Limitation "holidays"

“Stop the clock” is a frequently heard refrain on many a game show, but it is a deadly serious one in historic abuse cases.

Whether we like it or not, as the law stands, limitation is invariably a potential problem in historic abuse cases.

Very simply the Limitation Act 1980 says that a victim of child abuse has three years from their 18th birthday to bring a claim before the courts, and if they fail to do so they are too late. A court does have discretion to disapply the time bar, but to do so is described as an “indulgence” and so that means there has to be a pretty good reason to do so. If there is an explanation for the delay, and provided there can be a fair trial then the Court may disapply the time bar and allow the victim's case to proceed.

Now this is a very simplified explanation of the law, and victims thinking about bringing a claim must get legal advice. The purpose of this article is draw attention to what is often a live and difficult issue, and to consider carefully how best to deal with it.

Every day that passes the time bar issue gets worse, and so that has to be dealt with. By issuing court proceedings the clock stops. That is the time bomb stops ticking. It  does not explode, but is defused there and then.

Issuing court proceedings though is expensive, and more often than not the case is no where nerar ready for such a step. And so the best course is to persuade the potential defendant to agree to the clock stopping: “Stop the clock”! This can be done by agreeing a “limitation holiday”. Both  the victim and defendant agree to the clock stopping, possibly for a fixed period, or indefinitely. The agreement is usually on the basis that either party can argue, nevertheless, still argue whether the case is time barred or not.

Please do contact me to discuss limitation and the issues it throws-up.

 Alan Collins


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.

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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