Sexual Abuse Survivor to Take Legal Action Following Priest’s Death


December 2021

Simpson Millar is instructed to bring a claim for compensation against the estate of Michael Studdert

Law firm Simpson Millar has been appointed to pursue legal action in a bid to secure compensation for an individual who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of the former priest Michael Studdert.

The high-profile paedophile, who died in 2017, aged 78, worked in Langley, Middleton during the 1960s and is believed to have abused children in England, Wales, Poland, Denmark and Italy.

On three occasions between 1988 and 2006, Michael Studdert was convicted of various charges relating to his possession of indecent images of children. In 1988, he was convicted on four counts of possessing these images whilst working as a chaplain at Eagle House School in Berkshire.

In September 2006, Studdert pleaded guilty to 26 counts of possessing, making and distributing indecent images of children, with more than 100,000 explicit images having been found in his home.

Expert solicitors at Simpson Millar have now been instructed by one former Eagle House School pupil, and is offering their support in accessing compensation to anyone else that may have suffered at the hands of Michael Studdert.

Specialist Abuse Solicitor, Nathalie Swanwick, said: “This is a truly horrific story which has left so many questions unanswered.

“Money from the estate has been set aside specifically to help anyone who may have suffered sexual abuse from Michael Studdert.

“We are now instructed by one individual and are in the early stages of bringing legal action in order secure compensation for them, and we strongly urge anybody who feels they may have been a victim to look into making a claim.”

Studdert worked as Curate at All Saints and Martyrs, Langley, between 1966 and 1969, before joining All Saints in Fleet, Hampshire between 1969 and 1973. Studdert was later banned by the Church of England from performing in any priestly capacity.

Following his time as Curate, Studdert worked as a teacher at the Guildford Church of England Secondary School, and was later employed by Eagle House School in Berkshire between 1977 and 1988.

The former Anglican Minister died in August 2017, leaving his £4.7m estate to a charity he had set up. The High Court has ruled that the funds must not be spent until any potential victims of abuse are found, with compensation claims likely to impact the funds destined for Studdert’s beneficiaries.

The High Court has found that there is a real prospect that Michael Studdert committed sexual offences which “may have given rise to personal injury claims against the deceased and hence his estate”. As a result, the Court wishes to give victims notice of Mr Studdert’s death, and the opportunity to seek legal redress for their pain and suffering.

The Solicitors acting on behalf of the estate have been directed by the Court to take steps to instruct a specialist firm to begin preliminary work to set up a compensation scheme. An outline of the scheme is now being put together for the Court to consider.

If you would like to talk to someone in complete confidence, please do not hesitate to call Abuse Solicitor Nathalie Swanwick on 0345 357 9239, or request a call back.

Simpson Millar has been helping abuse victims claim their legal rights for more than 20 years.

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Simpson Millar Solicitors are a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Billingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Catterick, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester.