At Thompson’s we would like to reassure all our clients that as far as possible we are operating as normal. The health and safety of our staff and clients is our primary concern during this outbreak and as such we are reviewing the situation on a regular basis and will be adapting our working practices following government guidelines. However, we have had to make some minor changes to how we are doing things.

Following Government guidelines, we have temporarily closed all of our offices and our staff are now all working from home using secure technologies to ensure they are able to continue to progress with existing and new cases as normal. All face to face meetings have been cancelled, however we are continuing to hold these meetings via phone and video calls. All the team are contactable on their direct dial numbers and email should you need to speak with your solicitor, please do not hesitate to talk to us about anything during this time.

We know these are uncertain and unsettling times for many of our clients, and the wider population, and things might look a little different for the foreseeable future. But our focus remains on our dedication, knowledge and strength that we provide to all our clients. We will continue to provide updates over the coming days and weeks in accordance with official guidelines and to keep everyone informed of the situation.

As always, for any concerns, advice and updates on your case; Talk to Thompsons.

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News

Helen Humphries, the widow of one of the three men who died when the Clyde tug the Flying Phantom went down has spoken of the pain of facing Christmas without her husband Stephen.

She was speaking as the first anniversary of the tugboat sinking on approaches.

Solicitor Advocate Frank Maguire of Thompsons Solicitors today welcomed an English Court judgment rejecting a bid by insurance companies to avoid paying out in cases of long-term industrial diseases and deaths.

Clydeside Action on Asbestos won the coveted Public Campaign of the Year Award at The Herald's prestigious Politician of the Year Awards.

River City actress Barbara Rafferty presented the award to Phyllis Craig and Gordon Skivington of Clydeside Action on Asbestos in recognition of the organisation's achievements in fighting for the victims of asbestos.

Home Help Jacqueline Quinn is taking Equal Pay Lawyer Stefan Cross to court after he charged her £500 for taking her case to another lawyer.

And last night Jacqueline, who works for Edinburgh City Council: "I think his bill is out of order and I am determined not to pay.

But goodness knows how many other Scots workers are in the same position."

Angry relatives of the C-Diff victims accused Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon of 'stealing' their proposals for an independent hospital inspectorate in a bid to head off their campaign for a public inquiry.

Michelle Stewart, Secretary of the C-Diff Justice Group said: "We came up with the idea of an independent inspectorate for hospitals like HM Inspector of Schools and put it to Nicola Sturgeon when we met her.

We think she keeps announcing things we suggest to shut the families up and stop us campaigning for a public inquiry.

But every time she announces one of our ideas, it just shows how much was wrong and underlines the need for a public inquiry."
Michelle, a mother of five whose mother in law Sarah McGinty 67 died in the Vale of Leven outbreak added: "Today's announcement doesn't go nearly far enough.

We need inspections of every hospital every three years. They must look at all the problems, and not just those the health boards have identified as risks, and their findings must be made public."

Solicitor Advocate Patrick McGuire of Thompsons Solicitors who represents the families said: "It was very churlish of Nicola Sturgeon not to acknowledge the families' contribution to the idea of a hospital inspectorate.

She seems to want to be seen as some sort of white knight solving all the problems single handedly, and she certainly doesn't want a high court judge telling her what do.

She has to realise that this issue has become too big for her to tackle on her own, and recognise the undeniable case for a public inquiry, given the number of deaths and the level of public concern."
The C-Diff Justice Group was set up after the Vale of Leven Hospital outbreak claimed 18 lives - nine directly attributed to C-Diff and another nine where it was a major factor.

Thompsons Solicitors won widespread praise for its efforts on behalf pleural plaques victims when the Scottish Parliament debated the Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) (Scotland) Bill, which will restore Scottish victims' right to compensation, on Wednesday November 5.

Frank Maguire Senior Partner with Thompsons Solicitors and a prominent campaigner for the rights of asbestos victims has welcomed the Health and Safety Executive's new asbestos awareness campaign.

Mr Maguire said: "No-one should forget the terrible toll asbestos continues to take on Scottish workers and their families.

Thompsons Solicitors is supporting the families of crewmen who died in the Flying Phantom tragedy to pursue their call for a public inquiry into the incident.

A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch was highly critical of Clydeport and the tug operator Denmark-based Svitzer Marine for their safety regimes.

Frank Maguire of Thompsons Solicitors and Clydeside Action on Asbestos give evidence to the Justice Committee on Pleural Plaques on Tuesday 2nd September 2008.

You can view the full transcript of this evidence to the Justice Committee here

"We welcome the Sheriff's findings but we need to find some way of enshrining some of them in law, to prevent another tragedy like Douglas's death.

"We want to see a legal requirement on the people who run big estates to issue their workers with mobile phones and put in place a buddy system to raise the alarm in an emergency."
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