Charles Derham of Verisona Law features on BBC Wales in relation to Cyntwell School abuse claims

Seven men who say they were sexually abused while pupils at a former Cardiff school in the 1960s and 1970s have received about £350,000 in payouts since 2011, BBC Wales has learnt. David Leighton Davies, an art teacher at Cyntwell High School in Ely, is alleged to have carried out the abuse. The allegations range from sexual touching to rape. Cardiff council said the claims were settled by insurers with no admission of liability. "This is another tragic example of the way in which lives of individuals have been marred as a result of professional abuse," said Wales' children's commissioner Keith Towler. "Financial compensation is not going to mend the harm that has been done but it does provide the clear and crucial message that the victims have been believed." He added: "Childhood sexual abuse has a devastating effect on the emotional well-being and mental health of victims. We all have a duty to listen to children and young people and to protect them." Davies was convicted of sexual offences against three 15-year-old boys in 1977 and died shortly after his release from prison in 1980. Those attacks took place away from the school, which had closed in 1972. The individual settlements are understood to range from £10,000 to £66,000 and were paid out at various points over the last three years. Solicitor Charles Derham of Verisona Law, who acted for several of the claimants, said that settlements like these often make individuals feel better even if the organisation paying out does not accept liability, as in this case with Cardiff council. "Generally for most individuals they find it a very cathartic experience as able to draw some kind of closure from the matter and draw a line in the sand," he said. "For many individuals they're able to then move on with life and try and put the past behind them and acknowledge the settlement not only as financial compensation for what they went through but also as a recognition for what happened to them and they're able to understand and appreciate that for once they're actually being believed." In a statement the council said: "Claims have been received by ardiff council with regard to alleged sexual abuse relating to yntwell High School dating back to the 1960s and 1970s, whilst under the responsibility of one of ardiff council's predecessor authorities." he claims were settled out of court by the authority's insurers with no admission of liability, the statement said. "The council is unable to release further information regarding these allegations due to confidentiality and the protection given to sensitive personal information of this type under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998," it added.

If you or somebody you know were subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact Charles Derham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.

Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with Personal Injury matters ranging from road traffic accidents to workplace injury and liability. She offers a sympathetic and professional approach to her clients’ problems and advises on funding options (including insurance and Conditional Fee Agreements.)

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.

She is also a member of Verisona Law’s Historic Abuse Team and undertakes documentary analysis, work relating to case evidence and the development of legal arguments to secure successful settlements. She is fluent in German and Persian.

Lisa also has experience in Civil Litigation regarding Debt Recovery, Breach of Contract, and Insolvency Law.

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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.

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