Stuart Gale QC told the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry there was evidence of a “Quarriers way” similar to the “Jersey way” of protecting powerful figures and preventing whistle-blowing.
Speaking during closing statements of phase one of the inquiry, he also said survivors are disappointed with the “weasel words” used by some organisations to avoid issuing full, unequivocal apologies for abuse under their care.
More than 20 former residents of Quarriers during the 1970s have complained of abuse.
Gale said Quarriers “continue to underplay the extent of abuse that occurred within the institution and the attendant failures of their systems to prevent abuse.”
Victims have criticised Quarriers and numerous other organisations for the lack of record-keeping at the time of the abuse and possible removal of records in later years.
Mr Gale added: “We cannot understate the further harm caused to survivors by the intimidation of witnesses in the criminal trials and the tactics deployed on behalf of Quarriers in the civil litigations, which were designed to doubt the evidence of those whose abusers had been convicted.”
Quarriers were contacted but could not be reached for comment.