Abuse by celebrities or public figures

The revelations of abuse that emerged in 2012 regarding Jimmy Savile after his death led to a widespread police investigation of child sexual abuse by celebrities called Operation Yewtree. This investigation led to convictions of a large number of celebrities and public figures, including Max Clifford, Gary Glitter, and Rolf Harris.

More recently, the allegations of sexual assaults involving Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood figures have further lifted the lid on how some celebrities have been able to use their power and fame to act with impunity in the abuse of others. Where in the past abusers have been able to use their fame to deter people from speaking out, people are now finding a voice and are being believed.

If you have been abused by somebody in the public eye, and you would like to seek redress, then please contact us. Our team of experienced lawyers can advise you on your rights, and whether it is possible for you to make a claim.

How do I make a historic abuse claim?

If the abuser is somebody in the public eye, provided that person is still living, it is likely they will have the means to pay compensation. If the abuse happened at an institution, such as the BBC, then we can also look into whether it is possible to hold that institution to account for negligence in allowing abuse to take place on their premises.

Verisona Law was involved in the compensation scheme which was set up to compensate Jimmy Savile’s victims and we have experience in seeking justice and redress in this type of case.

Are there time restrictions on making a claim?

Technically you have until your 21st birthday to bring a claim, but the courts do recognise that it is difficult sometime for survivors of abuse to come forward and many are only able to come to terms with what happened later in life. As such the courts always use their discretion when deciding whether to allow a claim to be made and our dedicated team at Verisona Law has a great deal of expertise in bringing cases “out of time”.

Verisona Law - What can we do to help?

We pride ourselves on our understanding and sensitivity with our clients but also our tenacity with opponents when pursuing cases. Our aim is to seek redress for people who have suffered abuse, be that financial compensation, or organising treatment or therapy in order to help people seek closure.

In many cases we are happy to act for people on a “no win, no fee” basis and we are happy to speak to you about the most appropriate way of funding your claim.

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.

Your help in pursuing and fighting my case is greatly appreciated, not by just myself but my whole family. Only through the progression of the case have I found it easier to talk about it and this has helped deal with something I had locked away since the day I left the school. It has allowed me to talk about my experiences far more openly and without the stigma of shame I had felt for so long.

Our specialist historic abuse team


Marie Forbes
Solicitor - Historic Abuse/Litigation

Marie Forbes is a Litigation Solicitor. She qualified in 2006 and is currently working in both our Southampton and Portsmouth offices.

Marie has the following areas of specialism: Historic Abuse, Contract Disputes, Professional Negligence against solicitors, architects, project managers, accountants etc, Intellectual Property disputes, Insolvency and Bankruptcy proceedings, Debt Collection, Enforcement of Judgments, Partnership Disputes Shareholder’s disputes and Defamation. Marie acts for both company and individual clients.

Marie was previously involved in a successful and reported case of Professional Negligence against a magic circle firm and has successfully settled numerous cases for termination charges on telecommunications contracts.


Lisa Gafarov
Litigation Executive - Historic Abuse

Lisa is 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 has represented clients in the IICSA trial and has been successful in making claims against the Lambeth Council Redress Scheme.


David Hawkins
Litigation Executive - Historic Abuse

David has almost 20 years’ experience working in Personal Injury law. After working in the insurance sector for many years, firstly in general insurance, then moving to dealing with Personal Injury claims for the insurers, he decided to join the legal profession to uphold and pursue the rights of people who have been injured through no fault of their own.

David now pursues claims on behalf of abuse survivors against both individuals and organisations such as Lambeth council.


Charlotte Attwood ACILEx
Litigation Assistant - Historic Abuse

As Litigation Assistant in the Historic Abuse department, Charlotte runs her own case load alongside Lisa Gafarov. She prepares and drafts documents, applications and attends to new and daily enquires. Charlotte works on civil files, Lambeth redress scheme cases, Beecholme, Clinical Negligence and trip accidents relating to occupiers liability.