Glasgow & West Scotland

Tributes paid to campaign lawyer Frank Maguire

Frank Maguire
Image caption Frank Maguire was known for his Hep C and Asbestos campaigns

Tributes have been paid to a campaigning lawyer who has died at the age of 55 after a long illness.

Frank Maguire was known for his work fighting for those exposed to asbestos at work and people infected with hepatitis C through infected blood.

The joint managing partner of Thompsons Solicitors died at his Ayrshire home. He had been suffering from cancer.

Colleague Syd Smith said he combined a a razor sharp intellect with a passionate commitment for justice.

A family statement said: "Frank's wife, Fiona, and their sons, Calum, Matthew, Luke and John would very much like to thank all those who have been concerned in Frank's care, especially over recent weeks."

Thompsons Solicitors was appointed to represent all transfusion and haemophiliac victims at The Penrose inquiry, set up by the Scottish government two years ago.

It is gathering evidence on how hundreds of people in Scotland were given contaminated blood in the 1970s and 1980s.

The legal firm also represents the majority of pleural plaques sufferers who worked for decades in manual labour, during which time they were exposed to asbestos.

Mr Maguire was also a former president of the Society of Solicitor Advocates.

'Underdog champion'

Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray MSP described him as a "true champion for the underdog".

"His tireless campaigns for the victims of Hepatitis C blood contamination and former shipyard workers, their families and others affected by asbestos-related diseases will live on as a tribute to him, he said.

He added that as legal adviser to many of the UK's leading trade unions, Mr Maguire helped many people win compensation from rogue employers trying to flout employment laws.

Syd Smith, who along with Mr Maguire, was Thompsons Solicitors joint managing partner, said: "Our heartfelt sympathies lie with Fiona, the boys, and Frank's immediate family.

He added: "His loss will be keenly felt by everyone who knew him, but particularly his colleagues at Thompsons, his fellow campaigners, politicians at Holyrood and Westminster, the legal profession and the trade union movement."

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