I’m delighted to have been at Irwin Mitchell for over 17 years now.
I’m passionate about my clients and providing the best service that I can. I practice exclusively in family law, specialising in divorce and financial matters, and private law issues relating to children. I act for a range of clients and offer practical, commercially focused advice.
I have a particular interest in litigation involving family Trusts. I’m a vocal advocate of pre- and post-nuptial agreements and I’m regularly instructed to prepare these. I’m also instructed by clients who’ve separated and wish to hold their spouses to nuptial agreements they’ve signed, as well as those seeking to challenge them.
My clients range from those with inherited family wealth to others who’ve built up assets during their lifetime.
I also sit on Irwin Mitchell’s Later Life Group and act for older and elderly clients. I understand the issues faced by those marrying or separating in later life, and was key in developing the firm’s Later Life Relationships proposition.
I’ve written extensively on family law issues, and have delivered training seminars to other professional advisors.
In relation to children matters I take a sensitive and child-focused approach. I work on cases involving the National Youth Advocacy Service and children’s guardians, and regularly instruct independent social workers and other experts.
I act in cases of internal and international relocation and those involving parental alienation. Whatever a client’s circumstances, my focus is on getting the best result I can.
"The service that Sarah Balfour gave was first class. Her technical ability was superb and her advice was given in clear and easy to understand terms. As well as having excellent technical skills, her client care was also brilliant. She showed real and genuine care and helped us through a difficult process." - Legal 500, 2023
"Sarah Balfour- I think the most talented solicitor I have ever worked with. I would want Sarah to be my solicitor if I ever needed one. Such a calm, measured but incisive approach to work. A super bright lawyer who never misses a point but also has a charming personality. Her clients get 24 hour/7 day week care." - Legal 500, 2023
"She is hugely intelligent, diligent, thoughtful and compassionate and she has an eye for detail." - Chambers & Partners, 2023
"Her technical skills are brilliant. She grasps issues very well and manages the process superbly." - Chambers & Partners, 2023
"Sarah inspires confidence with her technical ability, attention to detail and sensitivity with clients who are often going though an inherently stressful process... She is fantastically forensic and a hugely talented lawyer who is also a lovely person to deal with." - Chambers & Partners, 2022 (Leading Individual - band 2)
"Sarah Balfour is a force to be reckoned with. She is super talented yet understated. She is a real powerhouse of legal talent but comes across in a caring and empathetic way to each of her clients. Her opponents must never be in doubt that they are faced with a formidable opponent but one who is always balanced and fair." - Legal 500, 2022 (Next Generation Partner)
"She knows the law extremely well and is able to determine how best to use procedure to achieve a client's goals." - Chambers & Partners, 2021 (Up and Coming)
Sarah Balfour is "very efficient" and "extremely competent." - Legal 500, (Next Generation Partner)
Both hugely bright and very personable, noting that she is "the sort of lawyer who inspires confidence that she will achieve a good outcome if she is on your side." - Chambers & Partners, 2019
Sarah is an "efficient and hard-working" practitioner. Sources say she is "tenacious, understanding, and cuts to the chase quickly." - Chambers & Partners 2018
"Irwin Mitchell have recently represented me through my divorce. My solicitor Grace Mullis was absolutely wonderful. She and family law partner Sarah Balfour advised me throughout and made a difficult process as stress free as possible. I would highly recommend Grace and Sarah for any family law assistance" - 5* Trustpilot review
"Sarah Balfour has recently advised me in relation to a post-nuptial agreement. From start to finish she has been top notch. She has been responsive, helpful and quick to move matters along. There was one particular issue with which I was not happy but appeared impossible to resolve to my satisfaction. Against my expectations she was able to suggest a constructive way forward which worked for all parties. I strongly recommend her." - 5* Trustpilot review
"I couldn't have asked for a better solicitor. Sarah Balfour has represented me on two occasions over the past 3 years and I cannot recommend her highly enough. The legal advice Sarah has given me has been second to none. She is approachable, she knows the law, and she can confidently advise you based on her knowledge and previous experience. If ever I have the need for a family law solicitor again, I would not want anyone else to represent me. I can't thank Sarah enough for all the advice and support." - 5* Trustpilot review
"Sarah Balfour of the Family Team recently represented me on a contested variation of a financial remedy order. Sarah was fantastic to work with, always available when I needed her and a great source of both technical and pragmatic advice. She also worked closely within the agreed budget, so there were no unpleasant surprises when it got to the fees." - 5* Trustpilot review
"After 14 long months I am pleased my family law wrangle is now at a very satisfactory end. During this prolonged and stressful time of my life I found Sarah Balfour along with her team of Tara and Faye an absolute pleasure to both work with and talk to during the darkest days. Credit where credit is due and a sincere thank you for a massively professional job well done. IM should be so proud of this team" - 5* Trustpilot review
Sarah was at all times exceptionally hard working and unflappable, with a highly intelligent and client focused view; the final result exceeded all my expectations" - Jo Bailey, client
"Sarah has been excellent throughout. She has always been most diligent, attentive and empathetic I have no hesitation in endorsing her for these excellent qualities. Most importantly her competence, knowledge and opinion in all matters legal is always a great reassurance to me in decision making. Always a friendly voice at the end of the phone." -
Karen Hart, client
"Sarah Balfour and all the team have helped my partner and I through some of the most challenging times in our lives. They have acted with compassion, understanding and unrivalled patience. They have constantly been a source of invaluable expertise and have gone above and beyond many many times. I can not recommend them highly enough." - Client
- Recommended by Chambers & Partners for matrimonial finance matters, including prenuptial agreements and appeals relating to financial awards
- Ranked Tier 1 Legal 500
- Named in the Spear’s 500 ’indispensable guide to the top private client advisors for HNW individuals’ for 2018-2021
- Silver Winner of the City Wealth Future Leaders Award 2018.
What Inspired You to Get into Law?
My mother tells me that I was a very early talker and once I started I just didn’t stop. I asked her endless questions about everything I could and loved all forms of interaction. Not much has changed over the years. I have always loved the discussion of ideas and their practical application. This alongside a love of reading led me to study law at university. Once I was there I knew that I wanted to be a lawyer. It was only the precise area of law that foxed me for a while. I wanted an area that was both technically demanding but that had heart. I thought family law would tick all the boxes, and I was right!
What Is The Most Rewarding Aspect Of Your Role?
As a family lawyer I work with clients during what is often the most difficult time of their lives. I pride myself on offering the most professional and sensitive advice I can. I feel privileged to be able to help my clients embark upon the rest of their lives.
What Do You Like About Working At Irwin Mitchell?
I love working at Irwin Mitchell. It is a groundbreaking law firm – its approach is fresh and innovative. It attracts the best lawyers and ensures they never lose the human touch.
Within the family team I work alongside some of the biggest names in the industry. We share a dedication to our clients and a passion for the law. As a network we are unrivalled – we have experts that cover the length and breadth of the country and can offer exceptional service. We are a close knit and supportive team; you could say that we are a family law family.
What Do You Do Away From The Office?
Away from the office I am a mum of two energetic boys. We love the outdoors and as members of the National Trust we enjoy visiting their gardens and parks.