Sarah is a partner in the children and education law team. She specialises in complex cases involving vulnerable adults and children during care proceedings and family disputes such as child arrangement orders and contact.
Chambers UK (2019) note that Sarah has significant experience in public children matters, acting in serious cases involving non-accidental injury and forced marriage, as well as private law and adoption proceedings. One source comments: "Sarah is an outstanding solicitor in this field, who is incredibly knowledgeable and goes above and beyond for her clients".
She ranked as a leading individual in The Legal 500 (2019) and described as a "superlative strategist who always goes the extra mile for vulnerable clients".
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. She handles these highly emotional cases with sensitivity and kindness.
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
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.
- Represented 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
- Represented five children in a complex case which lasted nine weeks in the High Court where the children had been harmed by their parents
- Represented a 15 year old boy accused of serious crimes against his siblings in a four week trial in the High Court
- Acted in two adoptions in which the birth families tried to oppose the applications
- Represents adopters who have children placed with them from Scotland
- Deals with the complexity of children being placed from outside of the England and Wales
- Chambers UK (2018) say that she is a dedicated children law practitioner and mediator whose experience spans public, private and adoption matters. Interviewees report that "she's a really strong advocate and a real fighter for her clients. She gives people very clear, robust advice."
- Recognised by The Legal 500 (2017) as a 'leader in her field'. Described as "outstanding at representing both parents and children in public law proceedings, with a combination of compassion and strategic acumen that puts her head and shoulders above the crowd."
- Resolution mediator - Sarah is committed to helping clients match the legal process best suited to their needs reaching a lasting outcome in a constructive, practical, tailored and cost effective manner
- 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
- She is described in The Legal 500 (2015) as someone who “represents vulnerable parties with a rare combination of tenacity and grace”
- Recommended in The Legal 500 (2014) which describes her as "fantastic”
- Obtained a degree from the Royal Melbourne University of Technology having moved to the UK from Australia in 1990
- Completed her legal qualifications in the UK whilst working as a case worker and police station representative for a criminal practice