A new Association of Lawyers, who act for the victims of abuse, was launched at a special opening meeting on Friday 8th May 1998 at the Painters’ Hall, London.

The upsurge in disclosure of abuse by victims from Police investigations into paedophile activity in Children’s Homes, abuse in the domestic setting, and other types of abuse, has led to a new type of personal injury claim with inherent legal difficulties and a special type of client with vulnerabilities and psychological problems. If abuse clients are not handled in the correct manner the lawyer, it is recognised by the group, unknowingly, can cause psychological damage to his client.

A group of 10 lawyers, both solicitors and barristers, decided at the meeting to set up a steering group with a view to attracting countrywide membership of the association from lawyers with an interest or experience in this type of personal injury claim.

The Association will assist any lawyer who requires advice on how to deal with these very difficult types of cases.  A database of experts with suitable experience and expertise in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, social care, as well as suitable Counsel will be established. It is hoped that a library of reported decisions in all types of court and tribunal can be centrally collected. Lobbying of the Lord Chancellor about his plans to remove Legal Aid from personal injury claims is a very important area of concern. Other legal reforms necessary to assist victims of abuse and prevent prejudice will be part of the association’s responsibility. Special training in all relevant areas will be organised.

The Steering group want to know how much interest there is amongst lawyers in the setting up of such a group, before deciding what form, if any, the association should take.

A meeting has been arranged for all those who would like to attend at Painter’s Hall, 9 Little Trinity Lane, London EC4V 2AD on Friday 26th June 1998 from 2pm – 5 pm. Places are limited by the size of the hall so prior notification would beappreciated.