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Windfall for Claimant Solicitors to continue - Asbestos Victims’ Support Groups Forum successful in LASPO judicial review

In July the Asbestos Victims’ Support Groups Forum sought a judicial review of the Justice Secretary’s decision to apply sections 44 and 46 of LASPO to mesothelioma claims. They argued that the decision was taken without a proper review being carried out of the likely effects, as required by s.48 of LASPO and is therefore unlawful. The government’s argument was that the required review was carried out as part of the consultation ‘Reforming Mesothelioma Claims’ which took place last year.

The Law Society Gazette has just reported that Williams J has given judgment in favour of the Asbestos Support Victims on the basis that Mr Grayling did not properly review the position before deciding to bring mesothelioma claims within LASPO.

This will come as a further blow to the MoJ following the Justice Select Committee’s report published at the end of July recommending that the government should carry out a further review with an additional consultation before implementation of the LASPO reforms.

Mr Grayling may have been able to reject the Committee’s recommendations as there was an impression at the time of publication that some of the criticism seemed partisan. However he will struggle to ignore the issue now in light of the judge’s determination.  The MoJ’s response to its last consultation on the point is awaited but the die may now be cast.

Will Mr Grayling appeal? Perhaps… although we have not yet seen the judgment. It does however look as though LASPO exemption will not come to an end in mesothelioma claims before the General Election.

For further information, please contact Ian Macalister, Partner on 0161 603 5082 or Derek Adamson, Partner on 0121 200 0437. 

By Ian Macalister and Derek Adamson

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.