Susannah Johnson is a civil practitioner undertaking a range of child law and personal injury work, with a particular emphasis on claimant child abuse, an area she has been working in as a senior junior since 2009.
As well as being noted for her advocacy skills, Susannah is known for her sound judgment and for her sensitive approach to vulnerable clients.
Susannah is based in London and has been in practice at 7BR since 1997.
Child & Family
Susannah is a highly experienced advocate who regularly appears in the High Court in complex public and private law cases. She acts for parents, guardians and local authorities and acts for parents in international child abduction cases. Susannah also has experience in forced marriage and Court of Protection cases. She has attracted positive comment on her advocacy skills from both clients and the judiciary.
Susannah is a contributor to Family Law Journal and to chambers run seminars and events, giving talks on areas of topical interest.
- Family Law Bar Association
Child & Family Cases
- London Borough of Haringey v L (2008-2010): Care and abduction proceedings under High Court inherent jurisdiction. Representation of parent in complex case of neglect and abduction of three children.
- London Borough of Tower Hamlets v M (2010): High Court wardship proceedings. Representation of child after attempted murder of baby by parent.
- Hertfordshire County Council v G (2012): Representation of parent with learning difficulties concerning allegations of serious non-accidental injury and neglect.
- London Borough of Newham v J (2013): Representation of parent in care proceedings involving international trafficking and sexual exploitation.
- London Borough of Islington v G & D (2014): Representation of parent in care proceedings involving proposal for international adoption of subject child.
Susannah has considerable experience across a broad range of civil cases. She specialises in Claimant personal injury work based on historical and recent sexual and physical abuse in institutional settings such as schools, places of detention and care homes and in the context of the care system.
Susannah is frequently instructed on behalf of individuals and claimants in group actions based on negligence and vicarious liability against the Ministry of Justice, local authorities, organs of the Catholic Church and other religious organisations in relation to institutions including:
- Medomsley Detention Centre
- St William’s Children’s Home
- Rosehill Assessment Centre
Susannah set up and is head of the Claimant Child Abuse group at 7BR. As a highly experienced former criminal practitioner and specialised rape prosecutor Susannah is used to dealing with the difficulties often encountered in sexual abuse cases and in advising on matters of disclosure, public interest immunity and privilege.
Susannah advises on strategy in the context of concurrent criminal and civil proceedings and the tensions that can arise between the differing rules about disclosure in criminal and civil cases.
Susannah is regarded as a highly skilled advocate with a sensitive approach to cases and as someone that clients find open and easy to talk to about difficult and distressing matters.
- Personal Injury Bar Association
- Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
Personal Injury Cases
- Various Claimants v The Catholic Child Welfare Society (Diocese of Middlesbrough) (1) and The Trustees of the Middlesbrough Diocesan Rescue Society (2) (St William’s litigation) (2009 to present): Ongoing group action involving widespread historical, sexual and physical abuse.
- Various Claimants v The Ministry of Justice (2009, 2012, 2014): Serious sexual and physical abuse of young men held at Medomsley Detention Centre, County Durham. Multiple cases settled in claimants’ favour. The abuse is currently the subject of an investigation by Durham Police.
- E v Birmingham City Council (2013): Allegations of historic sexual and physical abuse and negligence by the local authority settled in favour of Claimant.
- P v A City Council (2013): Recent allegations of sexual abuse by a teacher for which employers were vicariously liable and negligence by local authority in failing to carry out proper statutory checks. Claim settled in Claimant’s favour.
- P v A County Council (2014): Historical allegations of physical and sexual abuse and unlawful administration of medication by psychiatrist in a children’s home; negligence and vicarious liability alleged against local authority. Claim settled in Claimant’s favour.