The Bristol office of law firm Irwin Mitchell has expanded its industrial disease offering across the south west with the appointment of a team of four legal specialists as it seeks to further grow its market leading practice.
Partner Virginia Chalmers, along with associate solicitor Isabelle Selley, solicitor Leanne Leighton and litigation assistant Rachael Wilson will join Irwin Mitchell’s asbestos-related diseases team later this month from law firm Lyons Davidson.
Irwin Mitchell has also opened two new offices in Cambridge and Southampton this year and completed the acquisition of MPH Solicitors, adding a further 24 staff at the end of 2013.
Ms Chalmers, known as Ginny, initially qualified as a barrister and solicitor in Ontario, Canada, before re-qualifying in England and Wales in 1991. She established and has led the asbestos team at Lyons Davidson for the past five years.
Ginny has built a committed and successful team specialising in asbestos-related disease claims and says she looks forward to bringing that expertise with her to Irwin Mitchell.
She says: “I am thrilled that my team and I are joining Irwin Mitchell which is, in my view, the market leader in asbestos-related disease claims. I have no doubt that our contacts and the healthcare professionals with whom we work will be pleased to benefit from the strength and depth available at Irwin Mitchell.”
Associate solicitor Isabelle Selley qualified in 1994 after reading Law at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. She has specialised solely in asbestos litigation over the last eight years.
Leanne Leighton joined Ginny’s asbestos team as a newly qualified solicitor in March 2014 and Rachael Wilson has spent over 10 years working as a litigation assistant and is also secretary of Bristol and Beyond Asbestos Family Support.
Stuart Henderson, managing partner of Irwin Mitchell’s personal injury department, said: “Irwin Mitchell has a market leading national team of 48 asbestos lawyers and the recruitment of the high profile partner Ginny Chalmers and her team in Bristol strengthens our expertise and commitment to serving asbestos victims across the country.
“As a firm we have long campaigned for the rights of asbestos victims in ensuring they have fair access to justice. We have done this through the work of our experienced, tenacious and empathetic lawyers working tirelessly to achieve the justice their clients deserve. Ginny and her team will be an asset in helping us to continue providing this exceptional service.”
Jonathan Peacock, Irwin Mitchell Bristol’s regional managing partner, added: “We are delighted to have a lawyer of Ginny’s calibre and experience join us to head up our asbestos team in Bristol which will see three of her highly regarded team join us too.
“Experienced lawyers can play a vital role in helping individuals and their families gain answers about when and where they were exposed to deadly asbestos dust, as the onset of symptoms can take up to 50 years to develop from the point of exposure.
“The asbestos team at Irwin Mitchell works tirelessly to secure justice for its clients and Ginny and her team share the firm’s values of putting clients first and delivering the highest standard of service, ensuring they will be an asset to our existing team.”
Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office opened in 2010 based in offices in Castlepark on Tower Hill in the city centre and as well as asbestos litigation, has dedicated teams in medical negligence, serious injury, family law, court of protection and public law.