Music school abuse alleged to involve five top schools

Manchester's prized Chetham School of Music was thrust into the spotlight earlier this year, when the school's former director of music, Michael Brewer (also the founder of the National Youth Choir), and his wife were convicted for abusing a former pupil at the school in the 1970 and 1980s.

Victim Frances Andrade was 14 when the abuse started at the independent boarding school. She died after giving evidence at the trial - it is believed she committed suicide. Police are now investigating claims of abuse at the school from more than 30 women. Meanwhile, Channel 4 News has uncovered allegations of inappropriate behaviour at all five of the UK's specialist music schools, spanning four decades. A “significant” police inquiry is under way in Manchester, where around 10 teachers at Chetham's and the Royal Northern College of Music are being investigated over allegations of rape and serious sexual assault. Whilst the Yehudi Menuhin School was the subject of a Channel 4 investigation this week in which it was alleged that Marcel Gazelle, its late founding music director, sexually abused pupils in the 1960s. We understand that it is not unusual for those who were subject to abuse to come forward later in life. 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.

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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