Kelso’s experience at the Royal Commission

Royal Commission Public Hearing

Image Courtesy Federal Government

Peter Kelso and his team have presented the Royal Commission with some of their most significant witnesses.

Kelso’s represented a client in December 2013 at the Royal Commission’s public hearing into Towards Healing – the Catholic Church’s controversial response to abuse complaints.

In February 2014, Peter represented four clients who were abused at the Parramatta Girls Training School in Sydney. Four months later, he represented two clients who were abused at Marist College in Canberra. Peter then travelled to Perth to represent a client who was assaulted by one of the Christian Brothers.


Why Peter Kelso and his team specialise in helping abuse victims

The Kelso’s team is based in Newcastle and Sydney, but Peter and his staff represent people across Australia. There is no other law firm in Australia with the same specialised focus on representing clients who were abused as children.

Kelso’s have been helping victims of abuse find the justice they so sorely deserve since 1988. The firm conducts the largest number of claims for compensation for victims in New South Wales.

Peter’s unrelenting drive to help victims of abuse is a constant source of inspiration for his team and his clients and this passion for justice is due in no small part to Peter’s own personal experiences.

If you haven’t read Peter’s personal story, now might be a good time. You’ll start to understand why Peter’s firm specialise in helping victims at the Royal Commission.

This work has become my purpose in life. I am passionate about it. I know that when I take my last breath, I will have helped thousands of people to achieve what they needed, in order to start healing. There is a lot of personal joy and reward in that.

Peter Kelso


What compensation have you won for your clients?

The average award we have achieved for clients is $228,403. The highest award we have achieved is $500,000, coming from the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.

Awards are getting steadily higher as time goes by and more institutions appear before the Royal Commission. The more these atrocities are revealed to the general public, the more pressure that is cast onto the institutions responsible to deliver justice.

If your experience falls within the Royal Commission’s terms of reference, there is a good chance Peter and the team will be able to achieve a compensation payout for you.

However, the process of achieving compensation has nothing to do with the Royal Commission. It requires separate legal proceedings. It is more than likely that your case will be strengthened by the Royal Commission’s findings.

I used my compensation to pay off my children’s debts and to buy my daughter a new car. I also took my wife away for a holiday at a resort. We’ve never had a holiday like that before.

Kelso’s client

If you tell your story to the Royal Commission, you never have to tell it again. You tell it once and it’s over. The government will pay Kelso’s to represent you and Peter will do all the negotiating with people from your past.

We help to achieve what you need, whether that is an acknowledgement of what happened, an apology that is meaningful or a detailed understanding of events that have been hidden.

After the commission, Peter may be able to work on your behalf to achieve financial compensation, even if you have received payouts before.

I got my financial settlement from the Catholic Church within seven days of it being negotiated. I used it to pay off my mortgage and go on an overseas holiday with my son.

Kelso’s client


The time to act is now

If you’re ready to share your story, make sure you get in touch with Peter and our team. We can give you the best possible chance to achieve fair compensation and win the fight for justice


About Peter Kelso

I am a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. I have been admitted to practice since 1984. I am the principal and founder of Kelso Lawyers which has operated in Newcastle since 1986.

I have been an advocate for compensation for victims of abuse since the commencement of the Victims Compensation Tribunal in New South Wales in 1988. I conduct the largest victims practice in New South Wales. I have a high level of engagement with numerous NGOs such as woman’s refuges, sexual assault services, community organisations and healing centres.

On 31 October 2012 I was a finalist for the Justice Medal, presented by the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales.

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