Join the 12KBW specialist Asbestos Team for an afternoon of discussion on future opportunities and challenges in asbestos litigation.


Time Talk Information



Welcome and introduction
Steven Snowden KC


In the shadow of Gestmin – proving asbestos exposure
Steven Snowden KCIvan BowleyAliyah Akram and Max Archer


Latency periods in mesothelioma
Rachit Buch


Tea Break


Issues in occupiers’ claims
Patrick Kerr and Helen Waller


Asbestos in schools – a persistent problem
James Pickering and Megan Griffiths


Procedural issues arising from death
Michael Brace


Proving secondary exposure claims
Cressida Mawdesley-Thomas


Drinks and canapés

Steven Snowden KC

Steven Snowden KC is recognised in the independent legal directories as one of the leading barristers in the country in his chosen areas of work. He is ranked in band 1 for personal injury and industrial disease in both the C&P and the L500 guides and also ranked for Public Inquiries and Inquests by the Legal 500.

Steven’s main areas of practice are high-value, complex or sensitive personal injury and industrial disease cases. His practice extends to associated clinical negligence and professional negligence work, Court of Protection, insurance, sports, group litigation and public inquiries. He works for claimants and for defendants.

Steven is a very experienced trial advocate and regularly deals with substantial and complex cases in court and in settlement meetings. His current caseload includes the liability and quantum aspects of head injuries, paraplegic and other serious spinal injury cases, amputations, psychiatric injuries and fatal claims. In disease work he deals with mesothelioma and other asbestos claims, and other occupational illness claims involving difficult issues of liability, causation or quantum. He represented the largest group of the infected and affected individuals and families (1,400+ core participants) in the Infected Blood Public Inquiry.  He is instructed in the professional footballers’ concussive injury claims. He is retained to represent patients and families in the Essex Mental Health Public Inquiry.

He was the elected Chair (2020 – 2022) of the Personal Injuries Bar Association, a member of the Bar Council (2020-2022), is a Director of BMIF (2022 to date) and has for many years been one of the authors of the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases.

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Ivan Bowley

Ivan Bowley specialises in industrial disease and serious personal injury, acting on behalf of claimants. For many years he has been one of the leading juniors at the Bar for industrial disease litigation.

Ivan also practices at Lincoln House Chambers in Manchester and has regularly been listed in Chambers and Partners Band 1 for personal injury on the Northern Circuit and as a leading practitioner in the Legal 500. He is listed in Band 1 of the Chambers and Partners’ list “Personal Injury: Industrial Disease – All Circuits”.

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Michael Brace

Michael specialises in high value and complex personal injury claims and is recognised as a leading junior: In the current edition of Chambers & Partners he is described as “detail-oriented and client-friendly” and as providing “very clear and detailed advice” whilst the current edition of the Legal 500  notes he “is able to advise on a range of cases to include more novel cases such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis claims.’    

Michael’s practice focuses on:

  • Catastrophic injuries  and fatalities
  • Brain injuries
  • Complex orthopaedic and amputation cases
  • Psychiatric conditions

Michael  practice is UK -wide.  He acts for both claimants and defendants and receives instructions from leading solicitors and major insurers.  He has particular experience in dealing with complex and contested medical and engineering evidence.

Michael was one of the Attorney General’s Junior Counsel to the Crown from 2000 – 2007 and a “Panel Counsel to the Welsh Assembly Government” from 2000-2007.

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Patrick Kerr

Patrick is consistently ranked as a Leading Junior, Tier 1 in the Legal 500 and a Leading Junior, Band 1 in Chambers & Partners. The current editions describe him as “warm and approachable, and his attention to detail is first class. His advocacy is eloquent, innovative and charismatic” and “an outstanding barrister who is undoubtedly destined for the top”. Recent editions say he is “a superb advocate who is highly intelligent” and “definitely the counsel you want on your side”.

Patrick has particular expertise in mesothelioma claims, clinical negligence and sporting injuries.  Most of his claims involve catastrophic injuries.  He also has extensive experience in defending fraudulent claims.

He is a member of the Northern Irish Bar and has provided expert evidence on English and Welsh law for other jurisdictions.

Patrick also runs a charity which funds Research Fellowships at the Royal Marsden Hospital (

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Rachit Buch

Rachit specialises in personal injury, industrial disease, international and travel law and clinical negligence work. He has an interest in employment law claims, particularly in cases involving psychiatric harm.

His industrial disease practice focuses on mesothelioma claims and other asbestos-related diseases.

Rachit has experience in cases involving a public law aspect, recently being instructed in the Undercover Policing Inquiry, as well as an established inquest practice.

He acts for claimants and defendants/respondents.

Having studied Human Genetics before studying for the Bar, Rachit applies his knowledge of scientific and medical issues to the law.

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Aliyah Akram

Aliyah Akram is acknowledged as a leading junior in personal injury and industrial disease litigation. She is renowned for her expertise and experience in group litigation in all of the core areas in which she practices. Many of her cases have an international aspect and give rise to both jurisdictional issues and conflicts of laws.

Aliyah is a robust and persuasive trial advocate. She prides herself on working closely as a team with instructing solicitors, not just in group litigation, but in every case in which she is involved. Her focus is always on maximising the client’s prospects of success. She is able to cut through the background noise and gets straight to the issues.

She is a contributing author of Asbestos: Law & Litigation (Sweet & Maxwell, 2nd edition, 2022).

She is ranked by the legal directories as a leading junior in Personal Injury, Industrial Disease and Travel: International Personal Injury.

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James Pickering

James is recognised as a leading practitioner in cases involving serious injuries and fatal accidents, with expertise in international, insurance, and group litigation.

Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 describe him as “an excellent barrister” who is “razor-sharp and super responsive”. He “has a brilliantly analytical yet creative legal intellect which he brings to bear in the most legally challenging of claims, with jurisdictional issues being a particular forte of his.” He is recommended as “pragmatic and meticulous, and always on hand in the most difficult of cases. His presence at your side is a reassuring one.”

James edits the leading practitioner textbooks in his main areas of practice: Occupational Illness Litigation, Asbestos: Law & Litigation, and Butterworths Personal Injury Litigation Service (Accidents Abroad).

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Max Archer

Max is recognised as a leading practitioner in a number of different fields including aviation law, cross border litigation, industrial disease, product liability and group actions. Across these fields he is experienced in tortious disputes, commercial litigation and regulatory matters.

He is known for his excellent client care, robust advocacy and pragmatic approach to litigation. Max’s work is often technical, high value and complex. He often appears unled against silks in the higher courts and is acknowledged for his advocacy skills.

Max has unparalleled knowledge of aviation law and has become a go-to junior in this area in respect of large loss events  occurring all over the world as well as domestic accidents, regulatory issues and commercial aviation work.

His work often has an international dimension, he has expertise in jurisdiction and conflicts of laws as well as private international tort law and human rights issues.

Max often acts in group actions, both led and unled. He is adept at handling mass tort cases and often acts in environmental actions as well as group personal injury claims.

He is a contributing author of Asbestos: Law & Litigation (Sweet & Maxwell, 2019) and the co-editor of 12KBW’s Asbestos Blog.

Max is recognised in Aviation, Personal Injury and Travel in the Legal 500 and in Aviation, Personal Injury and Industrial Disease in Chambers & Partners.

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Helen Waller

Helen is a highly experienced junior with a practice well beyond her year of call. She specialises in personal injury and industrial disease work. Her practice includes catastrophic injury and fatal accidents, both as sole and junior counsel. Helen is regularly instructed on multi-million-pound cases, including complex traumatic brain injuries and amputations. She works for both claimants and defendants, receiving instructions from leading solicitors and major insurers. She has developed particular expertise in quantum. Helen has been instructed as junior to a number of leading practitioners in the field, including Paul Russell KC, Chris Kennedy KC, William Audland KC, David Sanderson, Nigel Lewers and John-Paul Swoboda.

Helen regularly appears in trials, CCMCs, approval hearings and applications against opponents of all seniority, including silks. She also has considerable experience of JSMs, both as sole and junior counsel.

Away from 12KBW Helen enjoys wine tasting, cycling, and travelling.

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Megan Griffiths

Megan’s practice spans many of chambers’ specialisms but comprises mostly general personal injury, abuse and clinical negligence work.

Megan has a busy paper practice and is regularly instructed in six figure claims. She frequently advises on all aspects of claims for psychiatric injury arising from historic sexual abuse including limitation and to facilitate settlement negotiations, the quantum of amateur sporting injuries and the merits and quantum of claims for delayed and negligent clinical treatment.

Megan is also often instructed to assist leading counsel with disclosure issues in cases of significant value and/or importance because of her detailed and analytical approach. She was recently instructed as Second Junior in international group litigation for alleged breaches of human rights in the workplace by way of sexual abuse, harassment and gender-based discrimination; to advise on disclosure issues in a complex multi-million pound claim involving a traumatic brain injury and amputation; and to contextualise complex causation issues in an industrial disease group action.

Megan is regularly instructed to represent claimants and defendants in court at trials, interlocutory hearings and approval hearings. She is in court almost every week.

She has been praised by her instructing solicitors for her communicative and thorough approach to case preparation in both her court work and paper practice.

Megan is a member of the Government’s Junior Juniors Scheme and of the Metropolitan Police Panel of Counsel. She regularly contributes to chambers’ various blogs and her articles have been republished in AvMA’s newsletters and on LexisPSL.

Before joining chambers Megan worked as a paralegal at two London law firms in domestic abuse and clinical negligence departments. She therefore appreciates the importance of working closely with solicitors to achieve the best results for clients.

Megan is happy to consider instructions on a CFA or legal aid funded basis where appropriate.

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Cressida Mawdesley-Thomas

Cressida specialises in all aspects of Personal Injury law. She has a thorough and collaborative approach and is recognised by The Legal 500 as a Rising Star who “has already amassed an extremely impressive caseload, far beyond that of many barristers much more senior”.

In disease litigation Cressida acts for Claimants suffering from mesothelioma, lung cancer, diffuse pleural thickening and asbestosis. She is also experienced in VWF/ HAVS claims. She regularly appears in the Masters’ corridor and is well versed in limitation arguments and complex issues of causation. As second junior in Mather v MOD she helped obtain a settlement of over £3 million for a former RAF painter & finisher who developed MS following exposure to organic solvents in breach of the COSHH Regulations.

Cressida has particular interest in equine claims brought under The Animals Act 1971.  She is currently junior counsel in a high value, complex CRPS claim following a military riding accident. Cressida is adept at drafting schedules of loss in cases involving the loss of a military career.

In clinical negligence Cressida has experience in a range of different cases, including delayed diagnosis, as well as unnecessary and negligent surgery. This compliments her coronial practice where she is instructed in inquests involving multiple expert jurisdictions. She successfully obtained a regulation 28 prevention of future death report in a case arising out of the police’s treatment of head injuries and questioned experts in pathology, neuropathology, and toxicology.

Cressida is adept at handling complex motor insurance indemnity points. She successfully acted as Junior Counsel for the Second Defendant in Covea Insurance Plc v Greenaway [2021] 3 WLUK 379, considering the meaning of the ‘stolen or unlawfully taken’ exception under s. 151 of the Road Traffic Act 1988Greenaway was the first case to practically consider how the domestic court is to interpret retained EU law under section 6(3) of the EU Withdrawal Act 2018. Unled she successfully acted for the Second Defendant in Kelec v (1) Kotwal (2) Nelson Insurance (HHJ Dight CBE, central London County Court, 18 August 2022). The case concerned the limits of a direct action under The European Communities (Rights against Insurers) Regulations 2002 (‘the 2002 Regulations’).

Cressida acts and advises in costs litigation, including detailed assessment hearings, where she is an effective advocate. She co-edits 12 King’s Bench Walk’s Costs blog with Deputy Costs Judge Andrew Roy.

Prior to coming to the Bar Cressida worked at a top American investment bank. She is highly numerate and drafts living and fatal schedules of loss beyond her year of call.

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