Call: 2006 | Solicitor: 1994
- Broad Street Bristol BS1 1DR
- E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Broad Street Bristol BS1 1DREmail
Sarah is the head of Albion’s Private Law Children Team. She is instructed in both private and public law matters and her in-depth knowledge of safeguarding and child protection makes her particularly well placed to act in disputes between parents where these issues arise. Sarah is ranked in the highest band in Chambers & Partners and listed as a leading junior in the Legal 500. She is a qualified IFLA arbitrator in Children cases and has completed the FLBA’s Vulnerable Witness training.
In the private law sphere, Sarah represents parents and children in the most serious cases involving domestic abuse, relocation, allegations of emotional harm, parental manipulation, addiction and poor mental health. In her public law work she acts in cases involving non accidental injury, fabricated induced illness, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and learning disability. Having practised in the Court of Protection in the past, Sarah has a particular interest in cases involving the deprivation of liberty of children and young people.
Sarah joined Albion Chambers in 2014, having practised in London for over 20 years. She is an experienced trial advocate, is quick witted and fights her client’s corner. Clients and instructing solicitors have praised her for her client care skills, her meticulous preparation, her effective cross-examination and her “incisive”, “straight talking” approach. A significant proportion of Sarah’s work arises through personal recommendation.
Before she transferred to the Bar, Sarah was a solicitor for over 10 years. During this time, she founded Wilkinson Pope, a niche family law practice in Islington, where she specialised in representing children (both directly and through their guardians) and their parents. On her transfer to the Bar, Sarah joined 14 Gray’s Inn Square (now Fourteen), where she was instructed by some of London’s leading specialist family law firms and where she continues as a Door Tenant.
Public Access: Sarah is licensed under the Public Access rules and her previous experience as a solicitor equips her well for this type of work.
Child Law Private
Child Law Public
Sarah has extensive experience of acting for all parties in private law and public law children proceedings and therefore of assessing each case from every angle. Having been a member of the Law Society Children Panel for many years, she is a popular choice with Guardians.
Sarah’s practice in care proceedings encompasses the full range of issues including child death, NAI, intrafamilial sexual abuse, fabricated illness, learning disability, teenage pregnancy and concurrent criminal proceedings.
Sarah is also experienced in cases involving fact finding, wardship, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and cases with an international element.
In private law cases Sarah offers pragmatism and a solution-based approach.
Cases of note:
- BT & GT (Children: twins – adoption)  EWFC 76 – Sarah represented the older siblings of twins who had been separated by the Local Authority at the age of six when they were in foster care and then placed separately for adoption, in breach of their care plans. Her two child clients sought contact with the twins. As a result of the girls’ ages (14 and 15), instructions were received via the Official Solicitor who accepted that, in the context of adoption, direct contact was not feasible. Indirect contact agreed with the prospect of the introduction of direct contact being considered in two years’ time.
- B (A Child)  EWCA Civ 2127 – Represented the mother in care proceedings in which she and her husband were accused of causing fractures to their son’s lower legs and ribs. Both parents were teachers. Appeal made to the Court of Appeal after findings made against the mother, on the basis that the Local Authority had failed to put a positive case to the mother in cross examination leading to an unfair fact finding process.
- Re R (A Child)  EWFC 28 – Acted for the mother in this case which involved a sort of “reverse Charlie Gard” situation. At one point, against medical advice, the mother wanted her child to be allowed to die, to prevent the child’s continuing suffering from her profound disabilities. The outcome of the final hearing was favourable to the mother as the Local Authority agreed to fund attunement work and psychotherapy for the mother and the objective of the care plan was reunification of the child to the mother’s care within two years.
- Re S (A Child)  EWCA Civ 44 – Acting for the mother in international Children Act and Wardship proceedings in the High Court. There was a fact finding hearing in which the Judge found some of the mother’s complaints against the father made out, but not others. Very unusually following a fact finding hearing, the mother was successful in appealing part of the findings made. The appeal also considered the use of similar fact evidence in family proceedings.
- A Local Authority v J  EWHC 1484 (Fam)  2 FLR 1389 – Adoption – Contact – Post-adoption contact with mother or half-siblings – Whether to be ordered. Care – Welfare – Parenting assessment – Whether failure of emotional care and failure to co-operate justified adoption – Whether post-adoption contact with family members to be ordered.
- London Borough of Enfield v Ms A and 1 Or (2006)  EWHC 1466 – Care Proceedings – Child Protection – Care arrangements for child subjected to physical abuse – approval of Local Authority care plan to place child with maternal relatives outside the jurisdiction.
- Haringey London Borough Council (2) Hackney London Borough Council v Mrs S & 7 Ors  EWHC 2001 – Care Proceedings – Child Protection – Children – Non Accidental Injury – Care arrangements for child subjected to assault and wilful neglect – Witchcraft – Ndoki – Kindoki.