Solicitor, Head of Abuse Claims
Peter qualified as a Solicitor in 1981. He was the Senior Partner with Abney Garsden Solicitors, before it merged with Simpson Millar in 2016.
Peter specialises in leading Child Abuse claims. In 1994 he established and headed the practice’s Child Abuse department, which is now one of the largest dedicated Abuse Compensation departments in the country.
Since 1996 Peter has been Lead Solicitor in more than 25 different Group Actions involving over 1,000 Claimants, including the largest award achieved in the area of Child Abuse Group Actions. Peter won £2.3million on behalf of 165 Claimants who suffered abuse in care homes managed by Manchester City Council. Following the award, he was named The Times’ Lawyer of the week.
He has lectured and is a regular contributor on the subject of child abuse litigation in both legal journals and the national press.
In 1997 Peter helped to set up the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL), a claimant-based organisation of compensation abuse Lawyers dedicated to raising the standards of advice through training and support, of which he is now President. He is also a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse.
In 2017 Peter was recommended by the Legal 500. They said, "Peter Garsden leads an incredibly dedicated, knowledgeable and hardworking team that is always willing to work even harder and push boundaries to secure the best outcomes for very badly damaged people."
Peter has devoted most of his professional life to supporting the victims of child abuse. He does a lot of legal work, without charge, to support charities and groups set up to assist victims of abuse.
Interests outside of work
Peter enjoys musical theatre, amateur dramatics, skiing (both water and snow), and flying his radio control model gliders in the hills around Leek. Along with his wife Peter also fosters children.
Peter was awarded Claimant Lawyer of the Year at the Personal Injury Awards 2018.
Peter won the Lifetime Achievement award at the Claims Management Awards in 2017. He was also awarded the Solicitor of the Year at the Law Society Excellence Awards in 2015 and Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year at the Manchester Legal Awards in March 2013.
In selecting Peter for the award the judges said, "Peter combines managing the practice, his own demanding case load, charitable work, and successfully campaigning and lobbying government on behalf of some of the most vulnerable members of society".