I'm delighted to have been at Irwin Mitchell for over 15 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 throughout the Midlands.
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 always on providing the highest level of service.
"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
"She is formidably hard-working, technically very strong and has bags of energy." - Chambers & Partners 2017
She impresses interviewees with her “masterful command of the detail of the cases and delightful manner with clients.” -
Chambers & Partners 2016
"I had a very brief dealing with Irwin Mitchell with regard to family law and I found Sarah Balfour to be extremely helpful with her advice and very pleasant to deal with." - 5* Trustpilot review
"I found Sarah Balfour great to deal with from start to finish. She is knowledgeable and very efficient. We were working to a tight deadline and Sarah was always available to speak to when I had queries. I would highly recommended." - 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
"Excellent legal support during a matrimonial dispute. The team (Nicola Walker, Sarah Balfour, Lauren Kelly and Debbie Jones) not only dealt with my case effectively and efficiently, but they did so in a way that made it a very positive experience for me." - 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
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 engaging and energetic boys. We love the outdoors and as members of the National Trust we enjoy visiting their gardens and parks. Having lived in Birmingham for more than half of my life I have very much adopted it as my home. I love its vibrant and diverse culture, its green spaces, cafés and restaurants. When I get opportunity I always take advantage of its thriving street food culture.