The government´s justice minister, Jonathan Djanogly, has announced that “No Win, No Fee” asbestos injury compensation claims and claims for compensation for asbestos-related diseases will be exempt from the changes being introduced in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.
According to the original plans to reform No Win, No Fee Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs), the government was keen to remove access for all claimants to no-win, no-fee legal representation, but the Department of Justice has bowed to pressure from the Lords and from campaigners to exempt those suffering from mesothelioma cancer, asbestosis and diffuse pleural thickening.
In a statement read to the Commons, Mr Djanogly said there had been “careful reflection about the special case of mesothelioma sufferers”, and a delay would now be imposed to the removal of access to No Win, No Fee asbestos claims. Mr Djanogly also said the government was searching for ways of making it easier for sufferers and their solicitors to trace their former employer’s insurers.
Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan welcomed the victory for No Win, No Fee asbestos claims, telling the House “The key question here is should victims of industrial diseases like mesothelioma have to hand over part of their damages to their lawyers and insurer, or should the wrongdoers fund the cost of the successful litigation?”
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