To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if solicitors are entitled to take part of the compensation awards to claimants under the Vibration White Finger and the Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema litigation schemes. 
§ Mrs. Liddell
This is a complex area. The Department's position is set out in a letter dated 26 July to hon. Members with direct coal mining interests, including my hon. Friend. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House for all hon. Members, and I am sending a copy of the letter to my hon. Friend. The Department believes that it is inappropriate for solicitors to take a proportion of a claimant's compensation.