Child Abuse Solicitors

We are one of the country’s largest teams of specialist child abuse lawyers. We will support you in seeking justice and treatment for the wrongs you have suffered, even if that means changing the law.

What is a child abuse?

Child abuse is any action – committed by an adult or child – that causes significant harm to a child or young person under the age of 18. Child abuse can take many different forms including physical, sexual and emotional mistreatment and even neglect. The perpetrators can be individual abusers, foster parents, employers, employees or volunteers at sports or youth clubs, social services and even religious organisations. Read more about what qualifies as child abuse.

Why choose Bolt Burdon Kemp?

  • Child abuse specialist solicitors
    We have an empathetic team of highly trained solicitors dedicated to help 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.
  • Therapy & support services
    We can introduce you to charities and professional therapists who will provide you with support through the legal process, and advisers to talk you through investing your compensation.
  • Coverage worldwide
    We represent clients anywhere in the world who have been abused in England and Wales or those abused abroad where there is a connection to England or Wales.
  • Highly Recommended
    We are one of the leading adult and child 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.

  • You always dealt with everything with sensitivity and made an unpleasant period of recollection much more bearable. I always felt confident that you were doing your absolute best and pushing for the best possible outcome for me.

    Michelle Hutchinson

  • You have been tireless in your efforts to establish the facts... you have handled the case as “de-stressfully” as possible to myself... Once again I would like to thank you for your assistance... Without your help I would not have had any redress.

    Mr W

  • Rebecca was great, she treated me so well and was very supportive.


  • "I wanted to thank you, and everyone else involved in my case at Bolt Burdon Kemp, for all you have done, not only the excellent result and the faultless work, but also for explaining it all to me so clearly and keeping me up to speed. Also with the particular nature of the case, I have been really impressed throughout with the balance between professionalism and sensitivity from everyone I have met from your team."

    Anonymous Child Abuse Claim

  • Sharmin was really lovely person – very helpful – Siobhan – made him feel good about himself and better about the whole thing – really told him straight how it was and he needed to hear that.


  • My expectations were exceeded in the way I was treated throughout the whole process and the empathy shown by all at Bolt Burdon Kemp.  The level of understanding was very reassuring.  The level of kindness and patience Kathleen Hallisey expressed was far beyond expectations.


  • Rebecca was brilliant – a tough cookie with a heart of gold – she was really good throughout.


  • 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.


  • "Hi Jonathan, Just a quick note to thank you and your team for all you have done over the time of this case.  The way you have conducted yourself,your expertise and compassion during what has been a difficult time for me and my family has been handled with extreme professionalism. I would certainly recommend you and your team to anyone who requires a unique law firm. Many thanks to you again."


  • I would like to thank everyone at BBK for everything that you have done for particular Siobhan, Selina and Jonathan. While money can never erase what happened it does go some way to bringing some kind of closure and recognition from the school of what happened. Thank you all so much.

    Jon Bailes

  • Siobhan was absolutely fantastic throughout, it was a long drawn out process but she never gave up, she kept going until she succeeded, so happy and would recommend her to anybody.


  • Abbie, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to you for the way you handled my claim. Feeling believed, valued and informed is very much key to a sexual abuse survivor and you met all those needs wonderfully.

    Ms W

  • “Abbie you have worked so hard for me, I would recommend you to anyone. You have been brilliant. Thank you.”

    Stacey Oschman

  • "Cheers David for fighting my corner, in the biggest battle of my life. When society let me down, you stood your ground. I respect you and Jonathan too. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. Wounds are slowly healing, just having stood up and been recognised gave me a sense of the justice I craved."

    Child Abuse client

  • "I'd like to thank you very much for your help in getting my husband some recompense for the horrors that he's suffered. Your openness and honesty have enabled him to move forward with his life."

    Mrs Springham

  • My case was handled sensitively and with understanding. Dino and Danielle were both brilliant, Danielle in particular was superb - She went over and above in helping me, particularly in drafting my letter, she went out of her way to do anything she could.


  • Joseph Carr gave me exceptional service, he always kept me informed and I was very happy with the outcome.


  • Upon embarking on this journey my prerequisite for a lawyer, was someone who possessed bravery, understanding, skill in identifying and using law to their advantage, character, drive, a strong and open ego, compassion and hunger.  You possess all the above and then some!  I feel proud to have such a man represent me, in what was going to be and has turned out to be – the biggest fight of my life. We had a half skeletal corpse of a case when you took it on – with your diligence and skill, we now have flesh, blood, muscles, a heart and strong organs!  I truly thank you for this Dino.  You left no stone unturned.  You have played a significant part in propelling my life, my children’s lives and those who have held me up for the last 27 years.


  • Abbie Hickson has been outstanding in every way throughout my involvement with her. I found her to be always contactable and if not a very quick return call as soon as she became available, I have been treated sensitively and always kept informed at each stage of the way. Procedures have been explained in a way that was easier to understand.

    A Walters

  • "These last couple of years have not been easy for me and I appreciate the fact that any time I have needed to meet with you or deal with any aspect of this case you and your staff have been helpful, caring and supportive.Your attitude has helped me to feel that I have the right to fight back and enabled me to feel stronger...Thank you."

    Steve Foster

  • HI Abbie, Having instructed Bolt Burdon & Kemp it was clear from the outset that they were not only a professional team, they also had genuine concern for the individual that they were working on behalf of. My claim was forwarded to Abbie Hickson who guided me through the whole process; listening carefully to understand the circumstances surrounding the claim, offering genuine support to me and my family and ensuring that I was fully informed of what was involved at each stage of the process. Abbie is an approachable individual and I personally found it really easy to have an open and honest conversation re the circumstances of events. Whilst the circumstances brought back painful memories, it was a pleasure to deal with Abbie and I would have no hesitation in recommending her.

    Mrs L Child Abuse Client

  • “Zahra surpassed every expectation I have ever had and is truly a credit to your firm. Her work ethic and dedication has been exceptional."

    Matthew Clearwater

  • "Dino and Bolt Burdon Kemp have been a terrific support,  providing solid, well-thought advice during our case and always being available to speak to.  I cannot recommend the team highly enough for all they did for us, resulting in a successful and amicable outcome.  Thanks so much for all your help and going out of your way to make sure this has gone as smoothly as possible.”

    Claire Child Abuse client

  • I couldn’t fault anything, I was kept informed throughout. Siobhán was great.  I’d also like to give special mention to Harriet and Rebecca who helped a lot.


  • This was a difficult experience for me but Rebecca really made me feel listened to. She was great – I know I was not her only client but she kept in touch, kept me fully informed and up to date and I could not have expected more from her.

    Anonymous child abuse client

  • Siobhán, sincere thanks to you and the whole team.  Your care and professionalism and kindness will never ever be forgotten.


  • I am happy to have the opportunity to stress how much it meant to us to have Dino to help guide and advise us on the claim through a very difficult time for my family. He was, first and foremost, genuinely kind, considerate and understanding along every step of the claim process, he clearly explained every aspect of the claim so we were in no doubt of the process. We were regularly and promptly updated and always given a realistic forecast regarding its conclusion. A real gentleman, we would like to thank him for all his help and wish him all the very best for the future. The service we received was first class.  

    Liam, Child Abuse client's Father

  • Sharmin initially then Siobhan and Susie when dealing with bank/payment stuff – exceptional – they all made it really stress free – I was worried about starting this as thought it would be a lot of grief but totally stress free.


  • "Dear Zahra, I can't thank you enough for your continued support and determination. I couldn't have done it without you. I am very pleased with the outcome. All the best for the future."

    Claire Child Abuse client

  • You were brilliant from day one and I could not have had anyone better fighting my corner.  My experiences through this process have really restored my faith in the legal process.


  • Dear David, I just wanted to say thank you for all your help and support over the past 18 months. Your patience, understanding and hard work has helped me to believe that I could win my case. It's only ever been about being brave enough, having the strength and courage to survive and fight for what happened to me as a child. Thank you for fighting for me.

    Child Abuse Client

  • "I would like to thank you for resolving this matter. I have been extremely impressed with the professional service your company has provided throughout the case. I highly recommend your company to others."

    Darren Beattie

  • Thanks Siobhan - I'm sure you get this all the time but it's really great to meet a lawyer so friendly and approachable!

    Anonymous Child Abuse Client

  • "Please accept my many thanks for all your work in my case against Camden. I am still trying to get my head around it being actually, finally, over - at least as far as the law is concerned; the rest might still take some time. Onwards and upwards, or something like that. I really do appreciate all the time and work that you put in; the fact that someone 'outside' believed in what I was saying was so important and has helped immensely with coming to terms with my past and setting about my present and future. The financial settlement is obviously helpful; similarly, although it cannot undo the wrongs committed, it goes some way to helping me get back onto my intended path."

    Ian Springham

  • Olivia was fantastic all the way through and really helpful.  Susan Slattery in Costs was also great, she gave me good advice and kept me up to date.


  • "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

  • "Dear Jonathan ... I am writing to say a huge thank-you, in many ways the biggest thank-you of my life, for agreeing to take on my case and seeing it through to a successful settlement.  To say I couldn't have done it without you is rather stating the obvious but to have someone of your reputation and expertise representing me was doubtless a massive privilege.  I want to extend particular thanks for speaking on my behalf at the Case Management Conference [court hearing]... it sounds like you really made a difference there, it sounds like you really understood me as a boy and as an adult and could see just how the abuse had changed things.  This personal insight shows me that you really take the proper care and time to understand your client... Many thanks again Jonathan, for doing such special and excellent work, it really has changed my life."

    Ben MacDonald

  • Thank you for all your support and hard work on my case.  The company have been outstanding.  I would like to thank yous from the bottom of my heart on how much this has had a more positive outlook on mine and my family life.  Keep up your work ethics as it shines bright.

    Christopher Young

  • Without a doubt you exceeded my expectations.  Rebecca was amazing, her service has been fantastic.

    Mr P. M.

  • "Jonathan Wheeler and David McClenaghan are consummate professionals, surrounded by a first rate team at Bolt Burdon Kemp. Every step of the process was explained, they responded to communications quickly and they were always understanding and considerate when discussing a particularly sensitive subject. Despite nearly 30 years passing since the original offences, their knowledge and specialist experience in the field of Childhood Sexual Abuse lead to a significant award of damages. As the perpetrator of the crimes committed suicide before the criminal trial, the additional sense of justice being served is, in my mind, priceless. I would encourage anyone in a similar position to make use of Bolt Burdon Kemp’s services."

    Anonymous Child Abuse Claim

  • "Hello David, I just wanted to write to thank you very much for looking after X so well and being persistent with her case to bring it to a conclusion. I think the outcome was very good and she is pleased. I went with X to the bank last Friday, at her request, to see an advisor;  she chose and has agreed a very good and sensible plan for when the money reaches her account. I reckon things will go well for her."

    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

  • "From the first time I spoke to you on the phone you were clear, helpful and really professional.  I always felt you were available, gave sound advice and whenever you said you would do something you did it.  Without you taking on my case I would still be feeling bitter and looking for some sort of unobtainable closure.  I’m really happy with the result. It doesn’t change what happened but it feels at last I’m even… I got them back… the wrong has been righted as best it can be."

    Jan Child Abuse client

  • I was put in touch with Zara Awaiz-Bilal and immediately understood how caring, empathetic and professional she was in her job nothing was too much trouble for her, she even contacted me when she was away in Scotland on holiday as I had a question.

    Mr D

  • Rebecca was absolutely phenomenal, she is a real asset to the firm.


  • "Dear David, I just wanted to say thank you for all of your and your firm’s efforts, hard work and professionalism throughout the course of my case. When I first contacted you I was apprehensive about going ahead with the claim, but I’m glad that I did. The non-judgmental and straightforward way in which you explained everything made me feel secure in going ahead with it. So once again thanks for all the hard work. The updates and clear explanations of our position and the progress of the case helped me at times when this was stressful."


  • "The outcome has been way above any expectations...Once again many thanks for all your hard work and effort, I am very grateful."

    Christopher O'Connor

  • “Zahra has helped Paul from beginning to end in such a kind, caring and professional way and if I could I would sing her praises from the highest roof top! He was very apprehensive at the beginning but Zahra was brilliant from the very first meeting. She rang him and kept him informed all along - never let him down with dates and appointments (so many people have over the years) and kept him up to date at every stage. She gave him the options at various points along the way good and bad and was kind and caring but always in a professional manner. Paul over the months gained confidence and became very proactive in his case and this was all down to Zahra. After one or two difficult interviews for Paul she rang him and checked he was okay and always returned his phone calls and messages. I know Paul would never have got this far without her kindness and professionalism”.


  • Dino – very professional, kept me informed – couldn’t fault him.


  • BBK were faced with unprecedented behaviour, challenges and the most difficult of defendants in my case.  The Defendants used delaying tactics, broken promises and obstacles never heard of before in an attempt to sabotage and dismiss my claim. BBK were relentless and determined for Justice to be done. Jonathan Wheeler, Abbie Hickson, Sharmin Shabir and Siobhán Crawford all worked tirelessly and were determined to achieve compensation for me.  Their knowledge and resources should be considered the best in the business. I achieved Compensation from The Defendants and I would highly recommend BBK.  I am sure other firms would have given up or achieved very little faced with the problems presented to me in this case.  It has been a very challenging and difficult time for me but knowing I had BBK watching my back and working for me helped me look forward with confidence resulting in a successful claim.  I have no hesitation in highly recommending their Services.

    Peter Lewis

  • I am very grateful to Dino for all of his hard work, clear advice, understanding and support. Bolt Burdon Kemp’s approach; from their expert advice, to Dino working on my case in evenings and weekends, has given me both confidence and reassurance throughout the case. The compensation they secured for me will enable me to start the counselling I need and to begin to get life back on an even keel for me and my family.


  • "I would like to say how professional Siobhán has been throughout this case. Siobhán has also handled everything with me in a caring & sympathetic way and has made the whole process much easier for me."  

    Child Abuse client

  • I am so grateful for what the whole team at Bolt Burdon Kemp has done for me. I thought my future was non-existent after suffering terrible abuse at the hands of my primary school teacher. I went through hell and back again but after contacting David, he assured me that I would gain my future back again. At some points I struggled and thought is this really worth it, but the outcome I have received has been life changing and I can know focus on my future and gain some of the lost time back. I want to say a huge thank you to David McClenaghan for getting the outcome that you did and thank you from the bottom of my heart


  • Thank you for all you do.  You have gone beyond what I feel you should do to make it alright for us and I thank you for that.


  • Rebecca gave me exceptional service – help was there whenever I needed it.  I was always kept informed.


  • "To Bolt Burdon Kemp, I would like to thank Jonathan Wheeler and his team for representing us in a professional, respectful and sensitive manner throughout our lengthy claim for compensation against a Local Authority which has finally been settled. We can now put closure to the trauma and move on emotionally."

    May James

  • “Thank you so much for all that you have done in the past two years for me, it has been a pleasure to have you working for me.”  

    Child Abuse client

  • Joseph and Rebecca were both great.  They really supported me throughout this difficult process.  Joseph was very responsive and always kept me in the loop the whole time – he really empowered me to face my abuser in court face to face.


  • Siobhán was wonderful, she understood me and all of my concerns and kept me informed.  She really was wonderful!


  • “This whole experience has had an overall good effect of closure, allowing me to proceed with the rest of my life without this skeleton in the cupboard affecting my life in so many ways. Emily was particularly understanding in helping and guiding me through very painful emotional trauma for me. Always making sure I knew that I could indeed call her at any time, should I need help support and guidance. I really did think that this case would be thrown out, thus affirming that I really didn’t matter but that hasn’t been the case, and I thank all of you for that. I have nothing but praise for Bolt Burdon Kemp."

    Tony Hughes

  • I feel really positive about the way Emily handled my case. She was superb, definitely exceeded my expectations and I couldn’t fault the service. Thank you Emily.  

    Keith Donnelly

  • “On a personal note I would like to thank you for the way you have worked for me and my claim. Your calm professionalism and considerate attitude have made what could have been a traumatic and difficult process as straightforward and clear as I could possibly have wished. You have always been at pains to keep me properly updated and you have also managed to obtain a settlement some way in excess of my expectations, which is a wonderful result.”


  • “Zahra has been extremely supportive and understanding throughout the duration of my case. For the first time in my life I felt that I was being taken seriously and that gave me the strength and the courage to see my case through to the end. Zahra explained everything to me about what my case would involve and she was always on hand to answer any questions that I had. My case settled out of court and I was able to walk away knowing that I had found some justice for the girl I once was. With the help and support of Zahra and her team, I was able to stand up for myself and start to release some of the guilt and the shame that I never should have experienced. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Zahra and her team for all of their hard work. I can now look forward to a brighter future. A future without guilt and shame. Thank you so much for helping me to reclaim my life”.


  • Joseph was absolutely outstanding in all ways – he dealt with me from day one all the way to the trial and having that continuity was so important for me.  This was an incredibly difficult time for me as I had told no one – he explained everything to me, whenever I needed him, no matter how stupid the question, he was always on the end of the phone.  I was very emotional during this process but Joseph linked me up with counselling which has helped enormously – I was petrified about travelling to London from Wales – I was by myself because I had not told my partner – Joseph was brilliant and it was really nice to put a face to the name.  I have now told my partner and this was a big deal for me.


  • "David McClenaghan treated me with such gentle understanding in matters I had struggled to come to terms with all my life. I will be forever in his debt for the outcome he negotiated on my behalf. It has given me hope in life for the first time in many many years."

    Child Abuse client

  • Olivia definitely gave me exceptional service – the whole thing was handled as efficiently as it could be.  I am really happy with service, communication was excellent.  I also want to mention Susan Slattery – she was really helpful and kept me informed during the costs process.


  • Emily was fantastic.  She explained everything really clearly, step by step and put no pressure on me to make decisions.  She made sure I fully understood everything that was going on and took the time to email me the information and gave me time to think.

    Abuse Client

  • "Zahra worked incredibly hard to ensure my expectations were met and kept me well informed with telephone calls and emails throughout the process of my claim. I was always kept in the loop and was made to feel that my input was important. I was always dealt with in a professional manner throughout and was made aware of time scales. I can now say that we have settled the claim and I am exceedingly happy and relieved. Thanks"


  • "Thanks again so much. This will hopefully change our lives forever in a good way and I will always be indebted to you for your continued support and encouragement. I really appreciate everything you have done for me. I know at times I've been upset but without your care and concern this wouldn't have been achievable."

    Child Abuse client

  • I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the assistance and support you have given to me during this time. As you are aware i have had dealings with numerous lawyers over the years throughout my business and personal life.  It's without question that you and your company are the best I have ever dealt with and I will have no hesitation in recommending you to others.


  • "Siobhan, just thought I would say hi and show you something I am attaching a photo of my little family with our own little house, I've lost 8 1/2 stone and things are finally amazing. I couldn't have achieved any of this without your help and I will always be grateful. Thank you so much again."

    Mrs H

  • I would like to take this opportunity to send my heartfelt thanks to you as from the first contact with you on the telephone, the most sensitive subjects have been made easy with your caring and understanding approach. You secured a significant compensation amount for me and it has now given me an opportunity to make massive changes to my life and my family's life. I will be eternally grateful to you and your team and I am most humbled to have worked alongside you. A big thank you to you all!

    Mark Redgrave

Read more testimonials


How do I make a child abuse claim?

Every child 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:

1. Through the court system

2. Through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

In some cases, you can apply to both.

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

1. Get in touch

For a free no obligation chat, contact our child abuse team on 020 7288 4800 or complete our online child 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’, legal expenses insurance or Legal Aid. We can also provide advice on partner organisations who can help.

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 social services records.

 4. Speak to witnesses

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

 5. Letter of claim

Once we have all the supporting evidence, 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 If we think your case will be supported by evidence from any other experts we will also arrange for you to see them and for them to provide a report on their opinion.

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

What is the process for claiming child abuse compensation through the courts?

Civil law cannot punish the abuser, as this is the job of the criminal courts. If compensation is awarded, insurance companies generally pay it. In order for a child abuse claim to be successful, we must first prove the abuse has in fact occurred and been the cause of your injuries or psychiatric condition. This may involve interviewing witnesses and examining a large number of documents (such as social services files).

Claims are often defended vigorously and the defendant may try and restrict our access to relevant evidence. Quite often the passage of time in child abuse cases may result in records having been destroyed or mislaid. This is the reason why such cases can take one or two years to conclude (sometimes longer). If the police have not investigated the abuse, it is your choice whether or not you tell them now. Our specialist solicitors can discuss this with you. Some clear advantages are:

  • If the abuser is convicted of a criminal offence, it is more straightforward to obtain compensation as the abuse will already have been proved
  • The police have the best access to evidence, which can be used in your claim once criminal proceedings are over.

Each case is different and yours will be assessed free of charge by a specialist child abuse solicitor to see if we can help. There are time limits for bringing claims through the courts but we can often work around those even if your case is technically ‘out of time’ due to it being a historic abuse claim.

What is the process for claiming compensation through CICA?

The CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) is a government-funded scheme which processes applications for compensation on behalf of victims of violent and sexual crime.

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 review applications and appeals against the decisions of caseworkers.

What are the time limits for a case?

Strictly speaking, a child abuse claim should be brought by your 21st birthday. However, the courts recognise that it can often take child abuse survivors a long time to report the abuse they’ve suffered, due to mental health problems or feeling ashamed or embarrassed about what happened. So if you are over 21 and suffered abuse as a child, you still may be able to make a claim.

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, and award you compensation for the abuse you’ve endured.

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 prevented you from reaching 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 child 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 child 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 compensation award winners. We can make a personal recommendation and a referral to an appropriate adviser on request.


In many claims for child 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.

How much child abuse compensation will I get?

The law can award damages for physical or psychological harm and for financial loss such as lost earnings, medical treatment, therapy, travel expenses, professional care or care from a friend or relative. The aim of compensation is to try and put you in the position you would have been in, if the abuse had not occurred.

The key to any claim is evidence from independent medical experts, usually a psychiatrist in child abuse cases. He or she will interview you and prepare a report detailing the harm inflicted. Such reports enable courts to decide how much compensation you should receive. The amount the court will award will depend on the severity of the abuse, the length of time endured and the psychological problems resulting from it.

In some cases evidence from other medical experts may be required in order to comment on physical injuries the abuse has caused. If your schooling has been affected and you haven’t been able to achieve your potential occupationally, we may need to instruct an educational psychologist. In some cases, loss of earnings can make up the largest part of a claim. We have succeeded in recovering damages for hundreds of thousands of pounds using such evidence.

Will my claim be confidential?

Your privacy is of the utmost importance to us. Throughout every stage of the legal process, we keep everything confidential and treat all documents in connection with your case as classified. Other ways we endeavour to protect your privacy include:

  • You can choose your preferred method of contact
  • We will always ask your permission to contact others about your case, including social services and the police
  • We can apply to the court to make your details confidential on court documents in connection with your claim
  • We can advise on the operation of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2002 which prohibits journalists printing details which could identify a victim of sexual abuse without their express consent
  • In our office, any documents we no longer need relating to your case are treated as ‘sensitive waste’ and destroyed.

We are happy to discuss any concerns you may have about confidentiality at any point during the case.

Who will pay my legal fees?

If we think you have a strong claim, we will find a way to fund it for you. The 4 main funding options available are:

  1. ‘No win no fee’ agreement otherwise known as a Conditional Fee Agreement
  2. Legal Expenses Insurance
  3. Legal Aid
  4. Paying privately

Find out more about your funding options and partner organisations who can help.

We are quality approved to undertake legal aid work for child abuse compensation claims by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA).  Bolt Burdon Kemp’s expert solicitors hold memberships with the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL), the Law Society’s specialist Personal Injury Panel and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). We are also on the NAPAC panel.

The legal costs associated with your child abuse claim include solicitor fees, barrister fees, experts’ fees, court fees and fees charged for obtaining records for your case. After winning a personal injury claim, the Defendant usually pays most, of your legal costs. Deciding how much the Defendant must pay can be a lengthy process. If we are unable to agree how much they must pay the court will decide. If a court decision is required, the process can take in excess of 6 months. We have a specialist team who work independently of our personal injury solicitors to ensure the costs process is dealt with speedily and to your advantage.

Successful claims with BBK

£200,000 awarded for local authority’s failure to protect a child

Bolt Burdon Kemp recently settled a claim for £200,000 on behalf of our client, Maureen Wood, against Staffordshire Council for their negligence in failing to protect her from serious abuse at the hands of her mother, brother and stepfather.

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Survivors' Stories

Watch the testimonies of five child abuse survivors in a short film that seeks to inform and empower others who may have endured similar abuse. Disclosing your suffering is never easy but our contributors hope that their stories will inspire others to come forward and disclose their abuse to the police.