Adult Abuse Solicitors

What is adult abuse?

Adult abuse is when an individual uses power or control over a person to cause them significant harm or distress. There are many different types of adult abuse including physical, emotional, psychological, financial and sexual abuse, as well as neglect and exploitation. Abuse can happen anywhere: at home, in a public place, at a hospital or care home, or even at work.

Why choose Bolt Burdon Kemp?

  • Adult abuse specialist solicitors
    We have an empathetic team of highly trained solicitors dedicated to helping survivors of abuse secure compensation.
  • Personal, bespoke service
    When we handle your case, you can choose whether your solicitor is male or female. You will also have direct access to your solicitor by email or mobile and can speak to them at any time.
  • Confidentiality and privacy
    Confidentiality is of utmost importance to us. We can apply to court to anonymise your details and will always ask your permission before contacting others, such as the police and witnesses, about your case.
  • Unafraid to challenge the existing law
    We are one of the leading abuse law firms, having won cases in both the Court of Appeal and House of Lords which have changed the law, making it easier for many to claim compensation.
  • Highly recommended
    We are highly recommended by the independent Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 guides.


  • As you can imagine the decision to contact yourselves and then speak to a complete stranger about what had happened was not one I relished. When Emily first called me I was very soon put at ease by her easy manner and complete professionalism... As a result of her hard work and tenacity the defendant has settled the claim at the first opportunity... I am convinced that the work Emily has done and more importantly the way in which she has dealt with me in such a positive and understanding manner has helped significantly.

    Mr A, Abuse Client

  • Siobhan was excellent, she was empathetic and passionate but always balanced.  She made a really difficult process very easy for me.  She radiated confidence and experience and that filled me with confidence to keep moving forward.  I was worried that this process was going to take so much time for me to deal with but Siobhan promised me she would only get in touch if she needed me and she stuck to that and made the whole process much less stressful than I expected.


  • “Zahra was incredible. She was attentive from start to finish, was always in contact and gave good advice whenever needed. She was brilliant.”

    Abuse Client

  • "Now that my settlement has reached its closure with an offer that has resulted in my extreme satisfaction, I would like to take a minute to thank you. From day one you have worked so hard for me to get the settlement I felt I deserved and I was so impressed with the way you handled everything and always so very promptly.  To put it bluntly, you are a masterful multi-tasker as I know I am not your only client. Thank you Zahra and your firm Bolt, Burdon and Kemp for all your hard work, expertise, endurance and compassion."

    Lorraine, Abuse Client

Read more testimonials


How do I make an abuse claim?

Every adult abuse claim is unique and we’ll sensitively consider any information you share with us to help you get the best result. There are two main ways to seek compensation:

In some cases, you can apply to both.

Regardless of which route you choose to go down, here are the 6 main steps to start making a claim:

1. Get in touch

For a free no obligation chat, contact our child and adult abuse team on 020 7288 4800 or complete our online abuse  enquiry form.

2. Funding options

We’ll help you decide on the best funding arrangement for you, whether it’s ‘no win no fee’agreement, legal expenses insurance or Legal Aid.

3. Records and documents

If we think you have a claim, we will carry out initial enquiries and review documents including police statements, prosecution documents and medical records.

4. Speak to witnesses

We may also speak to witnesses if necessary and agreed by you.

5. Letter of claim

We will draft a letter to the defendant setting out the detail of your claim.

6. Expert opinion

We will instruct a psychiatrist to interview you and provide a report for the case.  We will instruct any other medical or professional experts needed to support and value your claim.

Find out more about the child and adult abuse claims process here. You can also read information on how to report a case of abuse to the police.

What is the process for claiming compensation through the CICA?

The CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) is a government-funded scheme which processes applications for compensation on behalf of survivors of violent and sexual crime, who have suffered physically or mentally.

Compensation from the CICA can be easier to obtain but is often less than you would get in a civil claim for damages. If at a later date you are also successful in a civil claim, normally any payment received from the CICA must be repaid.

We can guide you through the process of claiming compensation through this scheme. This includes reviewing applications and appeals against the decisions of caseworkers.

Normally for a CICA claim to succeed:

  • The abuse must have been reported to the police and the applicant must have co-operated with any prosecution which arose as a result
  • The application must be made within 2 years of the assault or – if later – 2 years from the date when the abuse was first reported to the police.

These rules can be difficult to apply in cases involving allegations of abuse that happened outside of these timeframes, but not impossible given the right legal support. The CICA pays out compensation of between £1,000 and £500,000. The amount you receive will depend on the injury tariff set out by the CICA.

What are the time limits for a case?

You should usually bring a claim for abuse within three years of the date on which you suffered the abuse.

The court has discretion to extend the time limit, and in certain circumstances, may allow you to bring a claim outside the time limit, even if many years have passed. At Bolt Burdon Kemp, we will work with you to persuade the court to waive the time limit if necessary, and award you compensation for the abuse you have suffered.

What happens if my claim is successful?

If your claim is successful we will negotiate a financial settlement that takes into account both the harm done and the financial losses which may have resulted from the abuse. If the abuse has interfered with your ability to reach your occupational potential, this will also be factored into your final compensation amount.

Protecting your means-tested benefits

Your financial circumstances change when you receive adult abuse compensation. As a result, your means tested benefits may be at risk. You can protect your entitlement to your benefits and further benefit from compensation by setting up a trust. Our specialist adult abuse solicitors will be happy to advise if this is applicable.

Investment advice

Investing your compensation requires careful thought and specialist advice. We work closely with reputable and professional financial advisors with extensive experience and knowledge of working alongside recipients of compensation. We can make a personal recommendation and a referral to an appropriate adviser on request.


In many claims for adult abuse compensation, your current quality of life and wellbeing may be improved by appropriate therapy and support services, including counselling or care. This is best given at the earliest opportunity, rather than waiting for the claim to be settled. We have arrangements with providers of therapy and other rehabilitation services to support as soon as possible.

Successful Claims With BBK

NHS Trust settles sexual assault case by nurse Vijay Bundhun

Our client contacted BBK as she wished to bring a claim for compensation against Kent and Medway NHS Trust for the sexual assault she suffered at the hands of her mental health nurse, Vijay Bundhun, in approximately 2012/2013.

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