News

31st October 2018

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse - Child Abuse in Residential Schools

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is the biggest Inquiry in UK history. The Inquiry is looking into many different areas where there have been allegations of Child Sexual Abuse. The Inquiry are now looking into child sexual abuse that took place in Residential Schools in the UK as the number of criminal convictions for child sexual abuse by school staff has surged. The investigation will explore how schools and other agencies respond to allegations of sexual abuse by school staff, and address broad questions of school culture, governance, leadership, training and recruitment.

Multiple institutions are implicated in failures of child protection in schools, including local authorities, schools inspectorates and the police.

The Inquiry is interested in hearing from victims and survivors of abuse who attended the following institutions:

  • Feversham School – Newcastle upon Tyne
  • St William’s School – Market Weighton
  • Sheringham Court School – Norfolk
  • Ashdown House Preparatory School – East Sussex
  • Sherborne Preparatory School – Sherborne
  • St George’s School – Wicklewood
  • Dalesdown School – Horsham
  • Chetham’s School of Music – Manchester, United Kingdom
  • The Purcell School for Young Musicians – Bushey
  • Yehudi Menuhin School – Cobham, Surrey
  • Wells Cathedral School – Somerset
  • Ripon Cathedral Choir School – Ripon, North Yorkshire
  • Westminster Cathedral Choir School – Westminster
  • Appletree School – Kendal Cumbria
  • Stony Dean School – Amersham, Buckinghamshire
  • Appletree School – Romsey
  • Chelfham Mill School – Barnstaple, Devon
  • Fullerton House School – Doncaster
  • Royal School Manchester – Heald Green
  • Marland School – Torrington, Devon
  • Muntham House School – Horsham
  • Southlands School – Lymington
  • West Heath School – Sevenoaks, Kent

  • Our Debbie Heath will again be heading a team in relation to this Inquiry. She represents a large number of individuals in the Nottingham strand of the Inquiry and she is trusted by numerous charities to represent their clients.

    She has a dedicated number of professionals, including barristers who assist her on a daily basis and they will all work with you to assist you through this process.

    She is also able to assist with claims for compensation.

    We are able to offer representation at no cost to the individual in nearly all cases.

    If you require any additional information about the inquiry itself, the process or have any other general queries please do not hesitate to contact Debbie on 0115 8246 555.



    3rd September 2018

    INSTALAW DELIGHTED TO WELCOME STUART LUKE & MARTIN BRIDGER TO THE FIRM

    Instalaw are delighted to welcome two of the UK’s most experienced Public Law and Community Care solicitors to the firm as part of our ever expanding practice.

    Stuart and Martin need no introduction and we are thrilled that they have agreed to join us bringing with them their successful and well-established practices in the field of Public Law and Community Care and they jointly head up the firm’s newly formed Public Law and Community Care Department.

    Between them Stuart and Martin have over 19 years of experience of bringing successful claims against public bodies challenging decisions through Judicial Review proceedings and both have appeared with some frequency in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in some of the most important cases in recent legal history.

    Their track record of using Judicial Review to successfully secure services for the most vulnerable in society has earnt them a national reputation in their field.

    The department specialises in all challenges to decisions made by local authorities and government departments on grounds that they are unlawful, irrationals and/or procedurally unfair and which may commonly include;

  • Age Disputes for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children;
  • Challenges to assessments for services under Section 17 & Section 20 Children Act 1989;
  • Re-settlement claims for young people leaving Youth Custody
  • Challenges to decisions for Asylum Seekers and their families under Sections 4, 95 & 98 of the Immigration and Asylum Act;
  • Failure to assess families with no recourse to public funds and provide services under the Children Act 1989;
  • Refusal to recognise a young person as being entitled to services as a care leaver and/or failing to provide specific services to care leavers to meet needs;
  • Refusing to grant leave applications for families under the Human Rights Act
  • Homelessness
  • Challenges to decisions made by the Prison Service and Parole Board
  • Trafficking and claims under the Modern Slavery Act


  • Stuart Luke

    Stuart is best known for his work with Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children challenging Age Assessments and decisions concerning services under the Children Act 1989.

    In 2017 Stuart was nominated by the British Refugee Council for his work for unaccompanied children following a number of seminal judgments establishing through Judicial Review rights for Age Disputed Children and at a ceremony in July 2017 he was awarded the prestigious Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award.

  • Stuart has been successful in a number of leading cases securing fundamental rights and services for unaccompanied children and vulnerable adults. Some of Stuart’s reported cases include;
  • AA v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 138 - establishing that the Home Office had acted unlawfully in detaining unaccompanied children on grounds that their appearance suggested they were not a child but significantly over the age of 18
  • S, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Croydon & Anor [2017] EWHC 265 (Admin) - for the first time in securing a finding from the High Court that pending an Age Assessment an unaccompanied child is entitled to be accepted and looked after as a claimed child under Section 20 Children Act 1989
  • R(Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017] UKSC 5
  • R (on the application of ZM and SK) v The London Borough of Croydon (Dental age assessment) [2016] UKUT 559 (IAC)
  • Watson & Others (Brice & Lewis) C203/15 and C698/15 CJEU
  • R (on the application of MM (Lebanon)) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent) [2017] UKSC 10

  • Stuart works with a number of leading national charities including the British Refugee Council, British Red Cross and Children’s Society to name only a few in representing and challenging the rights for and on behalf of vulnerable children. Stuart was recently described by a leading charity as ‘the go to solicitor in England for advice on Age Disputes’ reflecting his work and commitment to this area in which he is one of the leading solicitors in the UK.


    Martin Bridger

    Martin is highly regarded as one of the leading solicitors in the Public Law field. For the past ten years he has been acting for the most vulnerable members of society, securing successful outcomes against all limbs of the state.

    Martin has a profound knowledge of the law in relation to all aspects of Public Law and Community Care work and he is considered by a large number of charitable organisations to be the leading solicitor in the Public Law field for his work in assisting vulnerable young children, seeking support from Social Services Departments.

    Martin has been successfully involved in numerous reported and leading cases in recent years which have helped frame and develop the legal framework for the years to come. Some of Martin’s reported cases include:

  • R(Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017] UKSC 5
  • R(Sanneh & Ors) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 49
  • R(HA) v University of Wolverhampton [2018] EWHC 144
  • R(Vigrass) v the Parole Board [2017] EWHC 3022
  • R(Ghulam & Ors) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 2639
  • R(DL & Anr) v London Borough of Newham [2011] EWHC 1127



  • Stuart and Martin are available to accept cases directly from individuals or from charities or agencies assisting and advocating on behalf of a service user that have received a decision for which advice and assistance may be required to establish whether a claim might arise or be possible.

    Anyone wishing to seek advice or assistance can contact the Public Law and Community Care Team by telephone on 01782 560155 or

    The firm benefits from offering legal aid to bring judicial review proceedings subject to confirming eligibility or alternatively a tailored fixed fee services can be agreed subject to discussion.