Rebecca Sheriff

Rebecca is an Associate solicitor in the abuse department at Bolt Burdon Kemp.  She joined the firm in 2011 as a newly qualified solicitor.

Rebecca represents adults who have suffered sexual abuse in childhood in claims against organisations such as the church, the Scout Association, schools and local authorities, in addition to many others that have taken advantage of their positions of authority.  Rebecca also represents a number of children who have been victims of abuse.

Rebecca acts in claims against individual abusers and has successfully obtained court orders for the sale of property belonging to individual abusers so that her clients’ compensation can be paid after bringing a successful claim.

Rebecca has particular expertise in bringing claims against the Ministry of Defence for sexual abuse and assaults carried out by their employees or volunteers.  She has acted for clients who have suffered abuse across all branches of the Ministry of Defence but in particular the regular Army and the Cadets (Army Cadets, Sea Cadets and the Air Cadets).  As part of a number of claims Rebecca has unearthed gross negligence by the Ministry of Defence which has proven to be entirely preventable thereby adding an aggravating feature to the claims for which her clients must be additionally compensated.

In addition Rebecca also maintains a personal injury caseload acting for victims of sexual assault and assists with applications to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.  This includes submitting reviews to the authority and the Tribunal where initial applications and reviews have been wrongly rejected.  She is proud to have a 100% success rate with these cases.

Rebecca is a Trustee of One in Four.  This is a registered charity based in London which provides support and resources to those that have suffered sexual abuse and sexual violence.  In her role as a trustee Rebecca often attends briefings organised by Operation Hydrant and provides regular updates into the scale and progress of the Operation.

Rebecca regularly appears in the written press, on TV and on radio commenting on latest developments in this area of law and discussing her client’s successful cases.  In April 2017 Rebecca appeared on BBC 2’s Victoria Derbyshire program discussing a case in which she acted, concerning the negligence of Cambridge County Council in allowing a pupil to be abused for a number of years by her teacher despite serious concerns of abuse perpetrated by the same teacher at a previous school under their authority.  Her client was awarded £550,000 for the abuse that she suffered, which is believed to be the largest out of court settlement by a local authority for abuse in a school.

In July 2017 Rebecca featured in the BBC’s Panorama episode entitled ‘Cadet Abuse Cover Up’ regarding abuse in the Cadets, alongside a number of her clients.  As part of her work in bringing claims against the Ministry of Defence for abuse carried out by their employees and volunteers, Rebecca uncovered evidence suggesting that the abuse some of her clients had suffered could have been entirely prevented.  Rebecca hopes that by raising awareness of the issue of sexual abuse in the Cadets, which to date had not been widely publicised, this will give survivors the courage to come forward and make reports to the police, so that their abusers can be successfully prosecuted.

Reported cases

  • BDA v Domenico Quirino [2015] EWHC 2974 (QB) – successful claim for compensation for a client who suffered serious sexual abuse at the hands of her karate teacher.  The abuse caused a delay to the commencement of her career and she was awarded a substantial sum specifically for loss of earnings.  In total Rebecca’s client was awarded £173,786.70 in addition to her legal costs.
  • FKB v Lampitt [2015] EWHC 3368 (QB) – a claim for compensation for a client who suffered sexual abuse for a number of years in childhood.  The court recognised the serious impact of the abuse upon Rebecca’s client and the Defendant was ordered to pay her £205,965.61 in addition to her legal costs.  We successfully obtained an order for sale of the Defendant’s property to secure payment of Rebecca’s client’s compensation.

Media contributions and commentary

The Guardian – MOD pays £2 million to Settle Cadets Sexual Abuse Claims

Manchester Evening News – Army Cadet Sergeant Major Unveiled as Predatory Paedophile

The Times Brief – Ministry of Defence has a lot to answer over cadet abuse

Evening Telegraph – Sexual abuse of cadets was covered up by officials

Manchester Evening News – Men abused by army cadet sergeant major in 70’s and 80’s awarded compensation

Professional memberships

  • Association of Child Abuse Lawyers
  • Association of Personal Injury Lawyers – Accredited as a Senior Litigator
  • Association of Women Solicitors
  • "From the first phone call Rebecca was helpful and made me feel at ease. The whole process was made a lot easier and Rebecca really put my mind at rest. Every phone call I have made or email she really has gone over what has been expected of her, explaining the terminology or procedures. Thank you so much, I can truly move forward in my life, Rebecca sorted everything and I am so grateful."

    Child Abuse client

  • I would like to thank you for taking on my case and guiding me through to settlement. As you know I have found it very difficult, so your support, kindness and professionalism has been invaluable.

    Child Abuse Client

  • I was nervous at first, sharing my ordeals with a female solicitor. However, after the 1st few phone calls and emails, I felt at ease and relaxed about talking with Miss Sheriff. She was comforting, reassuring, realistic and put my mind at ease. She managed expectations, explaining thoroughly the claim in detail. I wouldn't hesitate to use her professional services in future.

    LB

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