Outer Temple Chambers members who work in this specialist area have extensive experience of representing survivors of historical sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect. As well as vulnerable adults abused in long-term care settings and learning disabled children and young people in respite and residential care. Their experience is informed by the need for sensitivity as well as understanding in what are particularly fraught and emotionally draining cases for clients.

Child & Adult Abuse Experience

Outer Temple Chambers Personal Injury Team include a number of barristers with extensive experience of representing survivors of historical sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect. They also specialise in cases involving vulnerable adults abused in long-term care settings and learning disabled children and young people in respite and residential care. 

Their experience is informed by the need for sensitivity as well as understanding in what are particularly fraught and emotionally draining cases for clients.

Our Child & Adult Abuse barristers handle an extensive range of abuse claims including: 

  • representing those alleging abuse by religious orders 
  • abuse in boarding schools
  • abuse in children’s homes
  • abuse in foster care
  • abuse in sports’ clubs and in youth and social clubs
  • claims against abusive family members. 

Some of these claims also involve group actions. The team has experience in “failure to remove” claims against local authorities where the allegation is that social services should have removed children sooner. Members have also advised and settled claims relating to vulnerable adults and learning disabled young people abused in psychiatric or residential care.

Four members of the team (Patrick Sadd, Harriet Jerram, Paul Livingston and Stephen Doherty) have acted over the last two years as Counsel to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, set up to look at the abuse of children in Jersey’s care system from 1945 to 2014. Patrick Sadd has recently been appointed as Counsel to the Westminster Inquiry.

Individuals have represented Irish citizens living in the UK in claims under the Irish Redress Scheme involving abuse in industrial schools; in claims against the Savile estate, against Roman Catholic dioceses for abuse by priests and against various professional sports clubs.

James Counsell and Ben Bradley recently successfully sued the Jehovah’s Witnesses on behalf of a survivor of sexual abuse perpetrated when she was a child between five and nine by a ministerial servant recovering substantial damages, see: A v Trustees of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society [2015] EWHC 1722. The case raised common issues in abuse cases: limitation, vicarious liability, breach of duty.

The team have appeared on BBC television and radio news and Law in Action providing comment on the Lotto rapist decision changing the law on limitation, on Savile claims, and on the difficulties of disclosing abuse. Members have lectured on limitation, “failure to remove” claims, vicarious liability, the use of psychiatric expert evidence in abuse claims and damages in abuse actions. The team have contributed articles on abuse claims to the legal press.

Within the team are members of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

Child & Adult Abuse Barristers

James Counsell QC

Call: 1984 Silk: 2017

Gerard McDermott QC

Call: 1978 Silk: 1999

Patrick Sadd

Call: 1984

Harriet Jerram

Call: 1998

Ben Bradley

Call: 2007

Katarina Sydow

Call: 2012

Paul Livingston

Call: 2012

Stephen Doherty

Call: 2013

Olinga Tahzib

Call: 2016

Joshua Cainer

Call: 2019

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