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2 May 2006 : Column 1369W—continued

Hearing Loss Compensation

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the number of cases where payments by his Department to representatives of successful claimants for noise-induced hearing loss compensation have not been (a) notified and (b) paid to the claimant. [65159]

Malcolm Wicks: The Department, as defendant in hearing loss cases, has no information on dealings between claimants and their representatives.

Home Information Packs

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research the Office of Fair Trading has (a) undertaken and (b) plans to undertake into (i) home information packs and (ii) the electronic provision of property information. [66252]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have asked the Chief Executive of the Office of Fair Trading, John Fingleton, to reply to the hon. Member.

Late Accounts

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the proposed timetable is for the Department to consult on the civil penalties for companies which file accounts and reports late. [66737]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 27 April 2006]: Clause 431 of the Company Law Reform Bill (which is currently being considered in another place) provides for the Secretary of State to make regulations determining

The Department intends to consult on draft regulations under the clause as soon as possible after the Bill receives Royal Assent.

Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what funding the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has provided to the
2 May 2006 : Column 1370W
Cambridge University Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies on research into suburban development issues; and what research has been published. [66661]

Barry Gardiner: The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has provided £1.91 million to the Cambridge Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies (the Martin Centre") for research broadly in support of 'suburban development'. This comprises a travel grant for £5,000 in 2002 and a scoping study for £154,000 in 2003, which led to a major programme grant for £1.75 million awarded in 2004. This grant, funded as part of EPSRC's Towards a Sustainable Urban Environment" programme, will support research by a large consortium, led by the Martin Centre, which aims to investigate Sustainability Of Land Use and Transport In Outer Neighbourhoods—SOLUTIONS, by considering how far, and by what means, towns and cities can be planned so that they are socially inclusive, economically efficient and environmentally sustainable.

It is the responsibility of academic researchers to publicise the outcomes of their research through appropriate channels. EPSRC has not yet been provided with publications information on this current project.

Migrant Workers

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will establish a migrant workers helpline for the reporting of (a) poor working conditions and (b) worker intimidation in west Lancashire. [66835]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Legal migrant workers are entitled to the same employment rights as other UK workers. The ACAS Helpline (08457 47 47 47) can provide free, impartial, practical advice to any worker who has concerns about their treatment in the workplace. We have also sought to work with new European member states to provide their workers with bi-lingual leaflets giving guidance aimed at helping workers before they leave home and information on sources of assistance should they have difficulties once in the UK. To date we have prepared leaflets in partnership with Poland and Lithuania.

The Department is currently reviewing the total current provision of Government-funded helplines for workers and employees. We are looking at how well this provision meets customer needs, especially the needs of the most vulnerable, and we will consider options for improvement. The first phase of this review will be completed this summer.

We have also recently launched new web pages at to provide a central, easy to understand resource for individuals seeking information about their employment rights.

Within the north west, the Transport and General Workers' Union has led the creation of the North West Migrant Workers' Institute that brings together employers, public agencies, voluntary organisations and unions in the north west. The Institute's aims include collating and promoting best practice in the employment of migrant workers, providing a region-wide reference point for support and services for
2 May 2006 : Column 1371W
migrant workers and their communities, and identifying specific training needs among migrant workers and upskilling opportunities.

Miners' Compensation

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for what reasons there is a six month wait for home medical visits by Atos Origin for miners claiming compensation. [65298]

Malcolm Wicks: Generally, around 90 per cent. of home visits are arranged within six months.

Before a home visit is arranged, the Medical, British Coal and Department of Work and Pensions records are obtained. This is generally completed within three months. However delays may occur where record holders do not respond quickly or where records cannot be traced or obtained. Once the records are obtained or there is evidence that they are no longer in existence, contact is made with the claimant to book a visit. In cases where there are no problems obtaining the records or obtaining a GP certificate it would be expected that an appointment would normally be completed within six months of being requested.

Procedures are in place to monitor performance and to ensure requests progress through the record collection and booking process. Claimants with short life expectancy (less than two years) are given priority and this process is monitored for compliance.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many claims for noise induced hearing loss have been submitted to his Department; how many have been paid out; and in how many costs are in dispute. [66746]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 27 April 2006]: 38,788 hearing loss claims have been registered of which 29,959 have been settled by payment. It is not possible to state precisely in how many claims costs are disputed though it is in the region of 500.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the 50 firms of solicitors which have received the most in fees for cases of claims for (a) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, (b) vibration white finger and (c) noise induced hearing loss. [66747]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 27 April 2006]: The 50 solicitors who have received the most in costs for each of the listed claim types are set out in the following tables:
SolicitorTotal solicitors costs paid (£)
Beresfords Solicitors70,751,898
Hugh James Ford Simey65,255,244
Raleys Solicitors50,752,140
Mark Gilbert Morse42,735,727
Browell Smith and Co.36,363,343
Watson Burton22,724,256
Union of Democratic Mineworkers / Vendside21,810,230
Randell Lloyd Jenkins and Martin13,804,372
The Legal Warehouse12,385,897
Barber and Co.12,200,678
Ingrams Solicitors11,474,807
Towells Solicitors11,155,952
Irwin Mitchell10,443,086
Moss Solicitors9,737,567
AMS Law9,682,353
German Hamilton Solicitors7,481,733
Kidd and Spoor Harper Solicitors7,456,424
Wake Smith7,250,689
Birchall Blackburn6,498,933
O. H. Parsons5,987,502
BRM Solicitors5,699,904
Delta Legal5,077,799
Shaw and Co. Solicitors3,852,586
Simpson Millar Solicitors3,394,614
Furley Page3,391,111
Hilary Meredith Solicitors3,387,546
Thompson and Co. Solicitors2,933,588
T. S. Edwards and Son Solicitors2,860,145
Mortons Solicitors2,806,607
Morisons Solicitors2,642,435
Proddow and Mackay Solicitors2,635,724
Latham and Co. Solicitors2,617,402
Marrons Solicitors2,558,428
Capital Law2,515,352
Meloy Whittle Robinson2,477,294
Onyems and Partners2,381,516
Hickmotts Solicitors2,147,313
Keeble Hawson Moorhouse2,054,150
Oxley and Coward Solicitors1,948,969
Saffmans Solicitors1,942,545
Blackett Hart and Pratt Solicitors1,839,602
Morgan Cole1,801,550
Hindle Campbell Solicitors1,574,656
Gorvin Smith Fort1,537,690
Browell Smith and Co.9,589,891
Raleys Solicitors7,622,747
Hugh James Ford Simey6,546,774
Union of Democratic Mineworkers / Vendside6,021,390
Beresfords Solicitors3,983,583
Watson Burton3,506,950
Moss Solicitors3,272,467
Towells Solicitors3,046,481
Kidd and Spoor Harper Solicitors2,158,859
AMS Law2,096,526
O. H. Parsons1,657,193
Irwin Mitchell1,573,908
Saffmans Solicitors1,545,589
Shaw and Co. Solicitors1,441,903
Capital Law1,319,902
McLeish Carswell1,159,343
Oxley and Coward Solicitors1,133,135
Latham and Co. Solicitors1,066,796
T. S. Edwards and Son Solicitors926,709
Hickmotts Solicitors842,604
Motions Solicitors810,048
Thompson and Co. Solicitors760,212
Marrons Solicitors651,615
Keeble Hawson Moorhouse597,126
German Hamilton Solicitors596,224
Morisons Solicitors528,024
Randell Lloyd Jenkins and Martin519,560
Furley Page470,575
Meloy Whittle Robinson429,408
The Legal Warehouse370,818
Gabb and Co.368,711
Endlars Solicitors342,618
Frank Alien Pennington Solicitors324,931
Treanors Solicitors282,868
Gorvin Smith Fort258,837
Branton Bridge254,849
Russell Young Solicitors216,822
Robinson King Solicitors213,944
Blackett Hart and Pratt Solicitors206,401
Wake Smith199,842
Richmonds Solicitors165,810
J. Keith Park and Co. Solicitors164,937
Ross Harper Solicitors151,248
Canter Levin and Berg Solicitors148,347
Union of Democratic Mineworkers / Vendside6,301,334
Beresfords Solicitors2,859,764
Moss Solicitors1,336,475
Browell Smith and Co.938,526
Heptonstalls Solicitors LLP671,024
Hugh James Ford Simey594,424
Towells Solicitors534,704
Kidd and Spoor Harper Solicitors514,859
O. H. Parsons492,106
Irwin Mitchell387,490
AMS Law367,219
Latham and Co. Solicitors327,583
DMH Stallard294,972
Watson Burton278,345
BRM Solicitors270,928
Morisons Solicitors263,592
Hickmotts Solicitors262,535
Mortons Solicitors231,800
Pinto Potts Solicitors218,833
Raleys Solicitors206,864
Meloy Whittle Robinson156,007
Barber Cartain Solicitors155,077
Holmes and Hills Solicitors150,629
Endlars Solicitors146,135
Wake Smith129,825
Saffmans Solicitors122,522
Gorvin Smith Fort122,178
Oxley and Coward Solicitors121,434
The Legal Warehouse116,088
Harrowell Shaftoe112,697
Morrish and Co. Solicitors96,942
Colemans Solicitors81,496
Gorman Hamilton Solicitors81,419
Capital Law80,638
Marrons Solicitors80,257
Gabb and Co.64,042
Simpson Millar Solicitors63,614
Shaw and Co. Solicitors62,981
Branton Bridge60,834
Ollerenshaw Solicitors58,944
Maidments Solicitors58,481
McConville O'Neill57,979
Ingrams Solicitors54,570
Thompson and Co. Solicitors54,218

2 May 2006 : Column 1373W

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what date his Department was first made aware of the contents of the agreement of 10 January 2002 between the Union of Democratic Mineworkers, Clare Walker and Beresfords. [66748]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 27 April 2006]: The Department was first made aware of the contents of the agreement referred to above in April 2005.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what date the first noise induced hearing loss claim from (a) the Union of Democratic Mineworkers and (b) Vendside was (i) registered with his Department and (ii) paid out. [66749]

2 May 2006 : Column 1374W

Malcolm Wicks: [holding answer 27 April 2006]: The first hearing loss claim from the Union of Democratic Mineworkers was registered on 29 April 1997 and from Vendside on 4 March 2004. The first compensation paid was on 29 July 1999 and 1 November 2005 respectively.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which solicitors have pursued common law claims for (a) vibration white finger and (b) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in each year since 1999; and how many such claims each pursued in each year. [66750]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 27 April 2006]: The solicitors that have pursued common law claim for the above conditions since 1999 are set out in the following tables:

Browell Smith & Co1
Hugh James10
Moss Solicitors1
Raleys Solicitors3
Thompsons Solicitors1
Beresfords Solicitors1
Hugh James3
Thompsons Solicitors2
Raleys Solicitors1
No common law claims
Raleys Solicitors1
No common law claims


Browell Smith & Co26
Digby Brown Solicitors1
Endlars Solicitors1
Flint Bishop & Barnett Solicitors1
Graysons Solicitors4
Hickmotts Solicitors3
Leo Abse & Cohen4
Macquillan & Co1
Oxley & Coward Solicitors2
Raleys Solicitors1
Robson McLean Solicitors1
Sentley Wilson Bowen Solicitors2
Thompsons Solicitors4
Towells Solicitors1
Watson Burton LLP5
Allan McDougall & Co Solicitors1
Beresfords Solicitors2
Browell Smith & Co22
Burroughs Day Solicitors1
Edwards Abrams Doherty1
Flint Bishop & Barnett Solicitors1
Freeman Johnson Solicitors1
Gorman Hamilton Solicitors1
Graysons Solicitors1
Hickmotts Solicitors1
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors5
John Pickering & Partners Solicitors1
Lawfords & Co1
Lester Morrill Solicitors1
Meloy Whittle Robinson1
Mortons Solicitors6
Raleys Solicitors1
Ross Harper Solicitors1
Shaw & Co Solicitors1
Thompson & Co Solicitors1
Thompsons Solicitors5
Towells Solicitors21
Avalon Solicitors1
Browell Smith & Co7
Cleaver Thompson1
Ord & Co Solicitors1
Flint Bishop & Barnett Solicitors1
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors4
Leo Abse & Cohen1
Mace & Jones1
Pollard Bower Solicitors1
Thompsons Solicitors2
Towells Solicitors1
Watson Burton LLP1
Barrie Y Jones & Co Solicitors1
Browell Smith & Co3
Ellis Fermor & Negus1
Graysons Solicitors1
Raleys Solicitors1
Thompsons Solicitors5
Towells Solicitors2
Whittles Solicitors1

No VWF common law claims since 2002.

2 May 2006 : Column 1375W

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