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Leigh Day expands service with two new partners in the North West

Law firm Leigh Day has welcomed two new legal partners to its rapidly expanding Liverpool and Manchester offices, strengthening its expertise in asbestos and human rights work.

Posted on 23 January 2024

Joanne Candlish and Leanne Devine bring substantial experience and expertise to the firm, as it continues to expand its northern offering.

Leanne, well known for her work on the Hillsborough inquests, joins Leigh Day’s new human rights team in Manchester. She has previously acted for many clients from the Merseyside region, including representing 22 families who lost loved ones in the Hillsborough tragedy.

Leanne, who is from Liverpool, has made the move from Scott-Moncrieff & Associates where she worked as a consultant solicitor - regularly representing bereaved families in Article 2 inquests, and connected claims against public authorities. She is a member of INQUEST Lawyers Group and a panel member of Centre for Women’s Justice. Leanne is based in Manchester at present, but will work with clients across the North West, including Liverpool.

From 2013 to 2016, Leanne worked as solicitor and senior investigator for the Hillsborough tragedy at Broudie Jackson Canter. Leanne led a team focused on the thematic area of emergency response, as well as providing client care to a number of families.

The families eventually secured a conclusion from the jury of ‘unlawful killing’ of the 97. Leanne went on to become a Director and Head of Civil Liberties establishing a team of inquest and inquiry specialists providing national expertise representing bereaved families.

Image of Leanne Devine
Image of Leanne Devine

Joanne Candlish, from Merseyside, has over 30 years’ experience in asbestos-related cases. She joins Leigh Day from Hodge Jones & Allen, where she was partner in the asbestos team.

Joanne was previously an asbestos solicitor and department manager at 2020 Legal where she set up and managed a new asbestos department, including running all asbestos cases, recruiting and training, marketing and client development. Joanne is an APIL accredited Senior Litigator and Asbestos and Occupational Disease Specialist.

Joanne brings valuable expertise in asbestos and occupational disease-related claims. She is an experienced industrial disease solicitor, regularly recovering six figure settlements, as well as future treatment orders and hospice costs. She was involved in acting for asbestos sufferers in the high profile ‘Trigger Issue’ litigation.
Image of Leanne
Image of Joanne Candlish

The team of expert asbestos solicitors at Leigh Day specialise in bringing claims on behalf of people who have been exposed to asbestos in many walks of life. They are experts at identifying where any exposure took place and achieving the right level of compensation for those affected.

Kevin Johnson, Leigh Day asbestos partner who heads the firm’s Liverpool office, said:

“We are delighted to welcome both Joanne and Leanne to Leigh Day. Joanne is highly regarded in asbestos-related personal injury claims, and it’s fantastic that we have been able to add her expertise and experience to the team in Liverpool.

“Leanne also brings a wealth of legal experience within Liverpool and the surrounding area, which will no doubt aid the firm in its efforts to improve access to justice in the North West.”

The Leigh Day Liverpool office opened in 2016 to serve local Merseyside residents and beyond, particularly in compensation claims for industrial disease. The two new appointments will strengthen the firm’s presence in Liverpool, with both bringing strong connections to the area.

Leanne Devine said:

“Being Liverpool born and bred, it was a privilege to have represented bereaved families in the fresh Hillsborough inquests. That really emphasised for me the need and the ambition of local lawyers to provide that assistance to people in our communities.

“I was attracted to Leigh Day due to the outstanding reputation it has for taking on challenges on behalf of, everyday people whose lives have been impacted by inequalities and injustice in our society. There is an amazing vibe within the firm of people wanting to do the right thing. There are few firms which resonate with my values, and Leigh Day was at the top of the list for me.”

Joanne Candlish said:

“I am delighted to be joining Leigh Day’s renowned asbestos team, which is leading the way in fighting for justice for those exposed to this dangerous substance.

“Leigh Day has always taken on difficult, challenging and ground-breaking cases and I have made it my mission to fight for victims and their families for over 30 years, so it was a perfect fit. A strengthened presence in Liverpool will ensure people continue to have access to high quality and specialist legal representation locally.”

Leanne Devine
Human rights Inquests Public law

Leanne Devine

Leanne is a partner in the human rights department

Joanne Candlish
Asbestos Industrial disease Mesothelioma

Joanne Candlish

Joanne is a highly-experienced asbestos and mesothelioma claims partner

Kevin Johnson
Asbestos and mesothelioma Industrial disease

Kevin Johnson

Leading Liverpool, Cheshire and North West mesothelioma claims lawyer