Legal Matters

David Greenwood, solicitor specialising in historic child abuse casesConnect to our friend, David Greenwood, who publishes here a series of brilliant articles concerning legal matters in relation to clergy childhood sexual abuse. We are grateful that he volunteered to share with all of us his wealth of expertise in this field.

David is a Solicitor specialising in historic child abuse cases.
He is a laywer of national renown and has won compensation for victims of child abuse locally in Yorkshire and nationally.

Quote: ‘I am able to give clear and helpful comment, explaining complicated issues in a common sense style.’

David has recently secured a landmark case in the House of Lords for an abuse victim which means that time limits relating to child abuse cases will be lifted. David has co-ordinated large group actions on behalf of victims of child abuse. He continues to pursue claims on behalf of over 200 claimants against Catholic organisations, the Home Office and local authorities.

Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
Member of Law Society Personal Injury Panel (since 1994)

David keeps fit by cycling and running.
David Greenwood:

I am a solicitor in the UK. I head up a team of dedicated and highly experienced solicitors who work alongside psychologist and barristers to fight for compensation to help abuse survivors plan for their future. My team has successfully represented claimants in a number of large and small group actions as well as handling complex individual cases.

Because of the sensitive nature of child abuse claims, it is vital to employ an expert specialist solicitor in a child abuse file to handle your case in order to secure the best possible compensation and result.

I have been committed to helping victims of child abuse full time since 1998. My email address is My website is I can be contacted in the UK on 01924 868911.


I have constantly impressed with the attitude of victims who have come forward to me. Their resources of dignity and bravery seem bottomless. A few have been motivated over the years to set up contact groups on the internet in the UK but the catalyst for a Europe wide movement was the Pope’s visit to the UK in September 2010. I have known Sue Cox, one of the founders of for some time and she asked me to help with the legal pages of the website. I hope that my input, advice and information is helpful. If you have any legal questions or suggestions please contact me on david.greenwood@jordanssolicitors.

To go straight to the articles:
Frequently Asked Questions
Legal Challenges
English Civil Courts have woken up
Local Authority Liability
Vicarious liability

To find out more about child abuse compensation claims please visit the dedicated site:

His series of articles has only just begun. Come back soon!

One Comment

  1. See also Gel Coulton On Line Opinion 6 February 2012
    Message flagged Tuesday, 7 February 2012 7:46 PM
    In a featured box, Letters, Sydney Morning Herald, 6 February 2011:

    Caption: Legalities beat morals, to hell with victims
    The ”Ellis defence” is the legal tactic that the Catholic Church has alighted on to ensure that victims of sexual assault by religious find it pointless suing the church for damages. Briefly, the defence states that because the ”Catholic Church” does not exist as a single legal entity, it cannot be sued; it cannot be held responsible for the behaviour of individuals who work in its ”unincorporated associations”.Victims of assault could sue the responsible individuals or their unincorporated associations but it would be pointless; the individual religious take vows of poverty and the unincorporated associations own nothing. The immense wealth of the church is actually owned by a trust established under the Roman Catholic Church Trust Property Act 1936. While the trust owns the assets in which the unincorporated associations ply their trade, it accepts no responsibility for how they ply it.
    So you can’t sue the Catholic Church – it doesn’t exist. You can’t sue the trust – it’s not involved in appointing or supervising wrongdoers.

    It’s no wonder that victims end up agreeing to accept whatever compensation the church deigns to offer and its demand that they relinquish all rights to make other claims.It’s a neat arrangement but its credibility looks strained when Denis Hart (Letters, February 4-5) writes a careful explanation of how the case against Bishop William Morris was properly considered at every stage as it worked its way up through the responsible sections of the Catholic Church all the way to the Roman Curia and the Pope.
    That sounds like a monolithic hierarchy – a single legal entity – in action. So does accepting government funding for the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day.
    Glen Coulton Marmong Point, NSW

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