0370 270 6000

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

Procurement Bill — what’s new in 2022?

The Procurement Bill (the Bill) has now been with us for about four months, during which time there have been a huge number of amendments proposed in the House of Lords (circa 320). Lately, there has been less mention of it — unsurprising, really, given everything else going on in politics recently — but here’s a summary of some of the key issues and themes so far.

View blog

IR35 rules to be scrapped from April 2023

The Chancellor’s recent mini-budget provided a significant announcement for business as it was confirmed that the off-payroll working rules (known as “IR35”) put in place for public and private sector businesses from 2017 and 2021 will be scrapped from April 2023.

View blog

Cameras in convenience stores: a potential hornet’s nest..?

A convenience retailer has opted to install cameras (the “Facewatch” system) at a limited number of its English stores to reduce crime and protect its staff.

View blog

Challenges from potential Foster Carers and Adopters

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).

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up