‘Sara is a very focused, trusted, and tenacious advocate. She adopts a very thorough approach to her cases and prepares well. Great client care skills, empathetic and provides clear straightforward advice.’ (The Legal 500 2022)
Sara was called to the Bar in Canada in 1996 and practised there for three years. She moved to England in 1999 and became a solicitor specialising in family law. Sara transferred to the Bar and joined St. Mary’s in 2014. The focus of her practice since joining St. Mary's has been complex public law proceedings representing local authorities, parents and children.
Sara has been a member of the Law Society Children Panel since 2006 and was accredited by Resolution as a specialist in children private law and domestic violence in 2012.
Sara specialises in complex public law proceedings and acts for local authorities, parents, children's guardian, and other family members.
Cases & Publications
Represented a child in an FII case during which the child was abducted by her parents who absconded abroad. Various appeals and applications were made by the parents whilst abroad and the child was eventually returned following an application made on behalf of the local authority under the Hague Convention. Upon the mother’s return to England, she was convicted of child abduction and incarcerated. The mother’s mental health deteriorated significantly during the proceedings. A 50 day composite final hearing took place over 8 months during which 45 witnesses were called to give evidence.
Represented a local authority in care proceedings concerning 12 week old twins found to have both sustained traumatic brain damage as a result of two separate violent shaking incidents which resulted in the death of one and life changing injuries to the other. Following a 10 day Fact Finding Hearing in the High Court, the High Court Judge found that the father was responsible and he was subsequently charged for the murder and attempted murder of his children. This case also involved complex jurisdictional issues as the parents, who were Russian and Lithuanian respectively, were temporary residents in the UK.
Representing the local authority in respect of a child whose vulnerable young mother had significant learning difficulties and was the subject of an extensive police investigation into allegations that she had sexually abused and groomed other young females who were subsequently sexually abused and exploited by her partner, who was a party to the proceedings and a litigant in person. The case also involved the mother making extensive allegations of domestic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour against her partner over a prolonged period of time which she subsequently denied making and if made, were false.
Represented directly one of the subject children in the reported High Court case of Re DF and GF  EWHC 2607 (Fam) which considered the balancing of the best interests of siblings when they are conflicting.