Thompsons Solicitors’ newly appointed head of asbestos strategy has vowed to ‘continue the fight for justice’ for families in Wales affected by the deadly disease, as he takes up the reins of his new position.
Tony Hood will head up the asbestos team across Thompsons’ 17 offices, including its office in Cardiff, following the retirement of head of asbestos litigation, Ian McFall.
Mr Hood will be responsible for delivering the firm’s asbestos strategy and ensuring best practice across all of Thompsons’ asbestos cases, while working closely with trade unions, asbestos support groups and charities to ensure that the firm’s clients receive expert support and advice.
“It’s not the easiest of times to be starting a new role amid a pandemic and I’ve been particularly concerned about the impact it will be having on all those with an asbestos-related disease.
“I’m looking forward to taking on this new challenge, making sure that we are there for those affected and building upon the excellent reputation that Ian has helped establish over the last 30 years.”
Since completing his training contract at Thompsons Solicitors in 2001, Mr Hood has developed a reputable name across the asbestos community. Early in his career, he was the first lawyer in the UK to win a ‘third generation’ asbestos exposure case – securing compensation for a 45-year-old woman diagnosed with the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, as she had come into contact with asbestos as a child through her grandfather’s work clothes.
Recent statistics from the HSE recorded 1,978 male deaths and 316 female deaths from fatal asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma in Wales between 1981 – 2017. In the last year alone, the firm has secured more than £3.7 million in asbestos disease claims for families in the region.
“My career in asbestos litigation started not long after the UK banned using it. However, 20 years later, there are still on average 2,500 people dying each year from the asbestos cancer mesothelioma, not to mention those who have asbestosis, pleural thickening or pleural plaques.
“It will be a long time before we can say asbestos is truly a problem of the past but, until then, Thompsons will continue the fight for justice – for families in Wales whose lives have been impacted by the devastating legacy asbestos has left.”
Thompsons’ head of policy, Tom Jones, commented:
“Tony has also built up a sterling reputation in the sector, and I have every confidence he will continue Ian’s excellent work as Thompsons remains to be a leading voice in asbestos litigation.”