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Malcolm Johnson

Expertise and key strength

In a career that spans more than 20 years , I have been privileged to work for a large number of clients, including child and adult survivors of abuse and neglect, as well as those who have been injured in hospital, at work, in public places, in motor accidents and as a result of criminal violence.

I have recovered substantial settlements for my clients in cases ranging from claims against local authorities for failure to take children into care, to claims involving abuse in foster care and children’s homes. More recently I have been instructed in cases involving breach of privacy, together with genetic and neurological damage arising from sexual abuse.

As a regular contributor to Jordan’s Personal Injury Practice and Precedents, I have made notable contributions to the section on children and I am also proud to be the co-ordinator of APIL’s Child Injury Special Interest Group.

My career

Having qualified in 1994 I joined Blake Morgan in April 2012, having run my own firm, Malcolm Johnson & Co. as a sole practitioner for a period of ten years. I went on to help set up the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL) some 20 years ago, and I am one of the authors of Child Abuse Compensation Claims published by Jordans. I have written a number of articles in this field over the years, and I contribute regularly to the Law Society’s Gazette’s “Legal Update” on Personal Injury.

As one of the first solicitors to develop an expertise in recovering compensation on behalf of victims of abuse against their individual abusers, by the use of freezing injunctions and charging orders, I obtained a substantial compensation settlement for a client against her abuser within six months of taking on the case. The ability to run both civil and CICA claims has enabled some of my clients to obtain substantial compensation as well as aiding both their support and their route to recovery.  Throughout my career I have developed an extensive experience of appeals to the First Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tier Tribunal to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, particularly in the difficult areas of the CICA time limits and quantum of awards.

I also have a specialist interest in claims against the Motor Insurers Bureau and I co- author the section on the MIB in the Encyclopaedia of Insurance Law published by Sweet and Maxwell, as well as being co-author of ‘Claims against the MIB’ published by the Law Society in 2012.

I am privileged, through my knowledge and experience to be able to advise a number of charities who represent children in care and careleavers. I am also one of the authors of An Advocate’s Guide to Complaints in England published by Pavilion.

Proudest professional achievement

In late 2015, I represented two clients as a solicitor advocate in a two week trial in the High Court (See VN and SN below). This case involved a claim made against two foster parents and a local authority, where one of the issues was the liability of the local authority towards foster children in their care. In Y v FTT (see below) I acted as a solicitor advocate and represented a severely disabled young man, who inherited his disabilities from a “double dose” of a defective gene arising out of a consanguineous and abusive relationship between his mother and her father. I brought an application to the CICA. They refused the claim on the grounds that his condition was not a “personal injury”, and their decision was upheld by the First Tier Tribunal. I subsequently applied for judicial review, which was granted by the Upper Tier Tribunal.

Reported Cases:

  • XY (a child) v A Local Authority (reported in APIL PI Focus October 2015
  • ABC v P (2011) [2011] EWHC 1953 (QB) QBD 04/05/2011 (reported on Lawtel) – dissipation of assets in a freezing injunction in relation to a claim for sexual offences including voyeurism.
  • B v LB Ealing [2008] EWHC 1262 (QB) (reported on BAILLI) – damages recovered for physical and emotional harm including a claim for wasted expenditure on alcohol.
  • VN and SN v Brent and Others [2016] EWHC 936 (QB) – claim brought against local authority for failure to remove from foster care and direct claim against foster parents.
  • Y v First-tier Tribunal and (2) Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CIC) (Criminal Injuries Compensation: claims) [2016] UKUT 202 (AAC) (25 April 2016) – application to Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for “double dose” of defective gene imparted to child born of consanguineous and abusive relationship.


‘I have worked in the personal injury and clinical negligence team at BL Claims with Malcolm since 2012. His legal knowledge is extensive and he is my go to person when I have any CPR questions. Malcolm is a real presence both within the firm and externally; whether this be writing a book, presenting to charities or representing his clients at trial. He is a specialist in the area of child abuse compensation who provides calm support and advice throughout a claim. I am pleased to recommend Malcolm as an excellent solicitor and colleague.’

Patricia Wakeford – Senior Associate at BL Claims Solicitors (June 14 2017 – Malcolm worked with Patricia in the same group)

‘Malcolm is an exceptionally knowledgeable and highly skilled expert in the field of child abuse compensation. His encyclopaedic legal knowledge and first rate client care skills are second to none.’

Richard Scorer – Principal Lawyer at Slater & Gordon Lawyers (UK)

Qualifications and professional memberships

  • LLB Honours Degree in Law
  • Fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
  • Co-ordinator of APIL’s Child Injury Special Interest Group
  • Founder member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL) an organisation set up to help survivors of abuse
  • Member of the Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel

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