The leading social justice law firm has appointed three lawyers to its equity membership, as it looks to the next 100 years.
Thompsons Solicitors, one of the UK’s leading social justice law firms, has followed on from its centenary year by promoting three solicitors to equity partnership.
Amanda Jones, a specialist asbestos lawyer who leads Thompsons’ Llanelli office; Paul Shevlin, the head of professional misconduct and crime; and Simon Wilson, the managing director of Thompsons’ wholly owned subsidiary BBH Legal Services, have joined the firm’s 21 existing equity members.
Amanda Jones’ appointment comes as the firm is being led by a female chief executive for the first time and means that half of the firm’s now 24 equity partners are women. Women make up more than half of Thompsons executive board, and Ms Jones is the firm’s third Wales-based partner, all of whom are women.
“During our centenary year, we spent time reflecting on a history and legacy that we are immensely proud of which included ground breaking cases including on equality,” said Clare Mellor, Thompsons Solicitors’ first female chief executive.
“As we continue to build a firm fit for the next 100 years it is exciting to welcome three new equity members who will add real talent, strength and depth to our equity structure. We are not owned by outside commercial interests focussed above all on commercial return but are run and financed entirely by the equity members. Ensuring there is a new generation of senior legal professionals joining those already committed to supporting working people is crucial for our future. It’s also important that with our history of fighting key cases on equality we walk the talk when it comes to gender representation.”
Ms Jones, 47, who joined Thompsons in 2004, represents clients across Wales and the South West. Many of her clients have mesothelioma, an invariably fatal condition resulting from asbestos exposure.
On her promotion to partner, she said: “I’m delighted and proud to join the equity membership. Thompsons allows me the chance to work with such a talented and passionate national team of asbestos lawyers, fighting for the victims of asbestos disease.
“We have throughout our history worked with our trade union and Labour colleagues to challenge and change the law for working people, making a difference to their lives.”
43-year-old Mr Shevlin, the national head of Thompsons Solicitors’ professional misconduct and crime team has a legal career spanning 20 years and specialises in cases involving employment law, equal pay and professional misconduct.
“Having been with Thompsons since I first trained as a lawyer, it is a real privilege to join the equity membership. I look forward to playing my part alongside our friends in the trade union and labour movement in the continuing fight for social justice, an integral part of the firm’s ethos for the last 100 years,” said Mr Shevlin.
Simon Wilson, who has over 26 years of experience as a solicitor, is the managing director of the wholly owned subsidiary BBH Legal Services Ltd providing legal services in Court of Protection and Trusts, Wills and Probate and Property and Conveyancing matters.
Simon also acts as a professional deputy for clients who have suffered profound disability due to injury or medical negligence.
He said: “Throughout my career I have been motivated by a desire to seek justice for the individual and the vulnerable who otherwise may not have a voice. Thompsons represents the pinnacle of legal practice upholding those core values and it is a great honour to stand with those who have over the last 100 years led a firm committed to protecting the rights of the individual and seeking social justice”.
Last year, Thompsons Solicitors celebrated a century of fighting only for the injured and mistreated, never for employers or insurers. The firm was founded by prominent civil rights lawyer William Henry 'Harry' Thompson in 1921 and has since been involved in every major fight against unfair UK working practices– including acting for trade unions in the landmark 1937 case that established the very concept of employer liability for workforce safety, winning the first successful asbestos-related disease case in the House of Lords in 1972 and securing millions in compensation for Unite the union members who were victims of the biggest blacklisting scandal in UK construction industry history.
Thompsons has a UK-wide network of legal experts who continue to protect the rights and interests of millions of trade union members, campaigning for justice and equality and working with the global trade union and labour movement to show international solidarity in defence of civil liberties and human rights.