Sarah Barber

Barrister

Date of Call: 2018

BSB Number: 71365

sarahbarber@no18chambers.com

Sarah was called to the Bar in 2018 after obtaining a ‘Very Competent’ grade on the BPTC.

Sarah joined chambers in 2020 after the successful completion of pupillage within chambers.

Prior to pupillage, Sarah provided assistance to solicitors in child law matters, working as a Paralegal for a Local Authority and then for a local firm of solicitors, specialising in child care law. Sarah has also held voluntary positions with both the National Centre for Domestic Violence and the Witness Service in the Magistrates’ Court.

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Expertise

Family: Care & Children

Public Law / Care and Adoption Proceedings

Sarah accepts instructions from all parties to care proceedings and regularly represents Local Authorities and Respondents in public law matters, in addition to Applicants seeking to discharge care orders under the Children Act. Sarah has acted in cases involving allegations of sexual or physical harm to children, domestic abuse, substance misuse and neglect, and cases requiring the instruction of experts.

Sarah accepts instructions at all stages of public law proceedings including contested final hearings or fact-finding hearings which involve collaboration with the police through ongoing criminal investigations, or other third-party services. Sarah is experienced at dealing with contested interim placement hearings, and applications for Interim Care/Supervision Orders, Emergency Protection Orders, Secure Accommodation Orders, Care, Supervision, and Placement Orders, and Special Guardianship Orders.

In addition to acting for applicants or respondents to care proceedings, Sarah has also acted for intervenors or extended family members in applying for special guardianship or further assessment within proceedings, and has assisted both Local Authorities and parents in applications to discharge Care Orders.

Sarah also accepts instructions on behalf of children to care proceedings through their Guardians and has experience in representing the Guardian on appeal and re-hearing from the decision of a District Judge, in a case involving significant findings of fact made against a parent.

Sarah undertakes Local Authority work both in care proceedings and also in relation to applications for deprivations of liberty in relation to children, inviting the High Court to exercise its inherent jurisdiction. Sarah has delivered seminars to local firms of solicitors both on this topic and on other aspects of care proceedings generally.

Prior to joining chambers, Sarah had a wealth of experience in this area of law, having regularly represented clients at pre-proceedings (PLO) meetings with Children’s Services across Hampshire, Surrey and Wiltshire.


Contact and Residence disputes under the Children Act 1989

Sarah regularly represents parents, extended family members, and children, in private family law matters in applications for Child Arrangements Orders (Live With and Spend Time With), Prohibited Steps Orders and Specific Issue Orders, in addition to applications for permission to apply for an order or for orders under s.91(14) Children Act 1989.

On a number of occasions, Sarah has assisted parties in coming to agreements on the terms of final orders and on others has successfully obtained orders for clients at a contested final hearing.

Sarah has dealt with a variety of disputes involving complicated factual matters that have required separate finding of fact hearings, matters in which PD12J has applied, allegations of parental alienation, and those which have required the involvement of the Local Authority and/or Children’s Guardians. Sarah also has experience in dealing with proceedings in which children are represented themselves or are assessed as Gillick competent to provide their own instructions directly to solicitors.


Domestic violence & injunctions

Sarah has a volume of experience in acting for both Applicants and Respondents in matters under the Family Law Act, successfully obtaining Occupation and Non-Molestation Orders for vulnerable applicants. Sarah offers advice to clients facing these proceedings and has on many occasions managed to successfully negotiate with parties to resolve proceedings at return or final hearings. Prior to joining chambers, Sarah volunteered with the National Centre for Domestic Violence, preparing witness statements for use in ex-parte applications. Sarah can therefore also assist with the drafting of applications. Sarah accepts instructions for representation, advice and drafting at any stage of Family Law Act proceedings, and at both with or without notice hearings.


Family: Finance

Sarah has had significant exposure to matrimonial and financial work, and during her pupillage provided pro bono advice and representation to vulnerable parties in relation to financial remedy proceedings. Since joining chambers as a tenant, Sarah has continued to accept instructions in family finance matters, and has assisted parties to negotiate settlements on matters including a transfer of tenancy and pension sharing orders. Sarah is able to take instructions from Applicants and Respondents following divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership.


Employment & Discrimination

Sarah has undertaken a significant amount of pro bono work during her pupillage and this has encompassed a number of Employment law advices and instances of representation for vulnerable lay clients. Sarah has advised on constructive and unfair dismissal, harassment, disability and other discrimination, time limits and remedy. Sarah continues to accept instructions in this area of law and has experience in representing both Claimants and Respondents in the Employment Tribunal.


Chancery and Commercial

Sarah acts for both Claimants and Defendants in Small Claims and Fast Track trials, primarily dealing with road traffic accidents and claims for damages and personal injury arising from the same. Sarah continues of accept instructions in this area of law.


No 18 Resolution

Qualifications

  • 2:1 Undergraduate Law Degree from University of Southampton
  • Very Competent BPTC

Awards

  • Lincoln’s Inn Cassell Scholar (2017-18)
  • University of Southampton Academic Scholarship (2013-16)

Personal Info

Sarah enjoys keeping fit and goes kickboxing on a regular basis. She also enjoys watching women’s football and travelling abroad.

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