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British Coal Compensation

Volume 702: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will take any action (a) in the light of claimants in the British Coal respiratory disease litigation and British Coal vibration white finger litigation referred to Thompsons Solicitors by the National Union of Mineworkers, Durham area, being required to pay 7.5 per cent of their compensation to the union and to subscribe to associate membership; and (b) following the case of the late Mary Alice Collins, a miner's widow who had been suffering from disabilities, who was required to pay 7.5 per cent of her compensation to the solicitors for the benefit of the union. [HL4049]

I understand that the National Union of Mineworkers, Durham area, now known as the Durham Miners’ Association (DMA), will pay back the 7.5 per cent charge and cancel membership if requested to do so by the member or associate member. In April 2007, the DMA became subject to regulation under the Compensation Act 2006 in respect of its claims management services. Anyone with a complaint about the way in which the DMA handled their claim should first refer their complaint to the DMA under its complaint procedure. If they are not satisfied with the outcome, the complaint should be referred to the Claims Management Regulation Unit at the Ministry of Justice. Only those complaints arising after regulation commenced in April 2007 can be formally considered.

Claims Management Regulation

Monitoring and Compliance Unit

57-60 High Street

Burton-upon-Trent

Staffordshire

DE14 1JS

Tel: 08454506858

I cannot comment on the position of an individual complainant. Complaints about solicitors are a matter for the Legal Complaints Service.