One of East Lancashire’s most respected family lawyers is going it alone with a new practice in her home town.
Burnley-born Sarah Bentley – a long-time member of the Law Society’s Children Law Accreditation Scheme (formerly Children Panel) – has unveiled Sarah Bentley Solicitors, bringing more than three decades of experience to her new venture.
Sarah is widely recognised as an expert in all matters relating to family and child welfare.
“Family law has always been at the heart of my professional life and the time was right for me to establish a practice in this area dealing exclusively with family law,” said Sarah, whose offices can be found at Ribble Court, Mead Way, Padiham.
A former student at Burnley Girls High School, Sarah achieved a Law degree at Birmingham University before completing her professional qualifications at Chester Law College.
She completed her ‘articles’ at Southern, Jobling and Ashworth – a Burnley practice with a history dating back to 1792 and which later became Southerns Solicitors – and rose to partner level by the age of 28.
Sarah’s work covered the whole spectrum of law early in her career. She completed all types of conveyancing work, litigation including family law, criminal advocacy both prosecuting and defending and served as one of the first members of the then police duty solicitor rota.
It was in the mid ‘90’s that she turned her attention exclusively to family law, dealing with divorce, financial applications arising from divorce and cohabitation disputes, residence and contact proceedings under the Children Act. She was accredited as a member of the Law Society Children Panel in 1993 to enable her to represent children in care proceedings.
“For the past 24 years, I have been privileged to represent children through my involvement with the Law Society’s Children Law Accreditation Scheme,” added Sarah. “It can be challenging work and from time to time stressful, but immensely rewarding.
“In respect of divorce and other relationship breakdown, I appreciate that it is often a stressful and anxious time for anyone involved. I seek to support clients to approach the problems in a practical way and to offer a discrete and professional approach to completing what can be complex financial matters. I aim to complete all aspects of the work myself, both as to the preparation for and advocacy at Court on any client’s behalf.”
Sarah was a founder member of the East Lancashire Domestic Violence Forum in Burnley, Chair of Governors of Habergham High School Burnley and then Thomas Whitham Sixth Form for over 10 years and also Chair of the Citizen’s Advice Management Committee. She takes an active interest in ongoing legal issues.
Picture Caption: Sarah Bentley at her new office.