A breath of fresh air or more of the same?

Calls for an inquiry in to catholic clergy abuse have been called for in Victoria. But the Sydney Morning Herald posed the question though: “is an independent public inquiry into atholic sex abuse a priority? It thought  the temperature was tepid. It reported that the Victoria state government said it was deferring any decision on an inquiry into the subject until after another inquiry into the protection of vulnerable children reports in late January 2012. The current inquiry, chaired by retired Supreme Court judge Philip Cummins, is not investigating abuse within religious bodies in general. But the office of state Attorney-General Robert Clark says this inquiry might report on issues germane to clergy and church workers. What, then, the SMH asks other than employing a convenient delaying tactic, is stopping the government from proceeding? The questions that might or might not arise from Mr Cummins's findings do not preclude a more specific inquiry. ertainly, considerable public outrage should be sufficient grounds, in the SMH’s opinion and I would share that, alone for instigating an inquiry. As he ge reported Mr Clark has received at least five requests in the past two months for an inquiry. This included requests from a group of more than 30 victims, from a lawyer who wants an investigation into clergy abuses in Ballarat that led to at least 26 suicides, and from Victorian Labor MP Anne Barker, who has called for an inquiry similar to the one conducted by the Irish govern-ment. Ms Barker's suggestion is backed by Melbourne lawyer Judy Courtin, who writes on The ge's Opinion page that ''imminent action is paramount''.  As Ms Courtin points out, the Catholic Church's internal alternative-justice processes for dealing with alleged sex offenders are well isolated from the normal judiciary. For one, to find the appropriate legal entity to sue is not easy; and the church is further protected by the ''vicarious liability'' legal precedent that means, in effect, an employer or school authority cannot be held liable for a teacher's sexual assaults. I note the SMH  points out that 'Melbourne Response'', the Victorian version of the church's national ''Towards Healing'' investigative process, has compensated almost 300 victims of sexual abuse since it was established in 1996. But there are it said significant drawbacks: relatively low compensation rates; a deed of release preventing any further civil action; and no external review process. This is the price in my opinion paid unfortunately with some schemes of this nature for avoiding the anguish of court proceedings.  The SMH also adds that in July last year, the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, circulated a pastoral letter on sexual abuse that left no doubt of his strong personal convictions, and that it was time the church faced the truth and ''not attempt to disguise, diminish or avoid in any way those who have betrayed their sacred trust''. For all these reasons, the church should now be subjected to the independent scrutiny of a proper inquiry. Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/editorial/child-abuse-and-the-church-no-more-excuses-20111013-1lmzo.html#ixzz1ah7BLtrp http://theage.com.au Alan Collins alc@verisona.com (0)2392492472


Lisa has specialised in childhood abuse and social care negligence for the last 8 years and has extensive experience in relation to civil abuse litigation, CICA claim maximisation and Redress Scheme claims. She offers a sympathetic and professional approach to her clients’ problems and advises on funding options (including insurance and Conditional Fee Agreements.)

Since 2018 she has travelled around the country to see clients who were failed by Lambeth Council during their childhood in order to collate evidence for submission to the Lambeth Children’s Home Compensation Scheme. Lisa’s style of working is tailored to providing emotional support whilst applying the specialist legal expertise required to ensure her client’s have the best evidence for making a successful claim.

Lisa is able to access key psychiatric and social care experts to obtain evidence and therapy recommendations for clients. She can direct clients to treatment providers if required. Often such treatment costs can be claimed as part of the compensation process. This is a priority to ensure her clients have the best opportunity to make positive steps into the future. Lisa excels in applying questions to psychiatric experts to clarify and ensure they have a deeper understanding of the case issues where required. She is also experienced in negotiation to maximise outcome according to specific scheme terms.

For the last year and half, Lisa has been leading the firm’s participation in the National Abuse Inquiry specifically relating to the IICSA Lambeth investigation acting on behalf of 6 core participants. Such work involved the preparation of core participant applications, section 40 funding applications, detailed consideration of social care record evidence, witness statements preparation, attending preliminary hearings for consideration on the extent of other key party involvement, detailed work on documentary disclosure evidence from the council, police and other core participants to identify deep seated failings within the past care and policing systems, cross referencing, and work with counsel on composing Rule 10 questioning of corporate and police witnesses giving evidence at the IICSA Lambeth hearing. Lisa also accompanied a key core participant giving evidence to the IICSA hearing providing support and understanding to ensure her client’s evidence was sensitively taken into account when the panel make recommendations to protect children in the future. Questions were raised on the effectiveness of the current Serious Case Review system and how this has been operating within police and council’s across the country, something which has also been identified whilst working on specific civil cases. The hope is that improvements in the child protection mechanisms can ensure the safety of children in future.

Lisa also specialises in CICA claims, an area of work which has increased significantly following the lifting of the pre 1979 same home abuse rule which facilitated many victims being able to finally achieve justice relating to serious childhood abuse.

Lisa also has extensive particular experience in running civil claims relating to foster carer abuse, abuse in private/public/approved school institutions, church abuse, and abuse linked to gymnastics.

Her extensive knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules, skills in evidence gathering and analysis of liability and causation, and experience in risk assessment and settlement negotiation make her a valuable asset to clients and colleagues alike.

Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with Personal Injury matters ranging from road traffic accidents to workplace injury and liability.

Lisa is fluent in German and Persian. She also has experience in Civil Litigation regarding Debt Recovery, Breach of Contract, and Insolvency Law

Client testimonials

"Lovely, friendly, great people. Very understanding too and very good at what they do. Very happy with the result, many thanks again Lisa and everyone involved in my case."

"I would like to express my profound heartfelt gratitude to Lisa Gafarov for all her hard work and understanding when representing me. She fought passionately for my case for two years.

Within this time, never once did I feel it was about the money for her. She was very considerate and dealt with many personal matters in a caring and professional way. It was a very sensitive case but she put in a lot of hard work and went the extra mile each time. Her wide range of expertise was indispensable during this difficult time. Because of this I trusted all her advice and as a result, this took a lot of pressure off of me.

She managed to reach a very amicable conclusion between the defendants and myself. You don’t know how much your passion impacts the lives of others. For this I am forever grateful. I would recommend your firm a hundred times over."
Anonymous, April 2019

Lisa studied ‘Contract Law, European Law and Employment Law’ as part of her degree in BA (Hons) Business Administration. She has also studied other business subjects, including accounting.

Having completed her degree, Lisa started work for Verisona Law in November 1999 in the Personal Injury department as a Trainee Litigation Clerk and since then has developed extensive skills in relation to personal injury litigation and case preparation.

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Accidents at work
  • Slip and trip claims
  • Occupier’s liability claims
  • Product Liability claims
  • Industrial disease claims
  • Work related upper limb disorder claims
  • Clinical negligence, including amputation claims
  • Cosmetic surgery claims
  • Abuse claims

"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."


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