12 King's Bench Walk

Personal Injury: Industrial Disease Department

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12 King's Bench Walk houses a deep bench of experienced barristers at both senior and junior level, and is lauded by instructing solicitors as a "leader in the field of asbestos litigation." The set's tenants are regularly instructed in complex mesothelioma claims arising from asbestos exposure, and have recently been involved in several ground-breaking cases concerning immunotherapy treatment. Members are also highly regarded for their expertise in large-scale group actions, and the team has significant experience of handling claims for noise-induced hearing loss and non-freezing cold injuries brought by service personnel against the MoD.

Client service: "The clerking service is very good and the clerks make sure to recommend the right counsel for the right case." "The clerks are always willing to help and push cases forward." Oliver Parkhouse is the director of clerking.


Aliyah Akram

Experienced in the handling of industrial disease claims. She is regularly instructed in asbestos litigation and has developed significant expertise in cases involving issues surrounding immunotherapy costs.
Strengths: "An excellent, clear-thinking and efficient junior." "She is very thorough and down to earth with clients, great on her feet and unfazed when opposite QCs." "She is very personable, approachable and clear in her advice."
Recent work: Acted for the son of a former schoolteacher, now deceased, who contracted mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos while working at primary schools in Buckinghamshire.


Gemma Scott

Junior barrister who is widely praised for her adroit handling of industrial disease claims and empathetic bedside manner. She often appears as sole counsel in high-value cases, including large group actions. She frequently acts for claimants suffering from lung cancer and mesothelioma. 
Strengths: "A brilliant, experienced junior who is very efficient, gives detailed advice and is able to deal with complicated cases. She has a clear-minded approach to issues and is very responsive." "She's very knowledgeable and extremely good with clients." "She has fantastic people skills and an amazing grasp of figures. Her schedules are remarkable and she gives solid and sensible advice."


Harry Steinberg QC

Widely acclaimed practitioner whose standout practice covers catastrophic and fatal accident matters, with notable expertise in asbestos cases. He acts for both employers and employees and has impressed with his advocacy in the Supreme Court. He fields considerable experience in handling product liability group actions.
Strengths: "He is really impressive and not afraid to take on difficult cases." "He has an excellent reputation for mesothelioma work." "He is the first port of call when looking to delve into the unknown. He is willing to take the risks and goes the extra mile for his clients."
Recent work: Acted for a large group of military personnel who allegedly suffered from non-freezing cold injuries during their service with the armed forces.


Ivan Bowley

He has an enviable reputation for his expertise in industrial disease and workplace injury cases, including asbestos and noise-induced hearing loss claims. He is regularly instructed in group actions.
Strengths: "He is first rate and invaluable as a junior, with an unparalleled level of experience in group action work." "A leading junior in the occupational disease field who is very thorough and good with clients." "A charming advocate with a measured approach. He engages with judges and witnesses very well and can drive a case home to a successful conclusion."


John-Paul Swoboda

His broad practice encompasses clinical negligence matters and asbestos litigation. He is particularly adept at handling low-level exposure mesothelioma claims and is also well regarded for his ability to deal with cases involving complex quantum issues.
Strengths: "He is meticulous and has good attention to detail. He turns around papers very efficiently." "He is tenacious and a real expert in his field."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Mr Stephen Mark v Universal Coating and Services & Others, a silicosis claim.


Michael Brace

Has vast experience of handling a wide range of cases across the areas of industrial disease, clinical negligence and personal injury. He has a particular focus on asbestos disease claims, specifically those concerning mesothelioma and pleural plaques. He attracts praise for his tact when representing employees in sensitive matters.
Strengths: "He is very good in court: tenacious, quick on his feet and robust when dealing with defendants who overstep." "He has unbelievable attention to detail, and his advice is clear and succinct."
Recent work: Instructed in Amy Elsie Gorrigan v TUK Rental, a claim brought by a widow following the death of her husband from mesothelioma.


Niall Maclean

A highly regarded personal injury junior, noted for his expertise in claims stemming from exposure to biological hazards, chemicals and noise. He is regularly instructed in complex asbestos cases involving tricky causation, liability and limitation issues.
Strengths: "Niall has a fabulous bedside manner, coupled with an eye for fine detail that misses nothing." "He takes a very thorough and clear-minded approach. When looking at witness evidence, he ensures all arguments are covered and that there is no weakness in any evidence he presents."
Recent work: Acted for a claimant in a complex fatal lung cancer case. The deceased was exposed to asbestos over a long working life by a large number of different employers.


Patrick Kerr

An experienced personal injury barrister, noted for his expert representation of mesothelioma victims in complex industrial disease claims.
Strengths: "Patrick is warm and approachable, and his attention to detail is first class. His advocacy is eloquent, innovative and charismatic." "He builds a fantastic rapport with clients and his preparation is brilliant. He is completely on top of his cases."
Recent work: Instructed in a fatal mesothelioma claim involving a worker's transient low exposure to asbestos on a construction site in the mid-1950s.


Steven Snowden QC

A prominent lawyer who acts for both claimants and defendants in the most complex and high-profile occupational disease cases. He is routinely engaged on cases where claimants have been exposed to toxic substances, have been left with occupational asthma or have suffered from upper limb disorders. He frequently appears in the High Court.
Strengths: "He's practical, approachable and someone who will take a case and run with it." "He's extremely good and patient in drawing the solicitor's eye to the detail that is needed to succeed on difficult points." "He is unflappable, always very well prepared and has a clear advocacy style."
Recent work: Acted for a widow in a claim following her husband's death after asbestos exposure.