An accomplished and energetic family law barrister,
Sarah specialises in acting for children, vulnerable parents and local
authorities in public law proceedings. There is an international dimension to
her work; she regularly handles leave to remove cases and Hague and non-Hague
child abduction cases. A founder member of Coram Mediation, she is qualified to
mediate in all civil disputes. She also accepts Public Access work.
Sarah’s involvement in and enthusiasm for
children’s issues dates back to her time as a researcher in the House of
Commons where she advised an MP and developed in him an interest in legislation
relating to the care and wellbeing of children. She was responsible for the
drafting of the ‘Regulation of Childcare Providers Bill’ which subsequently
became law on its incorporation into the Children Act.
In addition, her experience of carrying out legal
protection work for the United Nation High Commission for Refugees in Iran and
Afghanistan and her time spent teaching English as a foreign language to
children in China, Japan and Taiwan has given her valuable insight and
understanding of the rights of children in diverse cultures, which she brings
to the benefit of her current work.
Today she also has a thriving practice in private
law proceedings and acts for parents and children separately represented
through their guardian,
Her recent work has encompassed a wide range of
cases and clients:
·Care proceedings involving a mother’s
abnormal illness behaviour where the child was removed and placed with
its father – consequential Court of Appeal judgment established
precedent that a judge is entitled to impose a condition of contact that a parent
should undergo a risk assessment, including a psychiatric referral
·Acting for a father convicted of
murdering the mother in the presence of the child which set precedent
concerning the appropriate time to respond threshold, where conflict of
interest between the interests of the client in the criminal proceedings and
the need for swift resolution in family proceedings
·Care proceedings involving a Romanian
trafficked child, drafting skeleton arguments and arguing in the High Court;
dealing with care proceedings and the High Court jurisdiction hearing
·Parental alienation/implacable
hostility case – instructed for the father and successfully argued for change
of residence and consequential proceedings in the High Court
·Acted in care proceedings for a
mother with learning disabilities requiring an intermediary for court, where
she argued the need for an intermediary and secured the service
·Acted for a mother in a
non-accidental injury case involving broken bones. Following the finding of
uncertain perpetrator, she successfully argued for rehabilitation to the
mother’s care
·Hague and non-Hague convention child
abduction cases
·Factitious illness by proxy,
non-accidental injury and sexual abuse cases.
She has experience of acting at all levels of
court, regularly appears in the High Court and has successfully brought a
number of cases to the Court of Appeal. Described as creative and a keen
fighter, she’s direct in her manner, straightforward and feisty.
An approachable ‘people person’, Sarah has
tremendous rapport and empathy with clients from all walks of life. She draws
on the skills she learned as a teacher to explain complex legal issues in
simple language to vulnerable clients, those with learning difficulties, and
those from different ethnic backgrounds. She truly understands the
responsibility she bears to help people face traumatic family issues at a
challenging time in their lives; she works long and hard, regularly going the
extra mile for clients.
Sarah is very IT literate and uses technology to
enhance the high levels of service she provides, creating and processing
documentation quickly and efficiently, and carrying out in-depth internet
research in support of her cases.
As a committed member of Coram Mediation, and
having successfully mediated agreements in Iran, Sarah is a firm believer in
the power of the mediation process to provide the best outcomes for clients,
and she will make herself available out of hours and at weekends if her
services are required.
Practice areas
Family Law Bar Association
Association of Lawyers for Children
Middle Temple
Speaker on ‘The Use of Intermediaries’, a highly
successful event co-hosted with a representative from Communicourt on July
14th, 2015.
BA (Hons)–University of
Graduate Diploma in Law (merit) – University of Westminster
Bar vocational course (very competent) – Inns of Court School of Law, City
·Chinese – basic
·Japanese – basic

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