Sarah is a partner and head of the specialist Family Finance team across our three offices. She qualified in March 2006 and has over 15 years of experience advising clients on:
- Divorce & complex financial settlements involving business interests, inherited wealth, trusts and pension assets
- Pre/post-nuptial agreements to preserve wealth and protect family businesses in a succession planning context
- Child maintenance and financial provision for children of unmarried parents.
She specialises in advising business/farm owners and those with significant inherited wealth on the protection of assets from the impact of relationship breakdown; and their spouses who seek their share of resources. She also acts for professionals and has an in-depth understanding of the nuances of public sector pension schemes.
Her work includes:
- Acting for a husband whose family company was part owned by him and his wife – securing the transfer of the wife’s shares to him and a clean break settlement
- Representing the wife of a minority shareholder in a private company, obtaining a valuation of the shareholding and securing a financial settlement reflecting its value
- Securing an order that a wealthy husband funds his wife’s legal fees to put her on an equal footing in the divorce process
- Representing a wife whose husband failed to provide full and accurate disclosure of his financial circumstances and eventually obtaining the relevant information to ensure a fair settlement
- Acting for the wife of a public sector worker to achieve an equal share of his valuable pension scheme in addition to half of the capital assets
- Advising many high net worth individuals on post nuptial agreements to protect their assets in the event of a future breakdown in their marriage
- Representing a wife challenging a pre-nuptial agreement and seeking greater provision to meet her needs
- Helping a client preserve his valuable Navy pension built up during the 25 years after he separated from his wife despite her subsequent financial application to the court 22 years after their divorce.
Sarah is a member of Resolution and promotes a constructive approach to resolving family issues.
Sarah’s personal testimonials:
Sarah is ranked as a Band 1 ‘Leader in her Field’ in Chambers and Partners.
Chambers and Partners (2022) – “She cares about her clients, it’s not just a job for her. She’s very commercial, she doesn’t just litigate for the sake of it but she’s outcome-focused.” “Sarah Atkinson offers brilliant analysis and is very good at making clients understand all their options.”
Legal 500 (2022) – Next Generation Partner
Chambers and Partners (2021) – Sarah is noted for her expertise in financial remedy proceedings, as well as in pre-marital and post-marital agreements. Interviewees report that she is “easy to communicate with, and has in mind the best interest of the client.” One client attests: “Sarah is an excellent listener and very capable of enabling divorce with dignity. She is academic but also practical.”
Legal 500 (2021) – Next Generation Partner – “Sarah Atkinson is the youngest and most capable team head I know.”
Chambers and Partners (2020) – “Sarah’s approach was friendly, calm and positive from start to finish. She was always available to discuss matters and provide support, and her professionalism and guidance very much made me feel in safe hands.”
Chambers and Partners (2019) – recognised for her work with “high net worth individuals on financial settlements, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. She is also well versed in cohabitation agreements.”
Legal 500 (2018) – “knowledgeable and diligent”.
She enjoys spending time with her family and friends – on the beach, swimming and camping. She also loves music and is a regular festival goer.
- Alternatives to Court
- Business and Divorce
- Civil Partnership and Same Sex Marriage
- Claims Against Trusts
- Divorce and Separation
- Family Law
- Finances Following Divorce or Separation
- Finances for Children (Following Divorce or Separation)
- High Net Worth Individuals
- Inherited and Pre-Marital Assets
- Interim Maintenance
- Post Nuptial Agreements
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Unmarried Couples
- Variation of Maintenance Arrangements