Molestation/sexual abuse

Advising on molestation/sexual abuse claims requires commercial acumen, soft communication skills and emotional intelligence in order to manage the diversity and sensitivity of claims. Our molestation/sexual abuse team is familiar with the tailored processes required to carefully and discreetly manage claims arising from, contributed by or in connection with sexual and/or child assault, abuse, molestation or attempt threat claims. 

We partner with insurers and underwriters to provide protection for organisations should there be allegations of sexual abuse committed by either an employee or volunteer against a member of the public whilst in their care.

Our experience has predominately focused on providing policy and coverage advice, indemnity advice and advice in associated criminal proceedings for institutions such as schools, churches, children’s homes, sports clubs and government organisations. We have acted for both public liability and professional indemnity insurers.

In recognition of our expertise in this area, we were engaged to represent the interests of the Medical Council of NSW in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Matters in which our team has applied their expertise include:

  • A claim in relation to a series of abuse claims perpetrated by the resident Senior School Master at a school in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Significant issues have been managed and resolved without litigation, including complex limitation issues together with difficulties in relation to indemnity absent the relevant policy wording
  • A claim made against a not-for-profit organisation in relation to abuse allegedly suffered in a family group home and in relation foster care placements
  • Numerous abuse and molestation claims brought against prominent religious organisations, many of which have involved complex liability and/or policy indemnity issues.

Our senior team members include:

Yasmin Bell

Senior Associate
B Science (Forensic) (University of Newcastle) 2001, LLB (University of Newcastle) 2004

Paul Garnon

Partner
B.Com (Finance) (University of NSW) 1991 / LLB (University of NSW) 1991

Francesca Menniti

Partner
B Com (Marketing) (University of NSW) 1991 / LLB (University of NSW) 1991 / Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors

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