Since the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, industries around the world have had to continuously adapt how they work to keep life as normal as possible. For Thompsons, it has been no different.

We may be working from home, but our dedicated asbestos team remains committed to fighting for justice for victims of asbestos and their families. Helen Tomlin, one of our specialist asbestos solicitors, discusses how we’re still supporting those whose lives have been affected by asbestos amid the pandemic.

Keeping in touch

Before coronavirus (COVID-19), our expert team would travel across the UK to speak with clients, families and witnesses. Everything would be discussed face-to-face at the client’s home, or wherever suited them best. From those meetings we would find out how and where they might have been exposed to asbestos, the symptoms they have had and the technicalities of starting an asbestos claim. It cannot be underestimated how important this personal contact is, as it allows us to explain to the client and their family what we intend to do and for them to be able to ask us questions in a setting they are comfortable with.

Any form of face-to-face contact is now severely limited, especially for clients who are particularly at risk of coronavirus (COVID-19), whether through age, symptoms, or as a result of treatment such as chemotherapy. Despite this, we have found ways to work around the situation.

We’re taking advantage of telephone calls and video conferencing apps to be able to meet our clients ‘face-to-face’, and having regular contact in this way allows us to reassure them every step of the way. We’ll be back out to see clients and their families as soon as it is safe to do so.

Working with others

As well as adapting ourselves, we’ve noticed a real willingness and commitment among the people we work with to follow new ways of operating and keep cases progressing. Medical experts are carrying out interviews with patients over the phone and reviewing records electronically, and more documents are being sent and accepted by email. Thompsons won’t act for insurance companies or defendants but we appreciate those defendants who are being more amenable - for example, they generally understand that full medical records cannot be disclosed immediately and are accepting emailed documents, rather than insisting on hard copies.

Our role is not just about securing justice for victims and their families, but also ensuring our clients are signposted to relevant asbestos support groups. These groups are still operating their telephone helplines and offering their full range of services, including advice on completing necessary application forms remotely. Many of these support groups have also moved online, allowing people to continue to seek invaluable help and advice from peers and professionals through online forums and group video calls. We’ve found many patients find these meetings of enormous benefit during these uncertain and changing times.

We’re still here for you

Even in the midst of a pandemic, if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos disease, it’s imperative you seek specialist legal advice immediately. Time limits for making a claim against an employer and for benefits from the Department for Work in Pensions are still in force, despite coronavirus (COVID-19).

We have adapted our practice to ensure you will not need to leave your house or take any unnecessary risks to access our expert advice. Our specialist advisors and solicitors will be available on the phone, or face-to-face online, to talk through what is happening in your case and the steps we are taking on your behalf, providing you with all the support and assistance you need at what is an immensely worrying time even if there wasn’t a global pandemic.

For specialist advice or to start a claim, call us on 0800 0224 0224, or email with your contact details and a member of the specialist team in your local area will be in touch.