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Harminder Bains's Profile Picture
Harminder Bains is a "brilliant" industrial disease and serious injury solicitor who is noted for her willingness to take on difficult claims. "She absolutely goes for it - she doesn't mind if a claim looks too risky if she thinks it's right." – Chambers and partners 2017
I have never met a person more tenacious, dedicated and committed to her clients and the judicial process. She is "dynamic" and "a brilliant negotiator". – Chambers and partners 2016

Harminder is joint head of the asbestos and mesothelioma team. She specialises in catastrophic injuries arising from road traffic accidents and work accidents and mesothelioma and asbestos disease cases.

She has over 20 years' litigation experience and has taken numerous cases to trial, the longest one involving a six week trial relating to a complex multi-party action regarding dust exposure in the glass industry.

Harminder successfully gave evidence on behalf of her client in court after being cross-examined by the defendants in a limitation trial.

Several of her cases have set precedents and have been reported.  Notable cases are as follows:
  • Andreou v S Booth Horrocks and Sons Ltd QBD 13.1.17. Ground-breaking judgment allowing lost years services claims to be adjourned until after death.
  • Companies House - destruction of records U-turn
  • Goldstone v Witton QBD 4.10.16. Funeral arranger Winifred Goldstone was awarded compensation when Harminder successfully argued that the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations applied, see reported case Westlaw.
  • Keith Winton -v- LHR Airports Limited and Lenval Essex Limited. Keith Winton received a significant sum of compensation after being exposed to asbestos whilst working at London Heathrow Airport between 1986 and 1988. Harminder Bains, his lawyer, obtained documents during the course of the case which revealed substantial amounts of asbestos at Heathrow Airport. To find out more about Keith's story you can watch his video. 
  • Judge makes highest award for pain and suffering to a trainee nurse/healthcare support worker. Ghoorah v West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Renowned Supreme Court judgment in Coventry v Lawrence
  • Judicial Review: Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK Whitston & two other mesothelioma victims successfully challenged the Lord Chancellor's enhanced court fees. More information: Court order with explanatory note and letter from the Lord Chancellor.
  • Judicial Review: Asbestos Victims' Support Groups Forum UK - The legal action was brought after the Government announced that mesothelioma sufferers should, upon winning their case, pay up to 25% of their compensation for legal costs. 
  • Janice Allen v Marks and Spencer - High Court hearing 25.6.14 Janice Allen, a 53 year old saleswoman was exposed to asbestos whilst working on the shop floor at M&S. She won a significant sum. Watch Janice's video and read her story. This case is significant because she did not work directly with asbestos but was exposed by simply working in a building containing asbestos.
  • Zambarda v Shipbreaking (Queenborough) Limited - Significant win (£428,061) after a three day trial in the High Court.  This is a significant case as (a) general damages of £77,500 for a period of suffering of seven months is considered to be high, (b) £4,000 for intangible benefits provided by a spouse is one of the highest amounts awarded in such a case and (c) this is the first case in which case management costs have been awarded in a mesothelioma case.
  • Frank Baker v Tate & Lyle PLC - Ground-breaking judgment against Tate & Lyle, sued as occupier for victim of mesothelioma
  • Najib v John Laing – the highest award to date for general damages for a mesothelioma victim and innovatively obtained an award for photodynamic therapy, i.e. alternative treatment. 
  • Beesley v New Century Group – the highest care award to date in a mesothelioma case. 
  • Sloan v Halsen Insulation – This is the first case in which periodical payments have been awarded to a dependent in a fatal case. Periodical payments to be paid annually to the widow for life for the loss of companionship and day-to-day practical needs. 
  • A v B – a complicated brain injury case in which an interim payment in excess of £700,000 was obtained.  The case settled for over £3million.  The case involved complex issues regarding mental capacity.  The capacity was split, i.e. the brain injured client was found to have capacity to litigate but not capacity to deal with financial affairs.  
  • C v D - Obtained just under £6 million for a  young man who sustained a serious brain injury as a result of a car crash. This was enough money to cover the cost of a new home, loss of salary and ongoing expenses for the rest of his life.


Costs cases include:


Legal directory Chambers UK 2012 describes Harminder as an “excellent negotiator” and Legal 500 2012 refers to Harminder as being “courageous and dedicated”. Legal 500 2012 says “Feisty and extremely experienced and effective”.  Chambers and partners 2015 says: Harminder Bains is described as "extremely dedicated and persistent.

Harminder has personal experience of the cancer mesothelioma as her own father died from the disease having been negligently exposed to asbestos whilst working for the MOD in the naval dockyard in Chatham, Kent.  She has helped to set up DBL, a Charitable Trust, to raise funds for mesothelioma/cancer research.  To date, she has helped to raise £60,000.

Harminder is an APIL Fellow and advises the Parliamentary Asbestos Committee and is active in lobbying the Government on numerous issues.
 

Harminder in the news and publications:

Court levy U-turn for asbestos victims Law Society Gazette 3.7.15

A Just Result, Harminder discusses the successful judicial review of government changes affecting mesothelioma victims APIL PI Focus 14.11.14

Court considers mesothelioma and recovery of success fees Lexis PSL Personal Injury 22.10.14

High Court mesothelioma victory, Harminder was lawyer of the week in the Law Society Gazette 13.10.14  

What could the introduction of the Mesothelioma Pre-Action Protocol mean in practice? LexisNexis interview 23.9.13

Government’s Proposed Reforms Will Create Great Injustice to Victims of Mesothelioma PIBULJ 20.9.13

Key cases

Accreditations

  • APIL
  • Chambers guide to the legal profession
  • Legal 500 2016 Recommended lawyer

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