• Catholic Clergy Abuse - General
    Catholic Clergy Abuse - General
    Dr Viv Waller has acted in claims against Catholic Clergy since 1995. Waller Legal has recovered compensation for the victims of Catholic Priests such as Frs Baker, Ridsdale, Kevin O'Donnell, D'Cruz, Gannon, Glennon, Gubbels, Frank Klep, Bernard Day & Pidoto.
  • Catholic Clergy Abuse - Melbourne Response
    Catholic Clergy Abuse - Melbourne Response
    Melbourne Response is an alternative dispute resolution process designed to provide redress to victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by priests, religious and lay persons who fall within the jurisdiction of the Melbourne Archdiocese.
  • Civil Litigation
    Civil Litigation
    Civil Litigation in the County And Supreme Courts of Victoria. In our pursuit of justice for sexual assault survivors Waller Legal has run common law cases for compensation against; Individual offenders such as family members, teachers, doctors, psychologists and religious figures;
  • Claims for Indigenous & Travel to Remote Communities
    Claims for Indigenous & Travel to Remote Communities
    If you have been the victim of a crime of violence or sexual assault then please contact our office so we may assess your application and obtain financial assistance, counselling, medical or other expenses that may help with your recovery.
  • Royal Commission & Redress Schemes
    Royal Commission & Redress Schemes
    Established in January 2013, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is investigating how institutions like schools, churches and sporting groups responded to allegations of child sexual abuse.
  • Sentencing Act Applications
    Sentencing Act Applications
    If you have been the victim of a crime for which the offender was convicted please contact our office urgently. Any Sentencing Act Application for compensation must be made within 12 months of the date of the conviction.
  • State Ward Claims
    State Ward Claims
    Dr Viv Waller has acted for former wards of the state of Victoria since 1997 when she commenced group litigation on behalf of many former residents of the Ballarat Orphanage who were abused in care.
  • Victim of Crimes Assistance Tribunal
    Victim of Crimes Assistance Tribunal
    If you have been the victim of a crime of violence or sexual assault then please contact our office so we may assess your application and obtain financial assistance, counselling, medical or other expenses that may help with your recovery.

Work

Waller Legal is a high profile legal practice dedicated to assisting people who have been sexually assaulted and people who were physically, sexually or psychologically abused or neglected when they were a child.

The Work We Do

Litigation

We run common law claims in the Supreme and County Courts for compensation against schools, churches, religious authorities, hospitals, medical clinics, child care facilities or other institutions in which abuse occurred.

 

Out of Court Settlements (or Alternative Dispute Resolution)

We also help people settle their claims out of court.  We’ve resolved lots of cases out of court against the Salvation Army, and taken cases against the Scouts and the YMCA.  We have resolved hundreds of cases for clients who have been sexually abused by Catholic Clergy, particularly Christian Brothers and Catholic priests.

 

Sentencing Act Applications

Where there has been a criminal conviction against the offender we can make an application against the offender for compensation under the Sentencing Act.  This becomes part of the criminal process following the conviction.

 

“Towards Healing” and “Melbourne Response”

We also represent clients who wish to progress a claim through the church established schemes such as the Melbourne Response (for complaints about offenders falling within the responsibility of Archdiocese of Melbourne) and Towards Healing (for complaints about offenders falling within the responsibility of the rest of the Catholic Church in Australia).  Often though, much better outcomes can be achieved by avoiding “in house” church designed processes.  We will advise you about the best option in your case.  We recommend that you understand the options available to you and don’t just follow any church based or “Professional Standards” recommendation to use their own “Towards Healing” or the “Melbourne Response” processes.

 

State Wards

We look after former state wards who were abused while in residential institutions, children’s homes and orphanages.  Dr Vivian Waller has been running state ward cases since the mid 1990’s, when she ran claims on behalf of clients abused as children at the Ballarat Orphanage.  Our work with care leavers has continued to be a very important part of our practice.

 

British Child Migrants

We have acted for hundreds of British Child Migrants and others abused in Christian Brothers homes in Western Australia including Bindoon, Clontarf, Castledare and Tardun.

 

Indigenous Australians

We act for Indigenous Australians in relation to abuse in missions, schools and orphanages.  We are happy to travel to remote communities.

 

Superannuation and Insurance

Often those who have experienced abuse in their childhood have had disjointed or unstable adult working lives.  There may have been periods of time where they have been unable to work due to psychological or physical illness or disability.  We help clients assess any entitlements they may have under their superannuation or insurance. Sometimes clients have entitlements that they didn’t even know existed.

 

VOCAT Tribunal

We help people with applications to the Victims of Crimes Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT).

 

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

We have represented 20 survivor and related witnesses in five different Royal Commission hearings (Case Study 16, Case Study 22, Case Study 28, Case Study 30 and Case Study 38).

We have also written submissions for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2016).

 

The Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry and Law Reform

We have written submissions to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Organisations (2013).

We have consulted with the Law Institute of Victoria and the Department of Justice about law reform in the sexual assault area.

We continue to agitate for law reform and access to justice for all sexual assault survivors.

It's important to get experienced advice

 

TESTIMONIALS

Read some words of praise from previous clients.

In pursuit of justice
Testimonials
  • Thank you for what you did, what you said and who you are, your thoughtfulness will always be remembered with more gratitude that you could ever know.

    Cheryl
  • I would like to thank you for acting on behalf in regards to the Christian Brothers.  Your logo “in pursuit of justice” says it all.  I didn’t know what to expect and very nearly withdrew from the whole process, but I am happy I didn’t.

    The most rewarding aspect for me was the sensitivity and warmth shown by you in relation to a very complex and emotional matter.  Also the knowledge that there are people willing to stand up on behalf of people like me has a healing effect.  I would also like to thank your staff for their warm and professional matter in this whole process.  You said to me during the phone appointment that you counted it a privilege to act for people like me.  Well Dr Waller, the privilege was all mine.  I wish you all the best in the future.

    JC
  • Again we cannot thank you enough for all your dedication and hard work over the past few years, we would not have made it without your persistence and dogged determination to get this to settlement stage, many others would have settled for less. We now have a girl who has beaten the odds, and whose self esteem has rocketed, is confident, and especially is calm!

    We wish you all good things in life, as without lawyers like yourself who will take the risk of taking on the "untouchables" we would not have kept our girl on track or most importantly, alive. The road for her is still to be traveled, but this will assist in making the journey less troubled, and we hope with time and continued therapy she will see herself as a complete person and not as a shadow of who she could be.

    You will be forever in our thoughts.

    TJ
  • Viv Waller spent many hours over months gathering, sorting and preparing our evidence and my statement - a statement which was webcast around Australia and the world. 

    Viv Waller has spent her professional career solely helping and assisting people who were sexually assaulted as children by those in religious organisations.  In so many cases she had taken the power from the perpetrator and given it back to the survivor.

    Viv Waller’s work is essential.  Her guidance, abilities and professionalism lead me through a most overwhelming and daunting task which I can only thank her for.

    Chrissie Foster
  • It is with both great relief and admiration that I write this letter to you. A consummate professional and an amazingly beautiful human being you are. Thank you for doing such an exemplary job in resolving these issues for me, and supporting me with both compassion and instruction as my representative throughout this ordeal. I am painfully aware that no amount of retribution / compensation can replace what was taken, but I am hoping it can propel myself forward to achieve some sort of normality in my life. With respect and gratitude.

    JZ
  • Yes indeed, thank you Vivian for your perseverance and dedication in doing whatever you can to bring about some justice in the absence of a full ecclesiastical council/court to judge publicly those who have violated not only the natural law, but the law of God in whose name these violations have taken place.

    Kathleen
  • Six years after the settlement:

    It has been a long and well-travelled road for our girl, but I never thought I would see the day when she is as happy as she is now.  I was so happy when she decided to study nursing!  The settlement that she received enabled her to study full time over the past three years without having to worry about working while studying.

    What happened to our daughter, and to us as a family, will never go away, however, our daughter has managed to pick up the fragments of her life and move on. The horrors of what have happened will not disappear, perhaps just fade as more joyful occasions occur in her life.

    I want all of you to know what a tower of strength and support you were to all of us and that without you, our daughter’s life would have turned out very differently.

    You are always in our thoughts with gratitude for what you achieved.

    TJ
  • I do not think that words can fully express my gratitude, but I will try.  It took me a number of years to decide to proceed with legal action for my abuse claim.  I had heard about Waller Legal from a friend and I must say that all he said was correct, in that they are awesome, sympathetic, etc.  But not ever what he told me prepared me for the experience that I had dealing with Waller Legal.  Firstly, Elisa.  You are a lovely empathetic soul who I truly felt comfortable dealing with.  You were even able to make me laugh on my down days of going through and discussing legal issues pertaining to my case.  It was a pleasure dealing with you. Thank you so much.

    Vivian Waller you too are amazing both as a person and as a legal representative.  I felt so comfortable with you from our very first meeting.  You spoke like a sister to me, not just as a lawyer.  Your legal ability is truly outstanding and you represented me with 110% effort always.  You made the hearing easy for me, as I had total confidence in you.

    For everyone who is hesitant to make a claim against an abuser, please do not hesitate to have Vivian and her staff represent you.  Truly amazing people.  Thanks so much again.

    JF
  • I have thought of you often and the journey and the process of the last couple of years.  As a survivor you can think that every end step will be closure—arrest, guilt, sentencing, criminal case finished, civil case complete.  But there is never really an end.  Each part of the process is just a step closer to healing and closure.  You and your staff did a fab job of walking me through the civil case.

    For six months the money has sat idle in an account I can’t touch.  It feels as though if I touch it I am accepting it as silence money and once again feeling gagged.  But I am getting there.  It will be used towards a fresh start.  Hope for a more whole and healed future.  Thank you for being part of the process.

    Thank you for your professionalism, support, and persistence.

    KD
  • Thank you so much from me personally.  This decision has actually turned my life back around.  I didn’t realise how much my heart was hurting from anger and disbelief in the system.

    My heart is lighter and more at peace thanks to you all.  As a family we are unable to find suitable words on how much your efforts, consideration and concern means to us.  At last someone fought and believed in us.  Truly you have given us all so much peace.

    WK
Back To Top
Call Waller Legal