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Harminder Bains


Joint head of the asbestos and industrial diseases, internationally renowned for her role fighting for victims of asbestos

Asbestos and mesothelioma Data protection and privacy Industrial disease Road traffic collisions Spinal injury

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

She has over 25 years' litigation experience and has won several cases in the Supreme Court, which have set precedents and which other lawyers follow.

Sadly, she has personal experience of the cancer mesothelioma, as her father died from the disease having been negligently exposed to asbestos whilst working for the MOD in the naval dockyard in Chatham, Kent. As a consequence, she has campaigned to protect the rights of asbestos disease victims and has helped to raise over £60,000 funds for mesothelioma/cancer research. 

What people say

"Harminder Bains is a formidable litigator and campaigner for asbestos victims." - Legal 500 2024

"Harminder Bains fields extensive experience in taking catastrophic injury and asbestos-related claims to trial, including up to the Supreme Court. Talented and dynamic. A real expert in asbestos litigation. She is thoroughly committed and wholly unafraid to fight for her clients”. - Chambers and Partners 2022

"We can't thank Harminder Bains at Leigh Day Solicitors enough for her unfailing support when my husband was diagnosed with Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma. She was so caring of our situation, and worked tirelessly to obtain a successful outcome, which, without her help and persistence, would have been nigh impossible." - client of Harminder, via Trustpilot.

What the directories say

She is formidable and tenacious. She cares passionately about achieving justice for asbestos victims and is instrumental in achieving landmark decisions in difficult cases.

Chambers and partners 2024

Examples of Harminder’s cases:

  • Securing a substantial settlement for a widower whose wife, a former PE teacher, was exposed to asbestos during building work at the school where she worked.
  • Asbestos exposure at Terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport: Keith received a significant sum of compensation after being exposed to asbestos whilst working at London Heathrow Airport between 1986 and 1988. To find out more about Keith's story you can watch Keith's video.
  • Acting for Hannah Fletcher who is bringing a claim against Estee Lauder and Clinique that talc and face powder contained asbestos which caused her lethal cancer.
  • Asbestos exposure at Marks & Spencer: Janice, 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.This case is significant because she did not work directly with asbestos but was exposed by simply working in a building containing asbestos.
  • Asbestos exposure at school: won compensation for Trudy McGuinness whose husband died from mesothelioma. Read the full story.
  • Asbestos exposure in the jewellery trade: Keith worked as a ring mounter and succeeded in obtaining compensation against his former employer. See link for full story.
  • Asbestos exposure in Dorothy Perkins store: Brian was exposed for 14 days whilst working as a carpenter.  Read Brian's story.
  • Dr Who set builder exposed at the BBC: Richard’s family successfully sued the BBC for compensation. Read Richard's story.
  • Rosalba Bhaloo exposed to asbestos working in a car showroom: Rosalba was exposed to asbestos from brakes and clutches at Fiat showroom. Read Rosalba's story.
  • Exposure to asbestos in talc and make up: Hannah is bringing a case in the New York Supreme Court. Read Hannah's story.
  • The Supreme Court ruled that the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK can access court documents used in a legal case against the asbestos manufacturer Cape Intermediate Holdings Limited.
  • Landmark Judgment and Order on Data Protection Act 1998: Harminder Bains represented Dr Robin Rudd, an asbestos expert who brought a claim against John Bridle and J&S Bridle Limited. Mr Bridle is an asbestos lobbyist who believes chrysotile and asbestos cement products are safe and do not cause asbestos diseases. After a three-day trial Dr Rudd was successful in his claim that he be provided with information and identities of those who communicated with Mr Bridle. This is an important case, defending the reputation of a medical professional who presents information about the health of asbestos clients to the courts when they seek compensation for their illnesses.
  • Supreme Court win in Dryden & Ors v Johnson Matthey plc [2018] UKSC 18. A landmark legal case that redefined personal injury law when three workers won damages against a chemical company.
  • Andreou v S Booth Horrocks & Sons Ltd [2017] EWHC 174 (QB) The Judge was asked to assess the lost years services claim which the defendant argued should be dismissed, rather than be adjourned until after Mr Andreou's death. The judge ruled that the assessment of the value of the services claim could be adjourned until after his death.
  • Supreme Court win in Coventry & Ors v Lawrence & Anor [2015] UKSC 50
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Brain injury cases include Ben Lewis who suffered a life-threatening brain injury when he was involved in a road traffic collision in Majorca. Watch Ben's story.

What the directories say

"Dynamic" and "effective" lawyer Harminder Bains is known for her wealth of experience in handling catastrophic injury and asbestos-related claims. Sources describe her as a "leader in her field," adding: "She shows an imaginative and fresh approach to the legal problems facing victims of asbestos diseases."

Chambers and partners 2019

Harminder in the news and publications:

  • Harminder spoke at the Labour Party Conference 2023 on the dangers of asbestos.
  • Your makeup may be killing you like it's killing me: City high-flyer and mother of two Hannah was diagnosed with incurable cancer that she blames on the cosmetics she enjoyed since childhood Daily Mail 16.9.23
  • BBC 'Asbestos Alley' timebomb: Esther Rantzen asks if her stage four lung cancer was caused by crumbling corridor at broadcaster's studios after deaths of eleven former staff members Mail online 4.8.23
  • UK asbestos firm owners ‘whitewashing reputation’ with All Blacks sponsorship Guardian 27.7.23
  • Asbestos in M&S killed my wife - Gove’s ruling is a disgrace Sunday Times 23.7.23
  • Harminder spoke to BBC Politics London 9.7.23 about the dangers of asbestos in schools, hospitals and other workplaces.
  • The hospitals my husband worked in were full of asbestos. It killed him at 45 The Sunday Times 9.7.23
  • Into The Dirt Private spy. Double agent. Whistleblower. Just who was Rob Moore? Listen to Harminder Bains on Tortoise Media's podcast series about the spy who infiltrated the anti-asbestos movement.  Episode 1
  • Lessons for India from Swiss asbestos tycoon found guilty for causing death of 392 people Counterview 18.6.23
  • Radio Surrey James Cannon show BBC 10.1.23
  • UK asbestos maker withheld information on material’s risks, court papers show Guardian 20.3.22
  • Families win BBC payouts over 11 asbestos cancer deaths Observer 30.1.22
  • Exeter asbestos victim wins payout 50 years after exposure Devon Live 26.1.22
  • Music and Musicians. Private Eye 23.7.21.
  • Widow of BBC musician sues the broadcaster over his death from cancer after decades spent playing in asbestos-riddled studio Mail online 11.7.21
  • Musician’s widow sues BBC over his exposure to asbestos in studio Observer 11.7.21
  • Asbestos disease sufferers v LAPSO Partners in Costs Issue 16 Autumn 202
  • High Court legal challenge: High Court hears challenge from Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum UK SARAG News September 2020
  • Top 10 Privacy and Data Protection Cases of 2019: a selection – Suneet Sharma Inform 6.1.20
  • Think tank lambasts UK asbestos regulation ENDS 26.11.19
  • New report reveals UK children’s exposure to asbestos Ekklesia 26.11.19
  • Supreme Court sets out test for disclosure of court documents to non-parties. First published in LexisNexis PSL 6.8.19
  • Case Law: Rudd v Bridle, Asbestos industry advisor ordered to answer physician’s subject access requests – Hugh Tomlinson QC Inform 9.5.19
  • Court upholds non-party's right to access various documents disclosed at trial (Cape Intermediate Holdings Ltd v Dring). LexisNexis 17.8.18
  • 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


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

In April 2019 Harminder was awarded the Alan Reinstein Award at the 15th Annual International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference.


What our clients say

Highly recommended - you won't be disappointed, impeccable service and dedication from this solicitors particularly Harminder Bains. I was not sure if we would win as I had been told by previous solicitors that it was a very difficult case to prove. Harminder was amazing and kept on top of everything not only winning the case but also providing substantial damages.

Keith Maskell via Trustpilot

News Article
Peter Walsh
Industrial disease Asbestos Mesothelioma

Former dockyard worker successfully sues the Ministry of Defence

A former dockyard worker has secured a substantial settlement from the Ministry of Defence following his diagnosis with mesothelioma, an incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

News Article
Tony Dulwich
Industrial disease Asbestos Mesothelioma

Tony Dulwich, director of TAD Contracts, a company based in Canary Wharf, successfully sued his former employers

Canary Wharf specialist design business owner Tony Dulwich won a High Court judgment against his former employers for compensation for asbestos exposure during the 1970s and 80s after he was later diagnosed with an asbestos cancer called mesothelioma.

News Article
Harminder Bains
Asbestos and mesothelioma

Harminder Bains features on the latest podcast series by Tortoise Media examining corporate spy Robert Moore

Joint head of the asbestos and industrial disease team at Leigh Day, Harminder Bains, has been interviewed by investigative journalists Ceri Thomas and Alexi Mostrous for the new Tortoise podcast series ‘Into the Dirt’. They discussed the spy Robert Moore who was hired by Matteo Bigazzi his 'handler’ at K2 Intelligence Limited.