We are excited to announce that specialist asbestos disease litigator Sarah Wolf has joined Larcomes as a solicitor in our Industrial Diseases department.

Sarah is a personal injury lawyer with a particular focus on disease litigation, having worked exclusively with asbestos-disease related illness claims since 2008.

Sarah moved to Larcomes at the beginning of March and is looking forward to continuing to pursue justice for sufferers of asbestos-related diseases and their families.

Here, Sarah tells us a bit more about herself.

What is your job title and experience? 

I am a solicitor in Larcomes’ dedicated Industrial Disease team. I have specialised in claimant personal injury, particularly occupational disease, since qualifying as a solicitor in 1993 with Eversheds in Norwich.

I went on to work for a number of well-known claimant personal injury firms, and since 2008 have dealt exclusively with asbestos disease cases.

Why did you decide to work in the legal industry? 

I came to the law quite late. After graduating with a degree in English in the early 1980s, I joined the Civil Service, working in financial regulation. I didn’t find it particularly challenging, so studied for a law degree in the evenings.

I then transferred to the Receivership Division of the Public Trust Office, looking after the financial affairs of patients of the Court of Protection. This, alongside volunteering at my local law centre, made me realise that I could have a worthwhile career in law.

Why did you decide to join Larcomes?

The specialist disease team at Larcomes are highly regarded for their expertise in, and commitment to, acting for people who have developed asbestos conditions and their families. They also have a close relationship with the brilliant support group, HASAG.

What are the most common sorts of cases you deal with? 

I deal mainly with cases on behalf of mesothelioma patients who have been negligently exposed to asbestos at work, though occasionally act for people who have been exposed to asbestos in the environment, or through contact with a family member’s dusty clothing. I also act for sufferers of other asbestos-related conditions, such as pleural thickening, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer.

What do you enjoy most about your job? 

I particularly enjoy engaging with clients and their families. Many feel daunted by the prospect of pursuing a legal claim while also dealing with a difficult diagnosis, and I consider it a fundamental part of the job to support them and make the whole process as easy and straightforward as possible.

What do you find most challenging about your work?

Speed is of the essence in these cases, not least because clients may need funds urgently to pay for equipment to help them remain as independent as possible, or to fund private treatment, for example.

It can be frustrating when there are hurdles that impede progress, such as problems identifying defendant companies or intransigent defendant solicitors. While there is a fast-track system in the High Court, it can still take months for cases to be resolved.

What is your most memorable case? 

They are all memorable in their own way, but some that particularly stand out are those involving a mesothelioma sufferer who is very skilled and has always provided services to the whole family –such as plumbing, electrical work, building, decorating, gardening, car maintenance, child care or care for a partner or family member with a disability – and because of their illness they are no longer able to do so.

I meet a lot of people who have never have to pay outside professionals and are astonished by the cost. If you, or a family member, become ill with and asbestos-related disease, no amount of financial compensation is adequate, but it’s vital to ensure that those services can be replaced, which can translate into a significant amount of money.

What do you want to achieve during your time at Larcomes? 

To continue to pursue justice for sufferers of asbestos conditions and their families.

How many people work in the Industrial Disease team at Larcomes?

Five.

What are the main challenges facing personal injury lawyers today?

The mythology around “compensation culture” can be unhelpful, not least if it discourages people from pursuing claims.

Some of my clients express embarrassment at the thought of a legal claim, and even use phrases such as “blood money”. But these are people who have developed a life-changing condition through no fault of their own, and if it has been caused by a third party, then it’s important that they have some recognition of this, and sufficient financial compensation to make their lives, and those of their families, as comfortable as possible.

What advice would you give to aspiring solicitors?

Do your research and choose an area of law about which you feel passionate. Ideally, get some life experience before you enter the profession, and make sure you balance work with fun.

Mesothelioma Solicitors Portsmouth

Larcomes have an established track record of providing quality legal advice to sufferers of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. 

We have acted on many industrial disease claims, including:

  • Mesothelioma.
  • Asbestos-related lung cancer.
  • Asbestosis.
  • Pleural thickening.
  • Pleural plaques.

You may be entitled to claim compensation if your illness was down to someone else’s negligence, such as if you were exposed to asbestos at a previous workplace.

Our specialist team has built up exceptional knowledge in this area having acted for many sufferers of asbestos-related diseases across the south of England. 

We can provide a no-win, no-fee legal service for industrial disease and asbestos claims.

To speak to Sarah, or another of our asbestos claims’ lawyers, please call 023 9244 8100 or make an online enquiry.

For more information, click here.

Please note that this article is not intended as legal or professional advice. It is for general guidance only, and updates to the law may have changed since it was published.