1 Garden Court

Practice Overview

Sarah acts in all aspects of the law relating to children. In public law Sarah represents local authorities, parents, guardians and competent children. Sam has particular expertise in cases which involve risk of harm from radicalisation, death and non-accidental injuries, allegations of serious sexual abuse, child trafficking and cross examination of expert and vulnerable witnesses. In private law Sarah acts in disputes between parents and other significant adults including cases involving serious harm and internal and international relocation. Sarah also practices in Family-related Judicial Review and some Court of Protection cases.

  • Children (public law)

    Sarah’s  practice at both first instance and appellate level covers the full range of the most serious public law children work. Much of her work attracts media interest and/or requires orders restricting publicity. She has established expertise in cases of radicalisation having appeared in the early and leading authorities in this developing area of child protection. Much of her work involves fatality or serious injury and the gravest sexual or emotional abuse

    She is skilled at dealing with  conflicting medical and expert evidence including that which comes from other jurisdictions and raises issues centring on accepted good practice and mainstream recognition within the medical profession.

    She acts in cases involving  the disclosure of sensitive material including to and from security services; She has considerable experience of cases requiring evidence from vulnerable witnesses, appearing in the earliest cases using intermediaries in the Family courts.

  • Children (private law)

    Sarah is instructed in Applications for Declaration of Parentage not only for parents and children but also for Fertility Clinics where the applications arise out of errors within the clinic. She appears in applications in relation to living and other arrangements for children.

    Sarah acts in disputes between parents and other significant adults including cases involving serious harm and internal and international relocation deploying strategic planning so as to achieve the best possible outcome for the client. 

  • Judicial review & administrative law

    Sarah represents parents and children in Family-related application for Judicial Review and Local Authorities in Responding to claims brought in connection to decisions made in connection with provision for children.

  • International family law

    Sarah has experience of  proceedings in relation to children where  international issues arise. In public law cases she regularly deals with issues of jurisdiction including the application of habitual residence, Article 15 transfers and the placement of children with family members living in other jurisdictions. In private law, she undertakes relocation cases for both the departing or the remaining parent with proposed moves across a range of countries.

  • What the directories say

    Sarah has been consistently ranked in Chambers and Partners Directory since 2008.

    2019: ‘Her grasp of technically difficult and emotionally complex public law proceedings is beyond comparison.’ Legal 500 

    "She's a unique individual – her ability to develop complex arguments is phenomenal." "Sarah is diligent, attentive and thoughtful, and has an incredible eye for detail. She has the ability to analyse vast swathes of evidence and distill them into a format helpful to the court." Chambers UK

    2018: "Produces excellent cross-examination which is a real privilege to watch. You want her on your side as everything she does is underpinned by clearly rigorous preparation. Her compelling and attractive submissions artfully address the issues in a case."  Chambers UK

    2017: Manages a full caseload of heavy-hitting public and private law children matters, from severe non-accidental injury cases to private child relocation. She acts in cases that garner significant media attention and so routinely offers the utmost discretion to her clients. 

    "She swiftly analyses the issues in a case and delivers some of the best cross-examination around."  Chambers UK

    2016: "She has a lovely, slightly muted style which is effective. She is surprised by nothing and unprepared for nothing." "Absolutely excellent; she's very clever, highly analytical and has a huge eye for detail."  Chambers UK

    2015: "What she brings is the light touch. It's very tempting to become polarised in these cases, and the mixture of her light touch, high intelligence and humour often prevents this happening." "Clients love her, and she can get the best out of a witness."  Chambers UK

    2014: "A highly regarded expert in both public and private children law, and covers everything from parental and custody disputes to abuse and injury matters." Expertise: "Very good; she is an effective and forceful counsel."  Chambers UK

    2013: "fantastically bright and extremely hard working" who "practises in all areas relating to children, often in cases concerning sexual or physical abuse."  Chambers UK

    2012: "a "stunning performer". An expert on children cases, she handles matters that often involve difficult mental health and medical issues."  Chambers UK

    2011: "she brings both gravitas and good humour to challenging cases involving conflicting medical evidence."  Chambers UK

    2010: "has all the qualities you need to be a great barrister."  Chambers UK

    2009: "an expert on tricky matters who thinks outside the box and provides innovative solutions to complex problems."  Chambers UK

    2008: "a delight to work with," she nevertheless "has a strong mind, and as an advocate takes no prisoners."  Chambers UK

  • Cases

    B (A Child) [2018] EWCA 20

    P & Ors ( Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008) [2017]  EWHC 2532 (October 2017)

    Re J  [2017] EWCA Civ 398

    Re S ( A child) [2017] EWCA Civ 44

    C (A Child), Re (No 2) (Application for Public Interest Immunity) [2017] EWHC 692 (Fam) (31 March 2017)

    H (A Child), Re (Interim Care Order : fact finding) [2017] EWHC 518 (Fam) (16 March 2017)

    R (A Child : Care Order) [2017] EWHC 364 (Fam) (24 February 2017)

    S (A Child), Re [2017] EWCA Civ 44 (02 February 2017)

    P & Ors (Human Fertilisation And Embryology Act 2008) [2017] EWHC 49 (Fam) (19 January 2017)

    Medway Council v R & Ors (Rev 1) [2016] EWFC B104 (16 December 2016)

    C (A Child), Re [2016] EWHC 3171 (Fam) (08 December 2016)

    P v A Local Authority [2016] EWHC 2779 (Fam) (04 November 2016)

    X (A Child) (No 3), Re [2016] EWHC 2755 (Fam) (02 November 2016)

    Case L (Human Fertilisation And Embryology Act 2008) [2016] EWHC 2266 (Fam) (12 September 2016)

    A & B (Children : Restrictions on Parental Responsibility : Extremism & Radicalisation in Private Law) [2016] EWFC 40 (22 July 2016)

    London Borough Tower Hamlets v B [2016] EWHC 1707 (Fam) (13 July 2016)

    X (A Child), Re (Rev 1) [2016] EWHC 1342 (Fam) (10 June 2016)

    LC (A Child) (Habitual Residence), Re [2016] EWFC 31 (08 June 2016)

    I, Re (Human Fertilisation And Embryology Act 2008) [2016] EWHC 791 (Fam) (12 April 2016)

    London Borough of Tower Hamlets v B [2015] EWHC 2491

    D (A Child), Re (No 3) [2016] EWFC 1 (14 January 2016)

    X & Anor v Z (Children) & Anor [2015] EWCA Civ 34 (05 February 2015)

    PD v SD & Anor [2015] EWHC 4103 (Fam) (26 August 2015)

    D (A Child) (No 2) [2015] EWFC 2 (07 January 2015)

    P (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 1648 (18 December 2014)

    R (C) v Buckinghamshire County Council [2014] EWHC 4072 (Admin)

    D (A Child) [2014] EWFC 39 (31 October 2014)

    J (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 875 (27 June 2014)

    B (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 1434 (13 November 2013)

    Surrey County Council v Al-Hilli & Anor (Rev 2) [2013] EWHC 3404 (Fam) (04 November 2013)

    Al-Hilli (Children), Re [2013] EWHC 2190 (Fam) (22 July 2013)

    A (A Child), Re (Vulnerable Witness: Fact Finding) [2013] EWHC 2124 (Fam) (15 July 2013)

    A (A Child) (Vulnerable Witness), Re [2013] EWHC 1694 (Fam) (17 June 2013)

    A (A Child), Re [2012] UKSC 60 (12 December 2012)

    Surrey County Council v Al -Hilli & Ors (4) [2012] EWHC 4394 (Fam) (06 December 2012)

    M (A Child), Re [2012] EWCA Civ 1580 (22 October 2012)

    J (A Child: Disclosure), Re (Rev 1)[2012] EWCA Civ 1204 (21 September 2012)

    A Local Authority v C & Ors [2012] EWHC 1975 (Fam) (01 June 2012)

    G and E (Children) (Vulnerable Witness), Re [2011] EWHC 4063 (Fam) (16 June 2011)

Chambers UK Bar

Top Ranked


Legal 500

Leading Individual