Last month Companies House announced a proposal to change how long public records of dissolved companies are kept. Currently, records are retained for 20 years but the proposal is for records to be deleted after just six years.
This change could result in troublesome affects for asbestos compensation claims. Our specialist asbestos disease solicitors use the Companies House database every day to try and trace companies that asbestos claim clients have worked for.
Due to the latency period of asbestos conditions such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural thickening, it can be as long as 50 years after exposure to asbestos before someone knows that they have developed a compensatable asbestos condition. By this time, many companies who employed our asbestos claim clients and exposed them to asbestos no longer trade and have dissolved.
Under the current Companies House system, company documents and information are archived after 20 years. This means that details of companies that were dissolved less than 20 years ago are readily available to view online. For companies that were dissolved more than 20 years ago, only limited information is available and further documents can be requested at a charge, if they still exist.
It is extremely important in asbestos claims and in particular, mesothelioma claims, that all work is dealt with as quickly as possible. Having to wait to receive company documents delays cases and if the time period was reduced to six years there would be delays in almost every asbestos compensation claim our specialist asbestos disease solicitors deal with.
Here at Asbestos Justice we would implore Companies House and the government to rethink the proposal. Finding former employers is difficult enough without further restricting access to vital company information. We just want to be able to provide a quick, efficient service and to settle asbestos claims while our clients are able to make the most of their asbestos compensation.
If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestos compensation claim for mesothelioma or other asbestos disease then please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.