Time travelling

Today's High Court ruling that former members of the Mau Mau can sue the British government for compensation arising from abuse allegations of the 1950's adds a new twist to the fight for justice for historic wrongs. There are conflicting arguments as to the rights and wrongs of courts going back in time to try and unravel what happened and deterimine if there was fault. There are those who argue, and it does always seem to be those who are on the receiving end of the claims - the wrongdoers or their insurers that there should be certainty. That is why there are limitation laws to stop supposed stale cases being litigated. Then there are those who argue that if the abuse has caused the delay then why should the wrongdoer and the insurer hide behind the veil afforded by limitation laws? Surely the most important thing is to ensure that justice is done? This goes to the heart of travelling back in time. If justice can still be done many years if not decades after the abuse then the courts, in my experience, will be prepared to look at the evidence and come to a decision on liability. oday's decision does not mean that it is easier to pursue such cases, far from it, because victims must have compelling evidence to stand a chance of succeeding. simple " I was abused and this is what happened..." is only the start, without evidence in support it can be very difficult if not impossible to succeed.

My nutshell guide to suceess is:

  • We have to prove the abuse - there must be  evidence.    
  • Who is liable for it ? here has to be a defendant who can be sued.
  • That damage has been suffered.
  • That it is fair in an historic case for it to proceed outside the limitation period.

This is only a guide of course, and every case is different, but serves I hope as a useful reminder. The key driver is evidence. You can never over prepare on evidence. Poor evidence and a court is going to struggle with a journey in to the past. If you want to discuss this article or the subject matter please contact me. Alan Collins 02392492472


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."


Make an