Rachel James RWK Goodman

Rachel James


Injury | Mesothelioma

About Rachel

Rachel is a Partner in our Personal Injury team and is Head of the Oxford Industrial Disease Team. Rachel specialises in asbestos related diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer and pleural thickening.

Rachel qualified as a solicitor in 2005 and originally specialised in catastrophic brain injury before becoming a specialist in representing those suffering from asbestos linked diseases and their families in 2010. Rachel has solely acted for the suffers of asbestos linked diseases ever since and is an Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) Senior Litigator and an accredited occupational and asbestos disease specialist.

Rachel has acted for many ex-pats who have developed asbestos diseases following moving abroad. She regularly recovers immunotherapy funding and acts successfully for many people whose cases have been dropped by other firms. Over the many years that Rachel has represented the victims of asbestos disease, she has recovered millions of pounds in compensation for them. Rachel has been recognised as “thorough and knowledgeable” by The Legal 500 UK.

Rachel lives in Reading and runs free client advice clinics in Oxford and Reading, as well as volunteering at her children’s school.

Work highlights

Examples of awards Rachel has recently recovered for her clients are:

£305k for painter and decorator at L F Europe Ltd

£305k for Mr H, who was a painter and decorator for L F Europe Ltd and was exposed to asbestos while brushing down iron girders and walls that had been sprayed with asbestos. Mr H was in his early 6o’s at the time he was diagnosed and was still working. Rachel was able to recover his future loss of earnings and lost earnings for him continuing to work part time past the age of 65. Mr H provided wrap around after school care for his young granddaughter, and Rachel was able to settle the claim in Mr H’s lifetime whilst still recovering some of the future cost of providing this care. In addition to his damages settlement, Mr H is receiving immunotherapy treatment and is able to make applications to the Court for the continued funding of it.

£300k for carpenter who was exposed to asbestos while working for Spooners (Hull) Ltd.

£300k for Mr M, a carpenter who was exposed to asbestos while working for Spooners (Hull) Ltd. Mr M was involved in the fitting of “Clasp system” buildings manufactured by Spooners. Mr M recovered significant damages for his future lost earnings as he continued to work at the time of his diagnosis. He had not yet reached retirement age and recovered future lost earnings on the basis that he would have continued to work part time well past retirement age. As Mrs M did not drive and the family lived very rurally, Mr M was able to recover the costs of moving into a more urban property, so that Mrs M was able to use public transport and could still collect her grandchildren from school, which she could only do previously with Mr M driving her.

£130k for English ex-pat living in Australia

£130k for Mr H, an English ex-pat living in Australia. Mr H was very young when he developed mesothelioma having been exposed whilst working as a Metallurgist for Babcock International Ltd and Doosan Babcock Ltd. He sadly had Koskoffs syndrome prior to being diagnosed withmesothelioma. He had been living in a care home in Australia funded by state benefits at the time of his diagnosis. Following his diagnosis of mesothelioma , the care home that Mr H lived in became unsuitable for his accommodation needs. Thankfully, the settlement included a provision for Mr H to move to more suitable accommodation and he was able to live close to his family in an environment suitable for his care needs.

£160k for secondary exposure from laundering husband's work clothes when working at N G Bailey Ltd

£160k for the family of Mrs S who had been exposed to asbestos laundering her husbands work clothes when he worked at N G Bailey Ltd. The settlement included a services dependency for Mr S, because whilst he struggled to manage the day to day running of his household alone, and was heavily reliant on his son and daughter in law. Mrs S had been an accounts clerk for most of her career and dealt with all the family finances. Mr S’s dependency claim included the cost of Mr S’s son managing his finances.

£105k for Durasteel asbestos factory who developed lung cancer

£105k for Mr P, who developed lung cancer following working in the Durasteel asbestos factory, now Cape Durasteel Ltd, in 1949. Mr P had mainly worked in the factory as an electrician, but had worked significant overtime on the pressing machine, manufacturing asbestos boarding. Mr P lived alone, several hundred miles away from most of his daughters and as his illness progressed, he needed to move into a care home. As his settlement included his care home costs in addition to the damages for his illness.

£43k for daughter of a maintenance worker at Panks of Norwich and Caley’s of Norwich

£43k for the daughter of a maintenance worker who developed asbestosis having been exposed to asbestos whilst working at Panks of Norwich and Caley’s of Norwich (now Nestle). Mr A had been found to have had asbestosis after he died, and his family sought advice from a leading law firm. Mr A’s family were advised that the claim did not have prospects of success because the exposure was in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s and was too early. Despite this, Rachel was able to negotiate settlement on behalf of the family of Mr A ,although unfortunately Panks was not insured for the early part of Mr A’s settlement, so sadly, his family could not recover damages from Panks, save for the last few months of his employment when insurance cover had been taken out.

Rachel regularly writes articles and edits the team newsletter “Airborne”. She organises annual mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestos linked disease study days and speaks regularly at these events on topics linked to asbestos disease law. Rachel attends the National Lung Cancer Nurses Forum, British Thoracic Oncology Group annual conference and the Mesothelioma UK annual national patient & carer day.

Rachel supports and fundraises for a number of charities including Mesothelioma UK, HASAG, Macmillan Cancer support and Cancer Research UK.


Rachel is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

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