News & Events

Child & Adult Abuse

Chelsea FC settles racism claims

Success for James Counsell QC and Ben Bradley as Chelsea FC settle four claims for racist abuse

Four Claimants, all represented by James Counsell QC and Benjamin Bradley, have settled their claims for damages against Chelsea Football Club for undisclosed six figure sums in abuse proceedings. The Claimants settled their claims for damages against Chelsea Football Club for undisclosed six figure sums on 7th February at a pre-trial review hearing.  The claims, which were listed for a six week trial, involving 62 witnesses, in four weeks’ time alleged that two former employees, Graham Rix, the former England international footballer, and Gwyn Williams, whilst working for the club’s youth training programme in the 1990s, racially abused these four young black footballers when they were aged between 14 and 18. At a court hearing in May 2021, the High…

News, Personal Injury 8 Feb, 2022

James Counsell QC to speak at the APIL Child Abuse Special Interest Group Meeting

James Counsell QC will be speaking at the APIL Child Abuse Special Interest Group Meeting on Monday 26th April between 17:00pm – 18:00pm. The meeting will provide an introduction to the group and an APIL activity update from David McClenaghan (APIL’s Child Abuse special interest group co-ordinator) and Richard Sweetman (APIL’s Child Abuse special interest group secretary). James Counsell QC and Thomas Beale (Bolt Burdon Kemp) will discuss the recent judgment in The Trustees of the Barry Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses v BXB (EWCA 2021). The Court of Appeal handed down their decsion in March 2021 and held the Trustees of the Barry Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses liable for an act of rape committed by one of its elders, against an…

Events, Webinars & Vlogs 22 Apr, 2021

James Counsell QC and Ben Bradley successful in Jehovah’s Witness Adult Sexual Abuse Appeal

In a judgment handed down today, the Court of Appeal has held the Trustees of the Barry Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses liable for an act of rape committed by one of its elders, against an adult member of its congregation. James Counsell QC and Ben Bradley appeared on behalf of the successful Respondent to the appeal. The Court heard that the claimant, known as BXB, had been a member of the Barry congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and had been instructed by an elder of that congregation to provide support and a “shoulder to cry on” for the elder’s son, Mark Sewell, also an elder of the congregation, whom was suffering from depression.  Mark Sewell abused his position as an elder…

News, Personal Injury 15 Mar, 2021

Historical Sexual Abuse Claims: Is Vicarious Liability “On The Move” Again?

James Counsell QC and Joshua Cainer have been published in the latest issue of the Journal of Personal Injury Law. James and Joshua consider the ever moving sphere of vicarious liability and the impact of the recent Supreme Court decision on historical sexual abuse cases. This article discusses the latest Supreme Court decisions on vicarious liability, Barclays Bank Plc v Various Claimants and WM Morrisons Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants, and their likely effect on the substantive outcomes in personal injury claims arising out of historical and more recent sexual abuse. It considers this by reference to some recent High Court cases on historical sexual abuse which pre-date the Supreme Court’s decisions, as well as one High Court case which…

Legal Blog & Publications, News, Personal Injury 4 Mar, 2021

Historical sexual abuse claims – limitation risks in out of time claims (Part Two)

In this second blog on the particular challenges posed by limitation periods in historical sexual abuse claims, James Counsell QC and Joshua Cainer focus on the second key live issue under section 33(3)(b), namely the extent to which, having regard to the delay, the evidence adduced or likely to be adduced by the parties is or is likely to be less cogent than if the action had been brought in time. The first blog can be found here.  In the first of two recent blogs on the particular challenges posed by limitation periods in historical sexual abuse claims, James Counsell QC and Joshua Cainer considered how historical sexual abuse claims are often brought long after primary limitation has expired, in which…

Legal Blog & Publications, Personal Injury 20 Jan, 2021

Paul Livingston appears in Public Inquiry virtual hearing on child sexual exploitation by organised networks

Paul Livingston appears this week in the substantive hearing in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s investigation into Child Sexual Exploitation. The hearing – which is being conducted entirely remotely – examines institutional responses to child sexual exploitation by organised networks in England and Wales. Sexual exploitation of children is a form of child sexual abuse involving exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where a child receives something, as a result of sexual activities. An ‘organised network’ involves two or more individuals who are known or associated with one another, and known to be involved in or facilitate the sexual exploitation of children. The hearing is primarily looking at six areas: Durham, Swansea, Warwickshire, St Helen’s, Tower Hamlets and Bristol.…

News 22 Sep, 2020

Olinga Tahzib appears in virtual public hearing to examine child protection in religious organisations and settings

Olinga Tahzib appears this week in the second stage of the substantive hearing in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s investigation into Religious Organisations and Settings. The hearing – which is being conducted entirely remotely – examines child protection policies and practices in religious organisations in England and Wales. These include Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, Methodists, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhist and non-conformist Christian denominations. Yesterday, Olinga examined PR-A5, a former member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who was abused as a child by Peter Stewart, a ministerial servant within the congregation. PR-A5 was the claimant in the landmark case of A v The Trustees of the Watchtower Bible Tract Society and Others [2015] EWHC 1722 (QB), in which she was…

News, Personal Injury 11 Aug, 2020

What are the key takeaways of the IICSA’s report ‘Child sexual abuse in sports’?

IICSA has just produced its fourth Truth Project Thematic report, ‘Child sexual abuse in sports’. Patrick Sadd summarises the key takeaways of the report. The Report As with the first three reports – child sexual abuse in religious institutions (May 2019), in children’s homes and residential care (November 2019) and custodial institutions (April 2020) – this is drawn from the experience of victims and survivors between the 1950s and 2010s, here in the context of organised sports : sports clubs, institutions or associations or organised local sporting activity. The sample is small – of the 3,939 people giving their account between June 2016- March 2020, 2% described sexual abuse in a sports context, of which 91% were abused by sports…

Legal Blog & Publications, Sports 22 Jun, 2020

Webinar Invitation: An Update on Abuse

Outer Temple Chambers would like to invite you to a lunch-time briefing update on Abuse Claims on Wednesday 27th May 2020. James Counsell QC, Patrick Sadd and Paul Livingston will be conducting a lunch-time briefing update and practice points review on the subject of abuse claims. Topics will include: Reviewing two High Court decisions: DSN v Blackpool Football Club and BXB v Watchtower Costs: the impact of the Defendants’ approach before and during trial Limitation climate: is it possible to forecast? Consequence for vicarious liability following Supreme Court decisions in Barclays and Morrisons The Speakers James specialises in acting for claimants in historical and more recent sex abuse claims against religious organisations, schools, the scouts and against football clubs and…

Events 20 May, 2020

The Supreme Court on vicarious liability – where next for sexual abuse claims?

In April, the Supreme Court handed down two important judgments concerning vicarious liability against Barclays Bank and WM Morrison Supermarkets. Joshua Cainer looks at the impact on sexual abuse claims. On 1 April 2020 the Supreme Court handed down two important judgments concerning vicarious liability: Barclays Bank plc v Various Claimants [2020] UKSC 13 and WM Morrison Supermarkets plc v Various Claimants [2020] UKSC 12. Whilst the impact of these cases will be felt across all claims relying upon vicarious liability, this article considers the potential effects on the particular area of sexual abuse claims. It has been well-established since Various Claimants v Catholic Child Welfare Society [2012] UKSC 56 (at para [21]) that vicarious liability requires satisfaction of a…

News 17 Apr, 2020

James Counsell QC writes PI case analysis for LexisNexis PSL

“Football club vicariously liable for historical sex abuse but a girls’ boarding school is not.” LexisNexis PSL invited James Counsell QC to analyse his recent high profile sexual abuse cases. Following on from the judgment in BXB v Watch Tower (handed down on 30 January) come two more historical abuse judgments in claims brought against institutions—one against Blackpool Football Club and the other against a girls’ boarding school. Both claims raised very similar issues and were tried by the same Judge (Griffiths J) but they ended with diametrically opposite results. James Counsell QC acted for the claimants in all three cases and examined their implications for other cases in the pipeline, for Lexis Nexis PSL. Excerpt from article DSN v…

News 30 Mar, 2020

James Counsell QC in second indemnity costs order after another historical abuse finding

Hard on the heels of the indemnity costs order made against Blackpool FC, comes a second judgment against Jehovah’s Witnesses relating to sexual abuse offences. James Counsell QC has secured yet another judgment on Monday 23 March (BXB v Watch Tower and Bible Tract Society of Pennsylvania and Another [2020] EWHC 656, LTL 24/3/2020 : [2020] 3 WLUK 321) just three days after he obtained judgment against Blackpool FC where the Defendant, this time the Jehovah’s Witnesses, refused to negotiate in the face of repeated efforts by the Claimant’s solicitors to engage them in settlement negotiations. Jehovah’s Witnesses Liable for Rape Chamberlain J had previously given judgment against the organisation on 30 January 2020 after he had found the organisation…

News 24 Mar, 2020

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