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London personal injury firm Leigh Day & Co and Manchester firm Fentons are acting for Second World War slave labour victims in compensation negotiations with German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder.
Leigh Day senior partner Martyn Day, solicitor Bozena Michalowska and Fenton partner Kieren Macguire are due to meet the German authorities in Bonn this week to negotiate payments to Poles and Ukrainians forced into labour during the war. Germany is agreeing to pay out a total of £2bn compensation across the world in an attempt to stave off future legal actions for compensation.
Leigh Day and Fentons are acting on a contingency fee basis, taking 10 per cent of the compensation.
Day says: "I am optimistic that the German government will be prepared to put more money on the table.
"At the moment it works out at £1,000 per person and nobody is going to take that after all they went through."
Leigh Day is also acting for former prisoners of war seeking compensation from Japan, also on a contingency fee basis. The firm acted, along with Irwin Mitchell, for lung cancer sufferers in high-profile litigation against tobacco companies Imperial Tobacco and Gallagher. This was later abandoned after Mr Justice Wright ruled several of the claimants had gone over their limitation periods.