Kevin Johnson is an experienced asbestos and mesothelioma claims lawyer who qualified in 1999.
He immediately specialised in cases for asbestos sufferers and continues to do so to the present. He has over 20 years’ experience of occupational disease claim cases. Kevin joined Leigh Day in December 2016 from Slater and Gordon, having also worked at John Pickering and Partners where he managed their Liverpool office from 2002 - 2016.
He heads up asbestos cases in and around Liverpool and Merseyside for Leigh Day.
Kevin represents people who have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace, many of whom go on to develop the fatal asbestos cancer mesothelioma. He has recovered compensation for a large number of dockworkers, shipyard workers and Merchant Navy seamen in the Merseyside area who suffer from asbestos illnesses such as asbestosis, pleural thickening, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
As well as acting for asbestos sufferers from the traditional heavy industries like shipbuilding, construction and engineering, Kevin has acted for teachers, publicans, solicitors and shop workers exposed to asbestos at work. He has also acted for asbestos sufferers who contracted mesothelioma from coming into contact with family members who came home in asbestos contaminated work clothes.
Kevin cares passionately about the rights of asbestos sufferers and was previously a trustee of the John Pickering and Partners Charitable Trust at his former firm. The trustees gave 10% of earnings to this trust which helped asbestos disease sufferers. Kevin continues with charitable roles at Leigh Day.
What people say
Kevin is ranked as a band 1 lawyer in Chambers and Partners where the 2016 edition described him as "a true leader in his field" and praised him for his "excellent understanding of the issues related to asbestos litigation and claims in the UK." The 2017 edition said he was “very experienced in this field and an extremely capable lawyer," and noted that "he ensures that each case is presented as well as possible to maximise the compensation that can be recovered for the clients."
Other editions of the Chambers guide have said that Kevin is “....singled out as a “true leader in his field” and is praised for his excellent understanding of the issues related to asbestos litigation and claims in the UK.” Sources describe him as “experienced, extremely thorough and possessing good judgment.”
Legal 500 2015 ranked Kevin as a ‘leading individual’ and said the ‘determined and cerebral’ Kevin Johnson is rated for his work in industrial disease claims.
Kevin has represented asbestos disease sufferers in high value and complex claims, and has obtained several awards of compensation in excess of ½ million pounds.
During his career Kevin has been involved in securing various accolades and recognition for the important test cases and charitable work for asbestos sufferers. These awards included:
- 2013 Liverpool Law Society Awards- Niche Law Firm Award.
- 2011 Liverpool Law Society Awards- Community Investment Award.
- 2009 Liverpool Law Society Awards- Personal Injury Team of the Year.
- 2007 Liverpool Law Society Awards- Specialist Law Firm of the Year.
- Liverpool Daily Post & Echo “Scouserati”- the 366 “most influential Scousers” as part of the Capital of Culture 2008 events.
His empathetic and client-focused approach shines through, as he goes the extra mile to find a legal remedy for victims of asbestos."
Chambers and partners 2021
Dowdall v William Kenyon & Sons and 2 others  EWHC 2822, Kevin successfully represented a mesothelioma victim to recover damages against previously untraced employers despite the claimant having agreed ‘full and final’ damages for his development of asbestosis against different employers in a previous claim. The judge rejected the defendants’ legal arguments including in relation to limitation and allowed the claim to proceed even though it was found to be 13 years out of time.
Sturdy v James Marmon & Sons, Lawtel, 26/11/2008, Kevin successfully opposed the Defendant’s attempt to reduce damages for mesothelioma compensation below recommended Judicial Guideline figures.
Hutchings v Invista Holdings (2009), unreported, Liverpool County Court. This was a high value award and judgment dealing with the successful recovery of relatives’ flight costs from Australia to the UK to visit their father with mesothelioma.
Rice and Thompson v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry  EWCA Civ 289. Working with a colleague on this test case for dockworkers with asbestos diseases. Closely involved in litigation, case planning, etc. This involved two High Court hearings and a Court of Appeal judgment on a preliminary issue regarding whether a duty of care is owed to dockworkers. The successful Court decisions enable claims to be brought for dockworkers with asbestos diseases in circumstances where the government previously denied owing them any duty of care to them. It has helped many asbestos victims to bring successful claims.
Kevin acted for a former ship worker with mesothelioma who worked at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, Wirral. His case settled in just over four months, and as part of the same case he also recovered compensation for a hospice in Liverpool who cared for him at the end of his life.
He acted for a mesothelioma sufferer who was a dockworker at Liverpool Docks. He was exposed to asbestos when he worked for the National Dock Labour Board and had to offload sacks of asbestos from ships. Kevin dealt with the claim urgently and was able to settle the case and recover compensation in just over two months from when he was very first contacted.
He acted in a case for a gentleman with mesothelioma against the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council. The London Borough took over land and built homes on the site of the former Cape Asbestos factory in Barking, Essex. He carried out detailed research including obtaining statements from local residents and individuals who had made previous claims and also obtained court disclosure of documents from the Council. As a result, he was able to identify that the gentleman visited family members in areas where construction work was carried out which involved the disturbance of soil contaminated with asbestos materials and a claim was made on the basis that he developed mesothelioma as a result of this exposure. The claim was successfully settled and compensation was recovered.
Kevin has also been involved in working on some of the leading asbestos test cases in this area which went to the highest Courts including:
- Fairchild v Glenhaven Funeral Services Limited and Others  UKHL 22.
- Barker v Corus UK Plc  UKHL 20.
- Ballantine v Newalls Insulation Co. Ltd, CA June 2000,
Kevin is accredited as an occupational disease specialist and asbestos disease specialist law by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and is an APIL assessor for applications for asbestos accreditation. This means that he is involved in assessing internal and external lawyers and advising whether they have the necessary skills and experience to be classed as an accredited specialist asbestos lawyer. He is a Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers. He is also a member of the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel.
Kevin is regularly invited to speak on occupational and asbestos litigation at medical and legal conference and seminars. He has spoken at and also chaired conferences for the Merseyside Asbestos Victims’ Support Group and has spoken about asbestos litigation issues to lawyers at a conference in Australia. He has written articles for legal journals and contributed to a textbook for lawyers called “Occupational Illness Litigation.”
He was co-opted by APIL into a group of specialist asbestos solicitors to advise the government on ways to speed up the compensation system for mesothelioma sufferers. He was also invited to make submissions to the Asbestos Sub-Committee of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health in relation to ways to ensure fairer compensation payments to mesothelioma sufferers.
Kevin Johnson is "really brilliant" and "always ahead of the curve."
Chambers and partners 2019