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I lead the family team in Leeds and advise clients on how to protect family assets through cohabitation agreements and pre-nuptial agreements.
My practice mainly involves advising clients who need assistance in resolving financial issues following a relationship breakdown.
I also regularly work with clients to resolve issues relating to the care of their children and have handled complex disputes such as where families with children are moving to other countries.
I started young – as a child I watched Crown Court avidly, which shows my age too.
On a serious note, I feel strongly that anyone entering into a legal agreement or dispute should have equality of arms, which often means having as good a lawyer as the other party. It is a matter of fairness and justice for me.
I most enjoy seeing a client who starts in a very dark place at a very sad and difficult time of their life and seeing them come through that and look to the future. I also constantly fascinated at the range of human experience and life stories that come out of our work.
I am a keen cyclist and I try to get away skiing once a year. When I am being less active I enjoy browsing the art and shops in my favourite city, Florence.
I have appeared in The Times and The Telegraph as well as the legal publication Solicitors Journal.
“The addition of Sarah to the Leeds team strengthens both the office and the firm’s overall northern offering. We’re very pleased to have Sarah, who has a strong background in all areas of family law, joining us.
“Sarah will be supported not only by her team but the wider Private Wealth and Business Legal Services offerings Irwin Mitchell provides, where she can work with the tax, pensions and corporate teams to provide clients with the full Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth service.
“Having extensive experience in helping clients, as well as prioritising client care and reaching the best possible outcome for the client, are just some of Sarah’s strengths and we look forward to her demonstrating these skills as she settles in.”
“Although it may be difficult to discuss private and personal history, agreeing to a post-nuptial can often be the most practical way to deal with a difficult situation.
“We know how much of a life-changing impact many forms of abuse can have and it takes a brave individual to be able to talk about their situation with someone close to them and decide what should happen to their compensation.
“Unfortunately, relationships do get strained and the last thing you want when dealing with a separation is to contest a sum of money that has not previous been accounted for and may well be the last thing you want to discuss.
“Many people are aware of pre-nuptials that are signed before a couple marry but not post-nuptials to cover something that took place before the relationship started.
“A post-nuptial can specify exactly how the couple’s finances are divided in the event of a separation and can clearly detail factors such as money received from a specific compensation claim.
“Although it might not be the easiest subject to discuss, it is far better to do it whilst the relationship is strong then try and sort it later down the line when it can easily become an emotionally fraught and challenging legal battle."
We have not seen any fall in the number of relationships breaking down. More often these are cohabiting couples now, however, which reflects that they are the fastest growing family type and the fall in divorce numbers.
As family lawyers, we are often seen as a “distress” purchase. On the contrary we find that in reality the clients who approach us find it a huge relief to get some expert advice on what is going to happen to them as a result of the breakdown of their relationship.
The lack of knowledge of family law is huge and having someone on your side who has the expertise in this can be hugely reassuring. They are often a long way into a difficult journey when we meet them and getting them to a better place is the most satisfying part of the job.
"This is another case where the English Courts have had to grapple with complex jurisdiction issues before getting to the real financial issues.
“While the facts here are unusual and will not be relevant to many other cases directly, they show the Courts in this jurisdiction have immense power to resolve financial disputes between divorcing couples once they end up in Court rather than resolving matters by negotiation.
Today’s ruling now allows his ex-wife to press on with her claims ‘for an appropriate and fair settlement'."
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