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Child Abuse Compensation Claims

Church Child Abuse Claims

If you or your child were abused by someone in a position of authority or working for the church, our team of solicitors could help you to claim compensation from those responsible.

We understand that, as a survivor of child abuse, you may find it difficult to come forward and bring charges against the person or organisation responsible. However, our experienced team of child abuse lawyers will be there to help and support you every step of the way, with expert legal guidance from people who have dealt with many cases in the past.

We have a proven track record of helping people claim compensation following abuse from:

  • Priests and other religious leaders
  • Volunteers and trainees
  • Elders
  • Nuns and monks
  • Ministers
  • Vergers

If a church organisation failed to protect children under its care from abuse, it may be found liable. Our specialist team of child abuse lawyers have dealt with claims for physical, emotional and sexual abuse against a number of religious organisations, including the Catholic Church, the Church of England and the Jehovah's Witnesses.

If you're the parent or guardian of a child who has been abused, or a survivor of abuse yourself, please call us on 0800 022 3503 or contact us online for a free consultation about your case.

Legal aid available in some cases
Offices across the UK
Accredited with the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers
Experienced child abuse solicitors

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Church Child Abuse Claims - More Information
    • Do You Handle Legal Aid Cases?
    • Yes, legal aid may be available for some types of abuse cases.

      Legal aid is means-tested. We can help you with the application process for this and, if you do not qualify, we will explore other types of funding such as No Win No Fee* agreements.

      If you’d like to discuss whether you can make an abuse claim using legal aid, then please call one of our specialist team on 0800 022 3503.

    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee* Claim?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case, we'll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. You may be eligible for legal aid, or be covered by legal expenses insurance (LEI) or a trade union policy. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household or car insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you're best supported by a No Win No Fee* agreement, we'll explain the process clearly. You'll only have to pay anything if your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees, with the remaining costs coming out of your compensation settlement.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim
    • You generally have to make a compensation claim within three years of the date of abuse taking place.

      If you were a child at the time, then you have until the date of your 21st birthday to make a claim.

      However, there's often a case for making a claim after these dates – we have helped clients to claim for abuse that happened decades ago. Whether or not you'll be able to make a non-recent abuse claim is judged on a case-by-case basis by the courts, so it's best to get in touch with us for some advice. Call today on 0800 022 3503 for a free consultation on your case, and we'll be happy to help.

    • What's The Claims Process?
    • To make a compensation claim, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with us for a free consultation. We'll discuss the circumstances of your abuse, advise you on whether or not we think you can claim, and work out whether you could benefit from legal aid or a No Win No Fee* arrangement.

      If you decide to make a claim with us, we'll usually follow the same four stages:

      • Investigation. We'll take a full history from you, taking time to understand what happened and when. We’ll note any injuries or psychological trauma you've experienced as a result and we may refer you for a medical or psychological examination to investigate the full impact of your abuser's actions. We may also look into records kept by the police, courts, schools, Local Authorities, or medical institutions.

        We'll also need to work out who the claim will be made against. It could be an individual, or an organisation either responsible for that person's actions, or for your safety. If it's an individual, our investigators will have to look into their financial assets to find out if they'll be able to pay any settlement we agree.
      • Rehabilitation. Abuse, whether physical, sexual or emotional, can have long-lasting impacts on both physical and mental health, and we'll help you to access any medical or psychological care and support you need, both now and in the future.
      • Compensation. We'll work out how much compensation you should get based on the severity of your injuries or trauma, your pain and suffering, any medical expenses you've had to pay, and whether your abuser has impacted your ability to find work.
      • Conclusion. If your opponent accepted blame, you'll be awarded compensation. If not, the case will be settled in court – although this is rare. If you do have to go to court, we'll be there support you every step of the way. If we agreed to handle your claim under a No Win No Fee* arrangement, then you won't have to pay anything if you were unsuccessful.

      If you have any questions about the claims process, please contact us today on 0800 022 3503 for your free initial consultation.

    • Will I Have To Go To Court?
    • It's possible that you might have to appear in court as part of your claim. But in our experience, the vast majority of claims are settled out of court, following a negotiation between us and your opponent.

      If you do have to appear in court, we'll be there to represent and support you at every step of the way.

I just felt that they were very competent and that I could trust them, which is very important in a case like this. It’s hard to explain – I have nothing but praise about how we were treated.”

Peter, London

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Would A Church Child Abuse Claim Be Made Against?

Abuse can be committed by any employee of the church, including ministers, vergers, volunteers, monks and nuns.

Any organisation whose employees have contact with children is responsible for putting measures in place to ensure those children's safety. If it can be shown that the church failed to do this, you might be able to make a claim.

The claim could be brought against the religious organisation itself, if it was the employer of the abuser. Depending on the evidence, and the nature of the case, there may be scope to claim against the individual responsible for the abuse as well.

In certain circumstances it may also be possible to claim compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority – we will let you know if this applies to your case.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of child abuse by an employee of the church, we encourage you to contact us online or call us on 0800 022 3503. We'll be happy to talk through your options with you in a no-obligation initial consultation to discuss your case.

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For A Church Child Abuse Claim?

We have a dedicated team of child abuse lawyers with the experience to help get the compensation you deserve. Our team know what you’re going through, and will handle your case with sensitivity and compassion. Tracey Storey, the team's head, is the coordinator of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers' Special Interest Group on Child Abuse, as well as sitting on the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers' Executive Committee.

We understand that therapy and counselling are crucial to helping an abuse survivor to move on with their lives, and we will work hard to secure a compensation settlement that can help to provide this.

Some of the church child abuse cases we've worked on in the past have included:

  • A £200,000 settlement for a former choirboy who suffered years of abuse by a Church of England priest during the 1970s, starting when he was just eight years old – find out more about this case.
  • A settlement for a police officer who was sexually abused by a trainee priest when he was 14 years old, which helped to fund his programme of private therapy. The priest was also convicted and imprisoned – find out more about this case.

If you have any questions about making a child abuse claim, please contact us on 0800 022 3503, or get in touch online to arrange a free initial consultation about your case.

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How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?

In general, you have three years to make a claim, from the date your injury happened or from when you first became aware of it. For children, the three year time limit begins on their 18th birthday.

These time limits do not apply to people who are unable to manage their own affairs because of mental incapacity.

There are also different time limits if your injury or illness happened outside of England and Wales – for example, during international travel or if a defective product is involved. Time limits will vary and can often be much shorter than three years. No Win No Fee agreements can still be used to fund cases involving an injury abroad.

We advise that you get in touch as soon as possible to make sure no time limits pass. To find out more about claim time limits, contact our experts today on 0800 022 3503 who’ll be happy to explain.

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Awards & Accreditation

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK

Leading Firm - Legal 500 2017 The Times Best Law Firms 2019 chambers-2019

What Our Clients Say

We truly value and appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients, as we look to improve the services we offer on an ongoing basis.

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Working With Survivors

When you make a claim with us, we put your wellbeing at the heart of everything we do. Providing you with the care and support you need to deal with the traumatic experience of abuse or an assault is as important to us as ensuring you receive financial compensation.

Our client liaison managers can work with you from the beginning of your case if needed, helping us understand what support you need, and how best to help you access it. We also work with a number of organisations that offer extensive support to survivors of violent crime and abuse, including:

Our approach to our clients' rehabilitation is extremely well respected in the industry, and has seen us win Post Magazine’s Rehabilitation Award for Claimant Solicitors on seven occasions.

Our Offices

Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.

Start Your Claim Today

To begin your claim for compensation, or ask any questions regarding personal injury claims, contact us today for a free consultation.

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