Rob Weir QC and Jonathan Butters in victory for Asbestos Forum

In January 2017, Picken J heard a 6 week trial brought by employers’ insurers to recover a contribution from Cape plc for the damages they had paid out to various employees who had contracted mesothelioma at work as a result of handling Asbestolux boards, manufactured by Cape. Following the trial and prior to judgment, the parties settled their action.

Rob Weir QC, on behalf of the Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum UK, applied for and obtained an injunction to restrain the parties to the litigation from taking the trial bundles away from the RCJ: see Asbestos Forum v Concept 70 Ltd and Cape [2017] EWHC 811 (QB) and, at the same time, applied under CPR 5.4C(2) for an order providing disclosure from the court to the Asbestos Forum of the substantial trial bundle.   

At a further hearing, Rob Weir QC obtained an order that there be no order as to costs at the substantive hearing at which Cape opposed every aspect of the Forum’s application: see Dring v Concept 70 Ltd and Cape [2017] EWHC 2013 (QB).

Following a 3 day hearing, Rob Weir QC and Jonathan Butters obtained an order for disclosure under CPR 5.4C(2) of the entire trial bundle: see judgment here.

It is now to be hoped that, armed with the documents from the trial, victims of asbestos exposure will be better placed to recover damages, not least in cases of low exposure, currently blocked by the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Williams v University of Birmingham [2011] EWCA Civ 1242.


Rob Weir QC and Jonathan Butters were instructed by Harminder Bains of Leigh Day.

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