• 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
  • 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
  • You are a wonderful warrior for truth and justice.

    Mary
  • 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
  • Everything is different now.  My journey is over now.

    KF
  • Dear Viv and Staff, thank you so much. You are all wonderful.

    E, L & J
  • Dear Vivian,

    I wish to thank you for everything you have done to enable me to feel some justice has been achieved with the hope that the Catholic Church recognises it’s failings and addresses them.  In doing so, the Catholic Church can continue in the future, without public cynicism and to keep alive the central message of all religion, “to love thy neighbour as you would love yourself”.

    Essentially, this is asking us to step into another’s shoes before we judge them.  I feel that you did this for me during my conversations with me, and this made it easier for me to go through the whole process.  I also won’t forget the thoroughness and delightful manner of your staff.

    JA
  • What Dr Waller has achieved for me is nothing short of a miracle.  At the age of 60 I was feeling very upset at the abuse that I had encountered as a very young girl at the hands of a Salesian Brother.  My dealings with the Salesians many years later to try and resolve the matter left a very bitter taste in my mouth.  In fact, they made me feel abused all over again.  Vivian Waller was referred to me by Broken Rites, and that was the day my life changed.  I am so grateful that my words feel a little trite.

    Vivian has a no nonsense approach, keeps you on track, is honest, and like a dog with a bone, she keeps you going to have the desired outcome.  The world needs more Vivians.  Myself and my family are forever grateful to you.  Thanks mate, you’re my hero.

    Cathie
  • I would like to thank you for all you have done for me. The steps taken thus far have helped me greatly. Without your help I am not sure where I would be today, on behalf of myself and my family THANKYOU SO MUCH.

    Garry
  • Thank you so much for all of your hard work this year getting my VOCAT application together, and for the fantastic outcome. While I am still dealing with the emotional ramifications of what happened to me, I now feel like I have the means to continue rebuilding myself and my life. Thank you.

    CC
  • 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
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