Who? Alan Collins, 49, child abuse and personal injury partner at the London office of Pannone.
Why is he in the news? He is acting for victims of the late TV and radio presenter Jimmy Savile, who are calling for a single overarching inquiry into how Savile was able to escape prosecution despite abusing hundreds of children over 50 years.
There are currently an estimated 30 separate investigations under way. Collins and many of his clients believe a single inquiry would concentrate resources and be better able to collate information and get to the truth.
Thoughts on the case: ‘Historically, there had been concerns all the way up to Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet in the 1980s, when she was advised not to knight Savile because of the negative media coverage he was getting. And yet someone at the BBC still thought he was suitable to present children’s programmes. A comprehensive investigation is urgently required.’
Dealing with the media: ‘Harrowing and frustrating because we were pushing water uphill. The press focused on the salacious detail rather than how to stop it happening again.’
Route to the case: ‘One of the victims of abuse at the Haut de la Garenne children’s home in Jersey claimed he had been abused by Savile. When the Savile affair blew up in the UK, we revisited the Jersey claim and that was the springboard for our representing 60 victims.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘I was hooked after going on a school trip to the local magistrates’ court aged 14.’
Career high: ‘The Jersey case. We agreed a compensation scheme in late 2012 to compensate victims who had been abused as long ago as the 1940s.’
Career low: ‘We settled a case in Kenya and one of the women involved emailed me to say that I was the father of her 12 children. I was disconcerted until I realised that this was her way of honouring me for the work I had done.’