The guidance emphasizes on legally-recognised form of abuse including control of a partner's or ex-partner's resources.
The new practical guidance by Hogan Lovells for lawyers addressing cases of economic abuse survivors aims to increase awareness about economic abuse in the civil and criminal justice systems in the UK.
In the report titled 'Legal Remedies for Economic Abuse', the guidance is contained in the firm's pro bono. Partnering with a UK-based charity Surviving Economic Abuse, Hogan Lovells published it to raise awareness around the issue of economic abuse, on occasion of International Women's Day. According to the firm, the report strives to empower legal professionals with practical tools to help survivors with adequate compensation and obtain justice for the actions taken against them.
Believed to be first of its kind, the report, focusing on compensations for survivors of economic abuse specifically, was written by Richard Lewis, Partner, Hogan Lovells, Rhian Lewis, Senior Associate and Jade Rigby, Associate. They worked with Surviving Economic Abuse and several pro bono volunteers to populate the details of the guidance.
Speaking about the report, 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. We are pleased to have worked on the report alongside Surviving Economic Abuse Charity."
A legally recognized form of domestic abuse, economic abuse is wherein one controls their partner's or ex-partner's economic resources, including money and assets like accommodation, and services like food or transport. In the UK, one in six women face economic abuse, stated the charity. The victims often face abusive situations given that their economic means are controlled by their abuser.
Hogan Lovells through the actionable guidance for lawyers is hoping to initiate an innovative way on the compensation for the survivors of a form of domestic abuse which is rarely recognized in public and political spheres.
The report highlights key areas of focus requiring change including the reference for prosecutors to use the Controlling or Coercive Behaviour offence in accordance with other charges that are simpler to be used.
It also urges legal professionals to look into occupation orders that initiate financial provisions to aid victims in securing housing and uplift their financial state which in turn lets them reshape their lives. To be able to seek satisfactory adequate legal support while accessing ways to address economic abuse, the victims should be also excused from the legal aid means test.
Nicola Sharp Jeffs, CEO and founder of Surviving Economic Abuse, noted that it was "vital" for the legal sector to focus on seeking ways to compensate survivors of economic abuse to help them gain economic justice and as basis 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," she said.
Hogan Lovells joined Travers Smith, Debevoise & Plimpton, Gibson Dunn, Latham & Watkins, Reed Smith and Slaughter and May in February, 2022 to launch the Domestic Abuse Response Alliance - an initiative to present pro bono legal advice and representation to survivors of domestic abuse, who required protective injunctions in the UK.
Hogan Lovells also on boarded its first-ever international pro bono partner last year following the promotion of Yasmin Waljee pro bono director to the partnership in January, nearly 25 years after Waljee became the firm's first dedicated UK pro bono lawyer in 1997.