Firm calls for solicitors to join forces on abuse class action

A firm co-ordinating a child abuse damages claim against residential homes in the North West is calling on solicitors representing other victims to join its group action.

Cheshire-based Abney Garsden McDonald partner Peter Garsden is co-ordinating the group action against five homes which involves 90 firms representing 200 victims.

After a “series of misunderstandings by the court” since December, Garsden says a practice direction from the Lord Chief Justice is due “any day”, which will allow the case to proceed. It will order all “stray” claims against the homes to be brought under one action before 31 May, publicise the action through the courts and refer it to the Manchester High Court.

The abuse took place between the late 1950s and the early 1990s and resulted in 15 being convicted of sexual offences between 1995 and 1999.

Hill Dickinson in Liverpool is acting for St Vincents and St Aidens homes, Berrymans Lace Mawer in Manchester for Danesford, and Liverpool City Council's in-house team is representing Greystone Heath and Dyson Hall.

Garsden says the onus is now on firms representing children abused in those homes to contact him.