Sexual Abuse

We believe in holding all perpetrators of sexual abuse to account.

We have a lot of experience supporting people who have experienced sexual threat and violence. We will work with you in confidence and advise you on all the options available to you. We are civil lawyers, which means we specialize in pursuing claims against perpetrators or the institutions that employ them for apology and compensation.   

Compensation means financial reparation for your injuries. Injuries can include physical hurt or psychological hurt and loss of income if you’ve been unable to work or have lost your job as a result of what happened to you. We take a broad view and seek the best possible outcome that justice can deliver.  

We understand the many factors that make it hard to tell your story of what happened. We know from our clients that it can take many years to talk about experiences of sexual violence. We have a lot of experience in supporting them. We are ready to listen whenever you are ready to share. 

You can contact us directly online or by phone.
Your information will be handled by a team of experienced lawyers and legal analysts who will treat your case with utmost sensitivity. 

One of the most important things we do in our practice is to start from a place of belief.

– Kelsey Murrell, Associate
Kelsey Murrell on believing survivors of assaultKelsey Murrell on believing survivors of assault

Here are some of the areas in which we have brought successful actions for our clients: 

  • Sexual abuse suffered as a child by someone in a position of trust (religious leader, teacher, scout leader, social worker) 
  • Sexual harassment and sexual violence experienced as a student (including in schools, after-school activities and universities)  
  • Sexual harassment experienced as an adult (including at work, in religious institutions, at universities and in public)  
Our civil rape practiceOur civil rape practice
Dr. Ann Olivarius, Senior Partner on holding perpetrators of rape to account through the civil justice system.

Experts in cross-border litigation and cases of historic child abuse:

  • Trafficking

    Advocating for survivors of cross-border violations of human rights, including trafficking, sexual violence and modern-day slavery.

    Read more
  • Historic Child Abuse

    Our sister firm, AO Advocates, is focused on serving adults who have experienced historical child sex abuse.

    Read more

Some of our cases

To protect anonymity, the names of all clients and some identifying details have been changed.

Jenny – raped by another student

Jenny, an undergraduate at an esteemed university, was raped by another student. This caused her to experience panic attacks and flashbacks, terrified she’d run into the assailant on campus.   

Jenny made a formal complaint to the university and was told a date had been set for a disciplinary hearing. Eight months after the complaint was submitted, the Chair of the disciplinary committee threw out the complaint arguing that ‘rape’ did not fall within the definition of “harassment” and so was not covered by the universities’ disciplinary regulations.  

Jenny was denied recourse for her complaint of sexual misconduct; her mental health and academic performance greatly suffered.   

We represented Jenny, arguing that the decision to throw out the complaint was unlawful on various grounds and that the university’s conduct amounted to harassment and indirectly discrimination against Jenny on the basis of her sex. The University apologized and paid a settlement sum. 

Serina – assault from a caregiver

Serina lived in a children’s home in a rural European village, managed by an American missionary and his wife and funded by a large church in a wealthy corner of the USA. Serina experienced a brutal sexual assault at the age of 15 from an employee at the children’s home. She told the children’s home managers, but they didn’t believe her. 

Serina eventually told us her story when we were gathering evidence for another case. Her case settled out of court in the United States. Since then, she has been able to access and afford first-class therapy for the PTSD she suffers because of the sexual assault. Today Serina is married with her own children. Her memories of what happened to her leave her fearing for her own children’ safety. 

Sexual Assault at UIUCSexual Assault at UIUC
Hear from survivor Xing Zhao, whistleblower Ao Wang, and the team at McAllister Olivarius on the case against Gang “Gary” Xu.
Marie Nebesarova talks about sexual harassment at workMarie Nebesarova talks about sexual harassment at work
Marie was sexually harassed by her manager who tried to bribe her with promotions for sexual favours.

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I will always be grateful for your unwavering support of me. Equally, I will always be grateful for showing me how to find my voice and strength.

Title IX case against UCLA, client confidential

It was such a weight off our shoulders; suddenly somebody else with a lot more experience was managing the case.

Sandeep Mander, Mander v. Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

We really thought that there was nothing that anybody could do for us. We were wrong.

Dr Celeste Kidd, Aslin et al v. University of Rochester et al

To get the result you got you must be as tough with your legal opposites as you are kind and understanding to your clients.

AOA client, confidential

Compared with other law firms I’ve worked with, no one matches the combination that McO has of experience, brilliance, ferocious fighting and deep empathy for their clients.

Dr Holly Atkinson, Atkinson et al v. Mount Sinai Health System, Inc. et al

Because my case could not bear public scrutiny, a very powerful institution used massive financial resources to try to crush me for asking for my disability rights. This was a huge mistake, as they didn’t know that I would obtain McO representation. I couldn’t ask for better representation.

Disability Rights client, confidential

I would like to say from bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you to all the team. Now I can go and forget my former employer. God bless you all.

Unfair Dismissal client, confidential