Abuse in sports clubs

Abuse in sports clubs

The recent revelations concerning child sexual abuse by people connected with the youth teams of various football clubs has attracted a great deal of media attention. However, abuse can happen in all sports and at all levels, for instance gymnastics clubs and athletics clubs.

Many people with responsibility in sporting professions already have convictions relating to child abuse, click here to read more.

Sexual abuse in a sports setting can be carried out by people in positions of power and authority, including coaches, trainers, physicians. Until very recently the culture within many sports clubs has been one of denial that there is a problem, and this has made it difficult for people to speak out about their abuse and feel they will be believed.

At Verisona Law we have a great deal of expertise in holding sports clubs to account for abuse perpetrated on children in their care, and we represent clients in cases against major Premier League football teams.

How do I make a claim?

If you have been abused by someone connected with a sports club you can bring a claim for compensation directly against the club itself. The club may be vicariously liable for the abuse perpetrated by its employee, or somebody closely connected to it, or they may be negligent in allowing the abuse to take place whilst in their care.

We have a particular interest, and specialism, in bringing claims for abuse in a sports setting and we can advise you as to your rights and whether it is possible to bring a 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.

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”.

What can Verisona Law 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.

Our specialist team


Marie Forbes
Solicitor - Child 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 - Child 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 - Child 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.