“Sarah is one of just 30 accredited mental health solicitors in Wales, approved by the Law Society to represent patients detained under the Mental Health Act. Sarah has experience in representing clients who face some of the most serious criminal offences in society, where case disposal under the Mental Health Act is appropriate.”WalesOnline, "30 young lawyers to watch", 2018
“Sarah is everything you could want in a mental health solicitor. She is highly experienced, self-assured and advocates for her clients in the strongest and most effective terms. Her warm, easy and sensitive manner allows her to build a quick rapport with clients, including those in crisis. In a recent murder case we worked on together, I was so impressed with her ability to instil calm in our client, a young man who was very unwell and suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Sarah’s ability to command trust and respect means she is well placed to take detailed instructions and develop a clear insight into what her clients what – as well as being able to deliver realistic and pragmatic advice which may not always be easy to receive. Sarah also has considerable poise and authority with professionals, both inside and outside of the tribunal context. She is always up to speed on the most recent developments in mental health law, and it’s clear she has considerable passion for and interest in the field. Although she has a busy and varied case load, Sarah knows her cases inside out and is meticulous in her approach to organisation and preparation. In short, she has it all!”Daniella Waddoup, Barrister
Partner and Head of Court of Protection
Areas of law:
Mental Health, Court of Protection Solicitors
Sarah is a Partner at Reeds. She is the Head of Court of Protection and also leads the Welsh Mental Health Team, whilst managing her own complex and diverse Mental Health and Mental Capacity caseload.
She represents clients detained under the Mental Health Act at all levels of security, before the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales. She carefully and thoroughly analyses psychiatric evidence identify areas of strength and weakness; and commissions evidence from her own network of experts, in order to challenge detention under the Act. Sarah also advises clients in relation to aftercare matters on leaving hospital, attends Care & Treatment Planning meetings and represents both patients and nearest relatives at Hospital Managers Hearings.
Sarah has an exemplary understanding of the Mental Health Act, its Code of Practice and Tribunal Rules, together with a wealth of experience in representing clients successfully before the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales.
As a competent advocate with rights of audience before both the Magistrates Court & Mental Health Review Tribunal, Sarah advances clear and persuasive arguments in order to challenge the evidence of expert psychiatric witnesses. Furthermore, she also has a wealth of experience representing clients who face serious criminal offences such as murder, sexual assault & arson, whereby the Defendant suffers from a mental disorder and case disposal under the Mental Health Act is appropriate.
Sarah also currently manages a complex Court of Protection caseload, specialising in bringing applications under Section 21A Mental Capacity Act 2005, in connection with the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) framework.
She is regularly instructed by family members, or to act on behalf of the person who lacks capacity by Mental Capacity Advocates, or the litigation friend including the Official Solicitor in respect of complex proceedings.
Sarah adopts a clear and focused approach to each of her cases, whilst working with sensitivity and understanding, truly putting her client’s rights and best interests at the heart of every case. Sarah is able to engage empathetically with clients, in order to obtain their instructions and ensure that their voice is heard.
- Law Society Mental Health Panel
- Mental Health Lawyers Association
- Court of Protection Practitioners Association
R -v- JG 2018 – Successful representation of a long-standing mental health client originally charged with murder. Plea of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility accepted by the Crown and the Defendant then made the subject of a Hospital Order under the Mental Health Act 1983.
R-v- CH 2019 – Defendant found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity and made the subject of a Hospital Order under the Mental Health Act 1983. Continued representation to date, including before the Mental Health Tribunal following an automatic referral for review.
R -v- BD 2021 – Successful representation of a long-standing mental health client charged with multiple counts of Arson and subsequently acquitted by the Jury.
UK 2022 – Successful representation of a client who had been detained for 18 years, following an index offence of Arson with intent to endanger life. Recommendation for discharge secured by the MHRT.
SD 2021 – Successful representation of a client who had been detained for 19 years following conviction of an index offence of Murder. Recommendation for discharge secured by the MHRT.
CS 2021 – Successful representation of a client subject to S37/41 MHA following an index offence of Arson in 2008. Conditional discharge granted by the MHRT.
AP 2021– Successful representation of P before the Court of Protection in respect of a S21a MCA Challenge. P was moved to a lesser restrictive community setting.
PGT 2021 – Successful representation of P before the Court of Protection in respect of a S21a MCA challenge. P was returned to the family home.
SO 2022 – Successful representation of P before the Court of Protection in respect of a S21a MCA challenge. P was found to have capacity to make decisions in respect of her residence and treatment and so the framework fell away.
R v JG 2018 – Successful defence of long-standing mental health client charged with murder. Expert psychiatric evidence obtained, in order to support that the offence was attributable to the Defendants acute psychotic symptoms and that accordingly, the partial defence of diminished responsibility should apply. Disposal by way of Hospital Order.