather and time permitting. I find the passion I have for angling has great benefits – it’s good for the mind and body. If you haven’t tried it, what are you waiting for?
Mark Allen, a senior supervisor based in our Leeds office
What is your favourite part of the job?
Getting people the financial compensation they deserve. I get great satisfaction from only representing the injured or mistreated and being able to provide them with access to justice. It gives me a great sense of pride to be involved in providing the social justice that I, and Thompsons, care so much about.
What would you say to someone looking to start a legal career?
Give it your all, be professional, learn from others and always put the people you’re representing at the centre of everything you do.
Diagnosed with an industrial disease? Receive legal advice and more with Thompsons Solicitors.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a work-related disease or illness in the last three years, our industrial disease compensation specialists are on hand to support you with making an industrial disease compensation claim
Whether your working conditions are the cause of the illness, or are a contributing factor, our industrial disease experts can help you to build a case for compensation that takes into account your present and future needs.
In addition to getting the best possible legal advice, our industrial disease solicitors will put you in contact with medical and rehabilitation experts who can aid your recovery.
If you’d like more detailed information about how to start a claim, visit our How to Make a Compensation Claim page.