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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926 - 2022

Portrait of Sarah Duckworth
Areas of expertise: Family law


Sarah is a consultant in the Guildford family law team. With a wide range of practical experience and expertise in all family matters, she has worked on cases involving significant and complex assets, business assets, trusts and pensions, pre (or post) acquired and inherited assets, as well as those with an international aspect. She is also skilled in drafting pre and post nuptial agreements, and applications for financial provision for children.

Often instructed in private children matters, Sarah has advised on disputes regarding child arrangements, school choice, or risk of removal from the jurisdiction, as well as international and internal relocation cases. She is used to dealing with cases where there are allegations of abuse, coercive control, parental alienation, and narcissistic traits.

Sarah’s strength lies in delivering a friendly, professional, and proactive service to her clients, regularly utilising a collaborative approach. Consistently referenced in legal directories, she has been described as ‘experienced in handling highly complex matrimonial finance cases’, and is a member of, and accredited by, Resolution as a specialist family lawyer. Sarah is also one of only a few family lawyers accredited to advise on the division of pensions upon divorce.

Recent work highlights

  • Advising and negotiating for the proposed husband where proposed wife’s wealth derived from dynastic family trusts in excess of £60m.
  • Acting successfully for a father where child wanted to live with the father and change school which the mother, a litigant in person, persistently opposed. A final hearing was required and the court ordered sole residence to the father and the change of school following instruction of a private ISW to report.
  • Acting for a wife who was a discretionary beneficiary of a significant family trust (£50m) and where the other assets were also mainly non-matrimonial. A good outcome was reached by agreement at a private financial dispute resolution hearing.
  • Acting for a husband in both financial and children proceedings where there were significant gifted and inherited assets, a contested pre-nuptial agreement, and difficult children proceedings which involved inter alia allegations of narcissistic behaviour, parental alienation, and a flight risk.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP