Russell Cooke Kingston Upon Thames

About Sarah

Being described as the calm in a frightening storm has always stuck with me. As a specialist in children law representing clients from diverse backgrounds I strive to ensure my clients remain at the core of the work I do on their cases, by making them feel understood, listened to and fully supported, after all it is their family I am getting through this storm.

Sarah specialises in complex cases involving vulnerable adults and children during care proceedings and family disputes such as children spending time with and/or living with one family member. In this changing world of how families develop and are formed, Sarah has the ability to adapt and change as well as take on new challenges to meet her clients changing needs.

Sarah is particularly experienced in advising and representing children, parents and family members in difficult and sensitive cases which are often life changing for families - for example, where there are issues of parental drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence and or a mental health difficulty. Sarah has a reputation for being able to tackle a difficult area in a case such as mental health without being phased by the added complexities. Many cases often involve allegations of sexual abuse or physical harm to children. She handles these highly emotional cases with sensitivity and kindness.

Sarah is also experienced in international and domestic adoption and surrogacy and advising LGBTQ+ families. 

Sarah Richardson has a mixture of fantastic legal knowledge, down to earth common sense, and real sensitivity to be able to work with and represent vulnerable teenagers.
The Legal 500 (2024)

She also advises on:

  • adoption cases both in the UK and internationally
  • abduction cases where a parent wishes to remove children from the UK without the consent of the other parent or other family members
  • forced marriage cases where one or both parties do not consent to the marriage or consent is given under emotional or physical duress, including representing parties on both sides in the High Court
  • deprivation of liberty applications for both children and parents
  • disputes with social workers about assisting families, especially when children have mental health challenges and may also be beyond parental control
  • assisting clients either wanting to be foster carers or who are currently foster carers who are in dispute with the local authority and/or agency

Sarah is an experienced advocate undertaking the majority of her own advocacy including trials giving the client a high standard of service from start to finish of the case.

Sarah is incredibly pragmatic - she gives appropriate advice and isn't afraid to give it, but she also wants to get the right result and do her best by her clients.
Chambers UK (2024)

Experience

  • Representing a father, in the High Court, who had not been permitted to see his daughter for nine months - concluded with him having the child spend overnights with him again
  • Representing a teenager who suffers from a serious and debilitating medical condition who wished to travel to Europe for treatment, for which a High Court judge gave permission
  • Representing five children in a complex case which lasted nine weeks in the High Court where the children had been harmed by their parents
  • Representing a 15 year old boy accused of serious crimes against his siblings in a four week trial in the High Court
  • Acting in two adoptions in which the birth families tried to oppose the applications
  • Representing adopters who have children placed with them from Scotland
  • Dealing with the complexity of children being placed outside of England and Wales such as to Australia, Norway, Ireland and many other countries

Memberships

  • Member of the Law Society's Children Panel
  • Member of the Association of Lawyers for Children (ALC) and Resolution (formerly the Solicitors' Family Law Association)
  • Member of the National Association of Guardians ad litem and Reporting Officers

Awards and accreditations

Sarah's highlights

News

09.02.2024

The Government has succeeded in its plan to reduce spending on legal aid—but at what cost?

Partner Sarah Richardson highlights the release of a National Audit Office (NAO) report, shedding light on the Government's...
Sarah Richardson, Partner in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, family and children team.
Sarah Richardson
2 min Read
News

11.01.2024

The ‘one-stop shop’ for families—Family Hubs and Start for Life now 'open' in local authorities across half the country

Following today’s announcement from the Department for Education (DfE), unveiling the Family Hubs and Start for Life programme, partner Sarah Richardson...
Sarah Richardson, Partner in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, family and children team.
Sarah Richardson
2 min Read
News

27.06.2023

Russell-Cooke welcomes senior children law specialist Amy Chapman

Amy Chapman (1) Sarah Richardson, Partner in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, family and children team.
Multiple Authors
1 min Read
Amy Chapman, Sarah Richardson
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