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.

Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence 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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