Haut de la Garenne: Press Statement

This is the press statement given by Dyer Burdett & Co and Ozannes on 14th March 2008:

Jersey Advocates Ozannes have joined forces with English Solicitors Dyer Burdett & Co to advise and assist persons who suffered abuse at the Haut de la Garenne children's home in relation to civil claims for the abuse that they suffered. Dyer Burdett & Co are already representing eighteen abuse victims who were allegedly physically and sexually abused whilst in the care of Portsmouth Corporation during the 1950's and 60's. A fortnight ago it was reported in the media that there was a link between that case and the allegations concerning Haut de la Garenne, and further reports have appeared in the press this week. These allegations led to Alan Collins (who acts for the eighteen) to commence the pursuit of enquires to ascertain the veracity of these reported links between the two cases, and prompted Haut de la Garenne victims to ask questions themselves. We are advising those victims who have contacted us, in confidence, as to what may be achieved on their behalf by way of redress arising out of the abuse they claim to have suffered. However, many persons who suffered abuse may not be aware of their right to pursue civil claims for compensation against the persons responsible, including claims against the relevant authorities within Jersey. They may also not be aware that, now this matter has come into the public domain, there may be time pressure within which to bring civil claims to avoid such claims being “prescribed”, or time-barred.

We are very conscious of the fact that the Haut de la Garenne has caused pain and distress both in Jersey and abroad on the part of the victims, their families, and the wider community. This may well not be helped when there is a lack of information for victims as to their legal rights. We therefore consider that it is important that persons who suffered abuse are made aware of their right to bring a civil claim and of the potential time-bar issue. The current priority is clearly that any criminal prosecutions in relation to this matter proceed as quickly and smoothly as possible and we have previously contacted the States of Jersey police to assure them that we will not interfere with the criminal prosecutions. We consider that it would be in the best interests of all for this matter to be approached in a sensible and, if possible, consensual manner. Initially, we intend to raise with the Island's authorities that they enter into an agreement that any rights in relation to prescription or time-barring of claims be suspended to prevent the need to issue proceedings, with a view to claims being resolved in the absence of litigation.

We will advise and assist all those victims of abuse at Haut de la Garenne who wish it to seek redress, whether this be in the form of compensation, recognition on the part of the authorities of the harm done and a formal apology. A team has been put together for this purpose which will be headed up by Advocate Mark Temple of Ozannes and Alan Collins of Dyer Burdett & Co .

For further information please contact Alan Collins or Mark Temple.

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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