Enquiries and Cameras

I posted on the blog very recently an Australian report concerning the abuse of disabled children, and there has been some further coverage which I found interesting. The latest coverage says that catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson doesn't believe an independent inquiry is needed into the sexual abuse of disabled children but says he understands the pain suffered by their parents. Why do  people in authority and  organisations say this but then refuse to accept responsibility, refuse an enquiry, let alone compensate the victims? Maybe they do feel the "pain", but do they? Maybe in this case the Archbishop did feel the "pain"and, hopefully, for the victims the right thing has been done by them and their families. I ask the questions though because this  type of case is only too familiar to those involved in representing victims. An ABC “Four Corners” program about a ‘bus driver's sexual abuse of disabled children at South Australia's St Ann's Special School between 1986 to 1991 said the church was given legal advice not to mention sex abuse charges when it sacked Brian Perkins in 1991. The parents of some of the children believe there was a cover-up and are calling for a full independent inquiry. They say the only inquiry that ever occurred failed to mention the children and contained no recommendations. It is reported that the archbishop maintains he believes there was no cover-up - just confusion about how to deal with the problem. And that he didn't think an inquiry was needed because since he arrived in 2001 he had done all he could to bring Perkins to justice and help the families.

 "It is a terrible thing to see the reality that was shown last night on Four Corners, everything about that is just really terrible, I wish it had never happened," Archbishop Wilson told B radio. "I don't think there is any need for an independent inquiry ... since 2001 we have dealt adequately and properly with all these matters. "I really understand the terrible pain that these people have experienced, because of what has happened, and I really have done all I could to help them in that." Perkins, who worked as a paid and later volunteer driver at the school, was charged with sex offences when police uncovered pornographic photos of children in his possession. He was granted bail and fled, with nothing happening until 2001 when a group of parents discovered the abuse and demanded answers. Perkins was later jailed for 10 years and six months after pleaded guilty to five offences involving three students, even though the abuse involved 36 intellectually disabled students. Perkins died in jail in 2009. he atholic hurch investigation into the abuse found it failed to conduct a background check on Perkins, who had previous sex offences, and that the church and its agencies had also failed to properly exercise their duties in other areas. South Australian Dignity for Disability MP Kelly Vincent says governments are failing people with disabilities but it can be stopped. She wants education for children and video cameras placed in buses carrying intellectually-disabled children. Now that is a constructive idea?    For advice about pursuing a claim for child abuse please contact me. Alan Collins alc@verisona.com (0) 2392492472 Alternatively please contact my colleague Charles Derham crd@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

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"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
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  • Work related upper limb disorder claims
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  • 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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