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Sarah is a legal director in our award-winning abuse team. She specialises in defending abuse claims on behalf of local authorities and other public organisations including the police, charities and non-profit organisations. Her caseload ranges from stand-alone cases to large, multi-party group actions.
Since the late 1990s, Sarah has managed and been involved in some of the most complex and high-profile abuse cases in the country, including the largest group action to date against one local authority, which involved 21 different establishments over a 10 year period.
Sarah specialises in more complex failure to remove/protect claims. She was involved in a successful high profile reported defence of a failure to remove claim for a local authority which decided the standards test that social workers/local authorities should meet. This test remains. Sarah also defends cases involving foster placements/failed adoptions, abuse at pre-school facilities and cases concerning vulnerable adults. She also advises on safeguarding issues and procedure.
Sarah is regularly instructed in relation to claims involving misfeasance in public office and under the Human Rights Act 1998.
Currently, Sarah is instructed in the leading and emotive group action concerning claims of Child Sexual Exploitation on behalf of the police. This also involves knowledge of local authority duties and potential liability so Sarah’s dual experience assists greatly in this regard.
Legal 500 United Kingdom Recommended Lawyer – Sarah is recommended for local authority abuse - she is a ‘very experienced litigator who identifies the issues at an early stage and is able to get the best outcome for her clients either through settlement or where the claim has merit by taking the case to trial’.
Sarah became a member of the FOIL Public Sector Focus team in 2018.
Latest Insights by Sarah Swan
Calls are being made for the Government to review taxi licensing regulations.
Whilst general damages in abuse claims can be assessed within the parameters of reasonable case law, special damages claims have steadily increased and have become more and more elaborate - even straying into areas of illegality.
Client Alerts 05/09/2018
In a speech this week, the Home Secretary warned that at least 80,000 offenders pose a threat to children online in the UK.
Client Alerts 02/08/2018
House of Commons International Development Committee publishes report on sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector
Due to the large number of child and vulnerable adult sexual abuse allegations coming to light concerning UK-based charities operating abroad and dating back to the early 2000s, MPs have produced a report outlining their grave concerns*. This report calls for a register of workers and a specialised ombudsman for the overseas aid sector.
Client Alerts 27/07/2018
Developments in abuse claims: Large loss of earnings claims, limitation and illegality/public policy
The recent case of MG v Street & St Augustine of Canterbury RC High School demonstrates that claims in historical abuse cases have strayed into areas of illegality.