0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

claimant sues legal services commission for funding " paedophile" defendant

6 October 2011

We often act for agencies that have employed people who are accused of abusing children. For the most part these agencies are publicly funded local authorities. The claimants themselves frequently have Legal Services Commission (LSC) certificates, which means both claimant and defendant are publicly funded.

A recent change in the law means that more and more claimants are suing their abusers direct, particularly when it is difficult or too expensive to demonstrate any local authority involvement/negligence. In EB v Haughton although the criminal court had found the abuser not guilty the Judge in the civil court found the alleged abuse had taken place and had caused the claimant injury and loss worth over £30K. It now transpires that Haughton had also a LSC certificate which paid his solicitor’s costs and means it is difficult for the claimant to enforce her award and her £111,000 costs ( I bet she was on a CFA). She has decided to sue the LSC. As far as we can make out, the claimant’s case is that the LSC owed her a duty of care not to fund an unmeritorious defence. We would be most surprised if this claim succeeds, but we do expect more claims based on the actions of individuals to focus on institutional defendants such as local authorities, schools and charitable organisations who will be seen to have larger pots of funds then the abusers themselves.

Could publicly funded institutional defendants bring similar claims against the LSC? Watch this space.

related opinions

Watch this space on breach of contract, vicarious liability and assumption of responsibility

The concept of Assumption of Responsibility is on many stakeholders’ minds at the moment following the Supreme Court decision in CN & GN v Poole.

View blog

Sussex Partnership NHS Trust fined £200,000 – A warning for providers and investors

Sussex Partnership NHS Trust was sentenced on 14 June 2019 for failing to provide safe care and treatment to a 19 year old inmate being cared for on the hospital wing of Lewes Prison, Jamie Osborne.

View blog

Children and contact with parents who are domestic abusers

It was announced on 15 May 2019 that “more than 120 MPs have written to the government asking for an inquiry into how family courts in England and Wales treat victims of domestic violence.”

View blog

Does a breach of an obligation in an agreement for lease allow the tenant to refuse to complete the lease?

A tenant who does not want to be forced to complete a lease if an obligation in the agreement for lease is breached must provide expressly for this in the agreement.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up