Today we shine the spotlight on Central England family law partner Sally Robinson – she tells us about her expertise across a range of family law matters – and a memorable run-in with a grumpy district judge!
What first attracted you to a career in law?
I took A-levels in chemistry, biology and sports science; intending on going into the medical profession. However, I was a witness in a major criminal trial at the age of 17 and found the process fascinating. Thereafter, I changed my career path and following my A-levels, went on to study for a law degree and never looked back. Although I never did practice criminal law.
What type of legal advice do you provide and to what sorts of clients?
Family law advice – helping people to ‘plan and protect’ at the start of a relationship or when planning to have a family. I also advise at the end of relationships, including divorce, finances, property disputes and children’s matters.
I have experience in complex children cases involving allegations of parental alienation and abuse and contested parental order (surrogacy) proceedings. I act for all manner of clients, although they are often professionals, directors, business owners or their spouses. My aim is to provide my clients with the right tools to enable them to make informed and positive decisions.
What is your most memorable legal experience and why?
My first major memory of the profession is the first time I was let loose representing a client at court when I was a trainee solicitor. I thought I was the bee’s knees, trotting along to the Northampton County Court with my pink file of papers and then got absolutely annihilated by a very grumpy district judge! That said, in later years, it was the same judge who vehemently protected me as an officer of the court when facing an unrepresented husband who thought being abusive to me was acceptable.
The second memory that comes to mind is the sheer relief I felt for a father I had represented for several years in highly complex children proceedings, when the judge made an order for the child to live with him – all the hard work paid off.
What is your number one top tip for clients?
Whatever you are feeling, don’t allow your emotions to drive your communication with your former partner. Each time you communicate, consider how a judge would view your comments.