October 18, 2005

Comment: Liam Fay: Why do lawyers pile more harm on abuse victims?

The Sunday Times

The lawyers want us all to calm down. They deplore the rush to judgment, the atmosphere of hysteria created by a reckless media. They haven’t said it yet, but what m’learned friends really object to is the mood of, well, ambulance chasing.

Nothing has been more instructive about the scandal of the legal scam perpetrated on survivors of institutional abuse than the reaction of the legal profession itself. All week, thanks to Joe Duffy’s Liveline, we have heard damning stories from people who claim that compensation awards by the Residential Institutions Redress Board have had hefty “fees” deducted by solicitors who had already been paid.

Some say they’ve been ripped off for thousands, others for hundreds. But what unites all those who have come forward is a sickening feeling of outrage at what appears to be the organised exploitation of the vulnerable by some of the country’s most privileged professionals. Having been abused by men of the cloth, these unfortunate individuals now find themselves abused by men (and indeed women) of silk.

Posted by kshaw at October 18, 2005 09:21 AM