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Alastair is head of our award-winning abuse team. He has over 25 years’ experience of defending sensitive non-recent claims on behalf of insurers, schools, charities, sporting clubs and other public and private organisations. He was involved in both the North Wales and North West group actions, the outcomes of which form the basis of much of the relevant law in abuse claims.
Alastair handles a wide variety of abuse claims, often from notification, across many sectors, with particular expertise in defending actions against schools and sporting organisations. He also has extensive experience in the coordination and defence of group actions. He acts for insured and uninsured entities. He advises upon related issues including policy interpretation and reputation management. He has considerable appellate court experience but is also a keen advocate of ADR in appropriate cases. Alastair also provides analysis and strategic advice on the management of entire claim portfolios.
He is currently heavily involved in many cases relating to abuse in football and is also acting for Barclays Bank and its insurers in the Dr Gordon Bates group litigation which is a precedent-setting case in the context of vicarious liability.
Alastair appeared as an expert in the defence of abuse claims before Professor Jay and her IICSA panel colleagues at a televised seminar in November 2016. He also gave evidence to IICSA within the Accountability & Reparation investigation public hearings in November 2018. He is an active member of the specialist FOIL Abuse sector focus team and was involved in drafting the defendant stakeholder abuse-specific pre-action protocol which was then submitted to the Civil Procedure Rules Committee for its consideration.
- GB -v-Stoke City FC  All ER (D) 27 - successful vicarious liability defence in high-profile claim
- AB & Others -v-Nugent Care  EWCA Civ 827 - precedent-setting 100+ claimant group action
- KR -v-Others -v-RSA  EWCA Civ 1454 - successful application of deliberate act exception
- Various -v-Bryn Alyn (1) RSA (2)  3 WLR 107 - precedent-setting North Wales group action
- Presently acting for a major financial insitution in a 130-claimant group action in the Court of Appeal
- Presently acting for numerous football clubs in defence of many non-recent abuse claims
- Acting for prominent independent schools in a number of multi-million pound claims
- Acting for police in the defence of high-profile child sexual exploitation claims
- Acting for insurers as core participant in the Accountability & Reparation investigation within IICSA
- Acting for a religious order in the defence of numerous claims relating to their former schools
- Involved in drafting and advising upon development of pre-action protocol for abuse claims
Member of the Law Society
Member of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL)
Member of FOIL’s specialist abuse claims sector focus team
Member of IRLA
Member of several steering groups within the Historic Abuse Lawyers Forum (HALF)
Latest Insights by Alastair Gillespie
The High Court recently handed down judgment in the above case.
The law relating to vicarious liability has been thrown into even further confusion by the Court of Appeal in the Barclays Bank plc (Dr Gordon Bates) Group Litigation,  EWHC 1929
IICSA is an Independent Statutory Inquiry set up by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary.
Client Alerts 17/07/2018
The Court of Appeal removes the independent contractor defence in the Barclays Bank (Dr Gordon Bates) Group Litigation