Sarah Smith

Managing Director I Family I Mediation

Sarah Smith

Contact details

Mobile: 07595 650223

Direct Line: 01423 543117

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About Sarah

Sarah Smith is Berwins’ Managing Director and chairs the company’s Management Executive Group. Designated an Eminent Practitioner by the industry’s guide to the top law firms, Chamber and Partners, Sarah’s work area is family law, specialising in divorce and related finance. Sarah routinely handles disputes concerning children, including jurisdiction issues, pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements and relationship breakdown for un-married couples and same sex relationships.

Sarah is a member of Resolution. Her specialism and experience have been recognised by Accredited Specialist Status from Resolution and membership of the Law Society’s Family Panel.

Sarah has trained and qualified as a Collaborative Lawyer. The Collaborative Law approach involves resolving issues without recourse to court proceedings, providing a service that meets clients’ needs quickly and economically and Sarah specialises in this. Some cases require court action; Sarah acts decisively and effectively in those cases.

Sarah is also a qualified Family Mediator and works with couples on Parenting Plans for their children or organising their finances post-separation. SHe is also qualified to run direct mediation sessions with children. 

  • legal-500-leading-set-20144
  • Chambers UK 2015
  • Lexcel Accredited
  • Investors In People
  • Family Mediators Association
Sarah Smith
External RolesExternal Roles

External Roles

ExperienceExperience

Experience

HobbiesHobbies

Hobbies

External Roles

External Roles

Sarah is a volunteer at the Harrogate and Child Contact Centre and is a long-standing member of the Harrogate Collaborative Law Group. Sarah also volunteers in community mediation through Arch Mediation Services.

Experience

Experience

After an LLB Hons from Liverpool University, Sarah qualified as a solicitor in 1996. She has been working exclusively in family law almost since the outset, practising in London until she re-located with her family to North Yorkshire in 2008. She also gained a BSc in Psychology in 2003.

Sarah’s experience is particularly in financial work including company interests, foreign assets and pensions. The majority of her cases involve an asset base in excess of £1 million. She has worked on a wide range of children cases including removal from the jurisdiction, relocation within the UK, specific issues regarding medical treatment and schooling as well as being able to call on twenty years’ experience in helping couples work out day to day arrangements of where children should live and how they will spend time with both parents. She is an advocate for pre-nuptial and co-habitation agreements and enjoys working creatively and collaboratively at the beginning of a relationship to help try and avoid problems at the end. She is widely acknowledged and praised for her empathy and professionalism. Her collaborative work and mediation practice are very important to her.

Hobbies

Hobbies

Outside the office Sarah’s best thing is spending time with her husband and son. She is a regular runner (as far as a half marathon if it’s for a good cause) and dog walker. She loves food (cooking and consuming), good live music and fits in some reading and piano practice occasionally.

What our clients say

"Without Sarah and her team, I would not be in the position that I am now, which is a very happy and worry-free mother. Thank you doesn't seem enough, as Sarah changed my life and my son's future for the better"

Family Client

"Berwins fields a ‘very switched-on, well-organised’ family law team led by the ‘incredibly experienced’ Sarah Smith... [her] expertise encompasses pre- and post-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, private children law work, and complex divorce proceedings, often involving foreign assets and pensions"

Legal 500 - Family (2017)

It has been a long haul but I am succeeding in getting the best outcome possible. Thank you very much for all your exceedingly intelligent input right from the start. I have really appreciated all your hard work, insight and organisational skills.

Divorce Client

I have been 100% happy with all elements of dealing with Berwins and would have no hesitation in using and recommending your firm.

Family Client

Thank you for everything that you have done for me over the last few months. I am delighted with the settlement and so pleased that we secured an amicable resolution. You've helped me immensely, and have given me the confidence to stand up for myself - for that I am very grateful.

A Divorce Client

Sarah Smith has a broad family practice and focuses on providing representation in collaborative dispute resolution and mediation. She is highly rated by market participants, who attest that she "really knows her stuff" and is "a very good mediator, really thorough and a pleasure to deal with."

Chambers (2017)

The Berwins Family team is a "well-regarded group engaged to advise on a wide range of family work, especially high-value divorce settlements. Regularly represents high net worth individuals and deals with a variety of assets, including family farms. Further noted for its collaborative work and knowledge of trust structures"

Chambers (2017)

Thank you for your skill and patience and getting my wife and I to a sensible mediated settlement. I am particularly conscious that over a years worth of sending expensive and adversarial letters between solicitors actually took us very little further forward - whereas three difficult face to face sessions found a solution. 

A Mediation Client

The ‘excellent’ team at Berwins primarily handles separation and divorce matters. Practice head Sarah Smith is experienced in prenuptial and cohabitation agreements, children work, and collaborative law. - See more at: http://www.legal500.com/firms/...

Quoted in Legal 500 (2016)

My confidence in you supersedes everything, Sarah. You sorted everything out for me before and there was never any question that I would come back to you to do so again.

A family client

Thank you so much for all you have done. I wish I'd started this process with you from the beginning and it probably would have been sorted a year ago.

A family client

A friend recommended Sarah Smith at Berwins to me and I have not been disappointed. Her manner has been professional but also compassionate. It was a comfort to feel there was someone on my side who understood my needs and would fight my corner when required. Having opted for the collaborative approach to divorce, the process was at least bearable. I would like to thank Sarah for the care she has shown me and would highly recommend her to anyone in a similar situation.

A family client

Accredited mediator Sarah Smith receives praise for her client care skills. One client comments, ‘She is empathetic. She is on my side, but in an independent and objective manner’.

Chambers & Partners 2015

It was important to me to find a solicitor to work with and alongside through my divorce proceedings and Berwins were recommended by a firm who had experience of their work in collaborative family law. I found all the staff to be extremely helpful and courteous and was grateful for their sensitive approach. The solicitor who handled my case was very approachable given very clear advice ensuring all options were explored and explained. I appreciated her practical, sensible and very patient approach to the complexities of my situation and was confident that she was working throughout to get the best outcome for all concerned. My queries and questions were always dealt with promptly either in person by her or by a member of her team. I appreciated the fact that the team cared enough to ensure I was never left waiting for advice and, even with end to end appointments, my solicitor always managed to get in touch.

A family client

Sarah looked after me and put me at my ease. I found Berwins’ performance wonderful. A very delicate matter that I felt very uncomfortable coming to see you about and Sarah made it as stress-free as she possibly could under the circumstances.

A family client

I have referred a number of clients going through separation/divorce who have shared their relief that the process was less stressful than they feared it might be. They felt able to manage daily life and the changes necessary to give continuity to the needs of their children and to establishing their new lives. I have worked alongside couples going through the collaborative process with Berwins’ lawyers who found the choice of support interventions fitting with their individual/family needs. The feeling of being in control of one’s situation through collaboration is a priority to being able to make the right choices as an individual/family.

Liz Jaymal, Family Counsellor

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