The House of Lords will have heard the Fairchild case by today, but might not deliver a decision for more than a month, claimants lawyers have said.

John Pickering & Partners senior partner John Pi ...

The House of Lords will have heard the Fairchild case by today, but might not deliver a decision for more than a month, claimants lawyers have said.

John Pickering & Partners senior partner John Pickering said the House of Lords had been due to hear the case in early May.

But, after insurers' lawyers told the Lords that mesothelioma claimants Fairchild, Fox and Matthews had accepted settlements, the case was delayed.

Pickering, whose firm represents Fox, said the claimants had not accepted settlements, so the case was rescheduled for 20 and 21 May. However, Fox's QC Sir Sydney Kentridge was unable to make the hearing dates, so it was brought forward again to 7 May.

Pickering said a decision could come any time from a "few days, to weeks or months".

"There's no way of knowing," he said.

The Association of British Insurers welcomed the new hearing date.

"Our view has always been that we want the issues resolved as quickly as possible, for the benefit of the claimants and insurers," a spokesman said.