Hogan Lovells collaborates with Surviving Economic Abuse Charity to address legal remedies for Economic Abuse

Hogan Lovells collaborates with Surviving Economic Abuse Charity to address legal remedies for Economic Abuse

Press releases | 08 March 2022

London, 8 March 2022 – To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, global law firm Hogan Lovells has published a pro bono report exploring “Legal Remedies for Economic Abuse”. This report, published in collaboration with the charity, Surviving Economic Abuse is the first of its kind in the UK.

The report is a professional’s guide through the various legal routes for compensation, and practical issues to navigate, when someone is experiencing economic abuse. 

Economic abuse is a form of domestic abuse. It involves the control of a partner’s or ex-partner’s economic resources, including money and the things that money can buy, such as accommodation, food, or transport. Despite affecting the majority of those experiencing domestic abuse in the UK, economic abuse is rarely given focus in public and political spheres. However, it can be devastating and has long-lasting effects for individuals who have or are experiencing abuse even after leaving a perpetrator. 

The report has an innovative focus on the importance of reparations for this specific group of survivors, and advocates for more reparations to be paid to those who are or have experienced abuse through the criminal justice system. To inform the recommendations, Hogan Lovells consulted with experts from the charity, Surviving Economic Abuse to highlight a few key areas of change, including:

  1. Prosecutors should use the Controlling or Coercive Behaviour offence in tandem with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2000 so that those who are experiencing abuse can be compensated for what has happened.
  2. Legal professionals should advocate that occupation orders will set out financial arrangements as well as where people will live.
  3. Those who have experienced or are experiencing abuse should be exempt from the legal aid means test so that they have the legal support they need to access remedies for economic abuse.

Hogan Lovells partner Richard Lewis said, “This report covers a range of possible routes of reparation for those who have experienced abuse who are or were in an intimate relationship with their perpetrator at a relatively high level, to be as helpful as possible to as many people as possible. This report aims to help professionals working with those who have experienced or are experiencing abuse navigate the legal routes to redress available. We are pleased to have worked on the report alongside Surviving Economic Abuse Charity”.

Dr Nicola Sharp Jeffs, CEO and Founder of Surviving Economic Abuse said, “Economic abuse keeps those who have or are experiencing abuse tied to an perpetrator unable to reach safety and rebuild their lives independently. It is vital that the legal sector looks at routes to compensation, both to obtain economic justice and as a practical way for those experiencing abuse to gain the economic safety which is often jeapordised by such abuse. We are delighted to have worked with Hogan Lovells to produce this report which provides practical steps for professionals to use legal channels available to them and help survivors move on with their lives. We pay tribute to the survivors who have bravely shared their experience in this report.”

Last year, Hogan Lovells was separately appointed as a "Beacon" by the Employers' Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA), building on its longstanding membership of EIDA and furthering the firm's commitment to tackling domestic abuse. Hogan Lovells joined six other law firms to launch the Domestic Abuse Response Alliance (DARA) to provide pro bono legal advice and representation to survivors of domestic abuse in need of protective injunctions. 

Hogan Lovells also has a team of Domestic Abuse Champions who have already taken part in the first of a two part training session with Hestia and was successful in its application for an Everyone’s Business award which was announced in December last year. The award recognises the firm’s work supporting its people and their families who are affected by domestic abuse, as well as shining a light on the terrible impact of abuse and encouraging other employers to take action too.

To read “Legal remedies for Economic Abuse”, please click here.

Thanks go to Surviving Economic Abuse https://survivingeconomicabuse.org/ and the seven pro bono volunteers who worked on this guide, which was led by partner Richard Lewis, senior associate Rhian Lewis, and associate Jade Rigby.