South African Miners
Using our expertise and financial backing, South African miners and their families won a landmark £45 million settlement in 2003 from companies that had ruthlessly exploited their labour throughout the apartheid years.
Despite knowing of the lethal dangers of asbestos, mining companies continued to excavate the mineral exposing thousands of men, women and children and condemning them to long-term illness and terminal cancer. Come the end of apartheid, the companies closed their mining operations and hoped to slip away with the profits. Working with South African lawyers, Thompsons made them face up to some of their responsibilities.
Thompsons looked to pursue another mining company on behalf of miners and their families but the law has changed. Following the first settlements Thompsons helped the South African lawyers (who they had worked with) to set up a law firm. The firm has offices in Johannesburg and the same guiding principles as Thompsons.
As well as processing claims to the trust funds set up as a result of the successful asbestos cases, the law firm established with Thompsons help continues the fight for justice for working people in South Africa.