Get to know our new senior associate, Kathleen Hallisey in the latest episode of the HJ Talks About Abuse podcast. Feleena and Kathleen discuss Kathleen’s passion for helping vulnerable people to combat institutional abuse, and her big move from the US to practice law in the UK.
Originally from the US, she began her legal career in New York before moving to the UK and becoming a solicitor. Throughout her career, she has exclusively acted on behalf of claimants, including those who suffered catastrophic injuries on the road or at work, were dismissed from their jobs as a result of discrimination, or sexually assaulted on university campuses.
For nearly the past decade, Kathleen has focused her practice solely on abuse claims.
In this week’s podcast, Kathleen said, “Doing abuse work reminded me of why I became a lawyer in the first place.”
In 2015, she acted on behalf of a client who brought the first successful claim against the Jehovah’s Witnesses for childhood sexual abuse, A v The Trustees of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society & Others  EWHC 1722 (QB) Kathleen was so affected by the her client’s profound bravery as well as the obstinate refusal of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation to change its safeguarding policies that she campaigned with survivors and activists at Westminster and hand delivered a letter to Downing Street urging an inquiry into the issue of child sexual abuse in the organisation.
In the intervening years, she was contacted by survivors of abuse in the Jehovah’s Witnesses from around the world and in 2017 was privileged to co-host an international conference shedding light on the issue with the Center for Investigative Reporting in the US.
Aside from her deep passion for the issue of abuse in the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation, Kathleen brings her thirst for justice in acting for all survivors of abuse and has pursued cases against all manner of institutions including the Catholic Church, Church of England, Church of Wales, Scouts, Jesus Army and various public schools.
Kathleen is a regular media contributor and has appeared in the BBC, Sky, BBC Radio, Women’s Hour, LBC, The Times, The Guardian, and The Observer Magazine.