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The Telegraph's legal expert, Solicitor Advocate Frank Maguire of Thompsons Solicitors is a leading campaigner for the rights of asbestos victims including mesothelioma sufferers and their families. This week he warns victims not to give up hope of compensation, even if they can't remember for whom they were working when they came into contact with asbestos.

For over half a century Inverclyde owed much of its prosperity to the shipbuilding industry which was the area's major employer.

But the prosperity came at a terrible price, the deadly legacy of asbestos exposure. Shipyard workers were regularly covered in asbestos dust which once in the lungs can often cause fatal cancers like mesothelioma.

However asbestos exposure takes anything from ten to forty years to manifest itself, and after that length of time many of those affected have no idea who they were working for when they were contaminated.

To make matters worse the companies that employed them will, in all likelihood have ceased to exist.

It sounds like a hopeless situation, because for any compensation claim to succeed the claimant has to establish who was responsible and take action against them or their insurers.

However legal firms, like Thompsons, who specialise in asbestos cases can invariably track down the employers who exposed their clients, and even more crucially the insurers involved.

For while the vast majority of the shipbuilding and engineering companies which exposed their workers are long since gone, their insurers are more likely to be trading.

Thompsons, for instance have a full database of employers who, in the past, have exposed their employees to asbestos. We have a full list of insurance companies, and our team of forensic investigators will help find them if they are not forthcoming as to whether they were the insurers involved.

We even have a full database of witnesses whom we can contact who might remember a victim or who may have worked in the same place or for the same company.

We liaise closely with Clydeside Action on Asbestos the leading campaigning group representing sufferers and their families who can also provide links to the past.

So if you think there is no point in making a claim, because it all happened so long ago, think again. No matter how vague your information those responsible can be traced and held to account for their actions.

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