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Sarah is our leading lawyer on redress, abuse and assault claims. Recognised by the Legal 500 since 2015 as a standout expert in child and adult abuse claims, as well as safeguarding advice, Sarah has a particular interest in working with social care, sports and faith organisations as well as many charities.
As a result of her experience, Sarah has been asked to give evidence and advise clients in responding to public inquiries. She dealt with the personal injury claim that followed the tragic death of Victoria Climbié and has been involved in a number of high-profile group actions, taking cases to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
She advises clients on risk management, child protection, human rights, public inquiries, redress schemes and Data Protection Act issues.
Her experience in group actions and redress schemes has inevitably led her to have a real concern about litigating in a manner which is both compassionate for complainants and proportionate for our clients. She brings a genuine focus to managing litigation costs.
Sarah sits as a Deputy Costs Judge in the SCCO.
Acting for an insurance company within the context of the Goddard Inquiry.
Innovative approach to watching briefs - it stopped claimant solicitors incurring costs, whilst at the same time ensuring that all parties were on a level playing field with the overriding objective. As a result we were able to settle five claims without the need for medical evidence within eight weeks of a criminal trial concluding, saving our client between £20,000 and £40,000 on watching brief fees alone.
Obtaining a costs order against partially successful litigants in a Data Protection Act claim. The damages were negligible, and the judge accepted that the Claimant acted irresponsibly, making serious allegations of misconduct against the Defendant’s school and its staff for which there was no factual support. An Issue Based Costs Order was given ordering that First and Second Claimants could recover 20% of their costs against the Defendant, whereas the Defendant could recover 80% of their costs against the First and Second Claimants.
Advising various charities and local government bodies on the pros and cons of setting up a redress scheme and the insurance and costs consequences of them.
We have advised providers on police investigations, public inquiries, Human Rights Act claims and peer-on-peer personal injury actions. Issues that arise include Liberty Safeguards, mental health, consent, and data protection.
We have successfully defended several claims concerning abuse by coaches or those holding themselves out to be officials of sports clubs and associations.
Sarah’s team is a leading provider of advice in this sector currently with three cases in the Court of Appeal and likely to go to the Supreme court. See our regular articles and updates for developments in the common law on childcare, fostering and the Human Rights Act.
Sarah Erwin-Jones and her team stand out as they have a resourceful team – they are well coordinated and set about regular reporting and assessment to keep clients informed.
Sarah Erwin-Jones is a partner with huge experience. She is always able to obtain a positive outcome for her clients.
Sarah Erwin-Jones and her team at Browne Jacobson are friendly and competent and pursue sensible strategies and solutions to a problem. They are flexible in approach for discussion and keep you informed.
Sarah Erwin-Jones has wide experience and deep knowledge. She is clear eyed and deals with highly emotive claims systematically. She is a reassuring voice in a crisis.
In ‘failure to remove’ claims, the claimant alleges abuse in the family home and asserts that the local authority should have known about the abuse and/or that they should have removed the claimant from the family home and into care earlier.
On 31 August 2022, the Court of Appeal handed down the Judgment in respect of the appeal case of HXA v Surrey County Council and YXA v Wolverhampton City Council .
Our immediate future shows a renewed focus on foster care. We’re going to see a new nationwide-drive to recruit foster carers and the implementation of a more robust, and potentially financially-generous system for encouraging friends and family to care for their relatives (both when extended families cannot cope or provide care for any reason).
This webinar looks at the three key themes in the decision, and is aimed at sports & social clubs (including safeguarding officers).
For decades claimant and defendant lawyers alike proceeded on the basis that it was at least hypothetically possible, depending on the facts of each case, for a local authority to owe children living at home with their parents a common law duty of care.
Watch now on-demand our Child Abuse & Social Care Forum.
The High Court has considered the application of the Human Right Act to local authorities in cases where they are carrying out their statutory child protection functions after dismissing the latest ‘failure to remove’ claim against two local authorities.
A recent judgment (8 November) has confirmed that the provision of s20 accommodation under the Children Act 1989, does not automatically fix a local authority with a general duty of care.
Catch up on this year’s social care forum where we discussed developments on liability for friends and family foster placements, lessons learned from pursuing recoveries from abusers in child sex abuse cases and also the impact of the ABI Code of Practice for responding to civil claims for child sexual abuse following recommendations of the IICSA.
In this training video participants and their organisations will be starting to look beyond the immediate impact of Covid-19, now planning for the future of litigation including child abuse litigation.
Catch up on our annual children’s social care forum in abbreviated form a little early this year.
An update on current issues including managing the business failure of a key contractor, litigating and working with the court system and planning.
Six months on from the Supreme Court decision in the Poole Borough Council -v- GN case we look at emerging behaviours in response to this key decision, and its impact on agencies involved in child protection, including health, police, social care and education.
The Supreme Court decision in the case of Poole Borough Council v GN & another ( 6 June 2019) addresses key legal principles in relation to when a local authority will owe a duty of care in negligence to children in its areas who are known or suspected to be suffering or at risk of harm.
The IICSA has a number of investigative streams, and one of its areas of focus is Accountability and Reparations.