I would sincerely like to thank the team at Koffels Solicitors & Barristers, especially Stephen Dixon, for the care and the delicacy in which they handled my matter.
After testifying at the Royal commission and then letting my brothers know what I had done (we all attended the same school) they encouraged me to take further action. I mentioned this to my wife who backed and supported me. She had seen firsthand the psychological, physical and emotional scars from the events during my childhood schooling, and we were referred to yourself as having specialised experience in the matters arising from institutional childhood sexual abuse.
At the very beginning I was tentative. Not knowing what to expect, nor having the confidence that I would be heard. After our first meeting with both yourself and Stephen, you outlined a plan and a timeline as to what to expect. Even with both yourselves and Stephen’s confidence in the matter, after my experience as a child, my background instincts would kick in. I would second guess if what I was doing was the right thing to do, and if I would come out the outer end unscathed. I would wonder what people would think of me and if others such as my old ‘alma mater’ would find out.
All of my worries were to no avail. Every step of the process was thoroughly explained; when Stephen would call or touch base it would be in a caring fashion as he helped me to navigate the path. As favourable the final outcome was, it is only one part of my journey of recovery. There is still a long way to go. I am very happy with how your team handled my situation, and if there are ever others who are faced with this predicament I am more than happy to help and assist in talking to them in order to put their mind at ease
I sought some advice for a friend regarding savings held in an overseas account and it's implications under the new [CRS] Common Reporting Standard. I had the good fortune to stumble across Jess Hui's contact online. Jess was able to put my mind at rest, being fully fluent in all recondite aspects of the new global bank data sharing initiatives. Answers to my questions were given out concisely and thoughtfully, mindful of any extended contingencies not covered in my original questions. Full marks Jess and thanks again.
“No-one wants to have to start a legal matter…but if you’re going to go down that road, I would certainly recommend Koffels for such sensitive matters. I first met with Ross where we discussed what had happened and got his feedback and advice as to where this would go and how we could proceed. I got the feeling that he and I were in this together and that he would do his very best for a successful outcome. If there were any doubts (legally) about the success of the matter, Ross explained them to me so I could be involved in the decision process (as to whether there was a case and the likelihood of success). Later I met with members of his team to go through strategies and what I had to do. At all points of the process it was my decision as to how much I could contribute. My matter was deeply emotional but at all stages, the team was sensitive to my plight. They had very effective resources at their disposal and I met with psychiatrists to get to the heart of my matter. Towards the end of the case, they did their very best to get the maximum benefit for me and they definitely achieved this goal. Many thanks to Ross and the team at Koffels.”
To whom it may concern,
Koffels successfully represented me on a Damages Claim that we placed against an Institution that was remiss in their legal duties. The damage I sustained was a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, that has affected the prior 30 years of my adult life, unchecked. To add to my woes, subconsciously I had placed myself in a state of denial to the harms and atrocities that I was subjected to while in attendance at the school as a boy. There is no denying that the emotional stress encountered when I first raise my grievances and through the process of legal redress, was exhaustive, but necessary for me to experience the full benefit of confirming the harm caused to me by others, within the context of a legal setting. Throughout the matter, the Koffels Team gave me clear understanding of my legal rights, clear direction on the legal processes that needed to be followed, they were always sensitive of my concerns and they enabled me to have access to experts in associated disciplines to my needs. These are the deciding factors in our realising the successful outcome that we did, the benefit of which is the creation of closure on the matter for me. The gratitude I hold for the Koffels Team, for their professionalism and expertise on this matter is beyond words and I subsequently provide for you, my strongest recommendation to engage with their services if your need should arrive.
As Edmund Burke said “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. So when I saw you being interviewed on the 7.30 Report by Leigh Sales I knew we would not be silent any longer I knew you were our man when I saw you interviewed as you seemed ‘to get it’. I rang Koffels the next day, received a positive response from your office and an interview was promptly arranged. From the very first time we met you we were treated with respect, compassion and patience. We felt we were taken seriously. Even though we only met a few times in person throughout the two year process we felt well supported and informed. All Koffels staff were polite, prompt and professional. I know that no win no pay lawyers sometimes have a poor reputation in the community but without this form of arrangement average citizens are often without recourse to justice from the law as costs are so prohibitive. Many friends suggested we should go to a more prominent firm and that ‘no win no pay lawyers’ are somehow second rate outfits. Your firm is a champion for the underdog. The Church is a legal, financial and political juggernaut with seemingly unlimited resources. A David and Goliath battle if you will. Litigious action seems to get a bad rap with the public however there was no other legal vehicle by which to hold the Church/Marist Brothers to account.
We found Frank Tuscano to be a fabulous champion to have on our side. We only met him once in his chambers one week prior to the mediation but we liked him immediately. He was straight talking, friendly, reassuring and having a strong command of the brief. Everything that he said would happen came to fruition, all as he predicted it would. We are fans of Frank. What a wonderful, skilled advocate to have fighting the good fight.
Stephen Dixon was also a wonderful advocate. He was calm, patient, accessible and compassionate. He was always measured, reliable and knowledgeable. We appreciated his wise advice and counsel. Kayla Lance was also ever gracious.
John and I were also impressed with the mediation process. Richard Weinstein oozed confidence, professionalism and humanity within a formal process. We knew instantly he could be trusted. Thus it was not surprising that with all you wonderful advocates that the day concluded with such a magnificent outcome with a minimum of trauma. It really felt like a moral victory, with good triumphing over evil and the truth prevailing.
You are all to be congratulated on the outcome which is a significant financial outcome for us, more than we had hoped for. The money has been shared with Peter’s family. We remain deeply indebted to you all and have appreciated the kindnesses shown to us. You cannot really know how much this ‘win’ has meant to us personally, to allow the matter to pass peacefully into history. The story has come full circle to an ending that seems right and just.
We will certainly recommend your firm's services to any other child sex abuse victims that we may encounter particularly as the criminal matter unfolds. Thank you Ross, we wish you all good health and prosperity at Koffels. You can be rightly proud of your people.