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Sarah Brown


Partner, Solicitor
Department: Child Care & Public Law
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Sarah joined Ridley & Hall in 2010 following the completion of her Law Degree. Whilst working at Ridley & Hall she studied the Legal Practice Course part time over two years, completing it in 2012.

She initially joined the firm as part of the Care Department as a Legal Secretary before progressing to a Paralegal and subsequently a Solicitor. She started her Training Contract in December 2015.

Sarah primarily assists clients on a variety of issues in relation to adoption. She has particularly developed a specialism in advising clients on the adoption process and adoption disruptions.

She also assists clients in respect of Care Proceedings, Child Protection Issues and Special Guardianship Orders. Sarah has over 5 years’ experience in working with clients throughout Care Proceedings.

She is a valued member of the team who has a client focused and friendly approach which has been praised by clients. She adopts a sympathetic and understanding approach to all her clients. Sarah also has experience in family law including divorce proceedings and Non Molestation Orders.

Outside of work Sarah has a keen interest in traveling and has undertaken a variety of charity projects which have involved working with families in different continents including Africa.


Child Care & Public Law Team

Sophie Aldridge

Sophie Aldridge

Trainee Solicitor
Sophie achieved a First-Class degree in Law, Criminology and Criminal Justice in 2020, for which she also achieved the Criminology Award for the highest overall grade on the course. Following this, Sophie achieved a distinction on the Graduate Diploma in Law, was awarded the prize for the highest overall grade on the course, together with the prize for the highest grade in Property Law. Sophie is now studying the Legal Practice Course before training to become a solicitor....
Zoe Butt headshot

Zoe  Butt

Partner,
Solicitor
Zoe Butt joined the firm in March 2023 as a Partner. Zoe has a wealth of experience in children matters and works in our Care and Public Law teams. Zoe’s particular expertise is in complex care proceedings involving Child Sexual and Criminal Exploitation, and cases involving alleged Non-Accidental Injury. She also has a wealth of experience in dealing with cases involving Forced Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation and Honour Based Violence....

Nicki Butterworth

Associate Personal Assistant
Nicki is an experienced Personal Assistant who works within the Care & Public Law Team (for Child Care Director, James Cook). Nicki’s career began in the retail sector, and it was there where she began to hone her renowned communication and customer service skills....
James Cook

James  Cook

Director,
Head of Child Care & Public Law Team
James Cook trained and qualified at a South Yorkshire firm where he specialised in family and immigration law. ...

Deborah Hardy

Partner
Deborah has over 25 years’ experience in family law and has particular expertise in representing children, court appointed guardians, parents and extended family members in care proceedings in Leeds and surrounding areas. She joined Ridley & Hall as a Partner in 2018....
Clare Linden Headshot

Clare Linden

Partner
Clare joined Ridley & Hall Solicitors as a Partner in 2018. Clare graduated from Durham University and completed her legal training at the College of Law in York in 2006. Clare qualified as a solicitor in 2008 when she re-located to Leeds to join the niche family law firm McAras and was made a partner in 2013 following the firm’s merger with Simpson Millar solicitors in Leeds....
Laura Milburn

Laura Milburn

Partner
Laura has many years of legal experience and was called to the Bar in 2010.  After qualifying as a Barrister, Laura cross-qualified to become a Solicitor in 2012.   Laura is a passionate advocate and has used her advocacy and negotiation skills on behalf of many clients over the years. ...

Helen Moody

Partner,
Solicitor
Helen joined Ridley & Hall in 2012 after completion of the Legal Practice Course,  initially as a Legal Assistant working alongside Nigel Priestley to build up experience in the Public Law department. Helen completed her training contract at Ridley & Hall and qualified as a solicitor in 2016. Helen has had major successes in claiming allowances and back dated payments for kinship carers from Local Authorities across the country. Helen was made an Associate Solicitor in January 2023....
Rosie Nicholson Headshot

Rosie Nicholson

Associate Solicitor
Rosie primarily assists clients on a variety of issues in relation to kinship care, particularly claiming allowances and back dated payments for kinship carers from Local Authority’s. Rosie also assists clients with Special Guardianship Order applications and advice in relation to the support that is available under Special Guardianship Orders....
Kim Noble

Kim Noble

Solicitor-Advocate
Kim qualified as a Solicitor-Advocate in 2019 after obtaining her Higher Rights of Audience (Civil) as a Trainee Solicitor based in the Care Department at a Local Authority. Kim has obtained a Law Degree, Legal Practice Course and a Master of Laws prior to qualifying as a Solicitor-Advocate....

Nigel Priestley

Senior Partner, MBE
Nigel Priestley is a Senior Partner of Ridley & Hall Solicitors and a community care and adoption specialist solicitor. He is a member of the Children’s Panel and regularly represents children and parents in care proceedings. ...
Marie Stanley Headshot

Marie Stanley

Legal Secretary
Marie joined Ridley & Hall to work in our Wills & Probate team. After securing a Cilex qualification opportunity offered by Ridley & Hall in 2023, she now works in the Care Team....
Tracy Steel

Tracy Steel

Solicitor
Tracy joined Ridley & Hall as a trainee solicitor in June 2022 and is due to qualify as a solicitor in September 2022....
Anthony Sykes Headshot

Anthony Sykes

Paralegal
Anthony joined Ridley & Hall Solicitors in November 2023 as a Care & Public Law paralegal. He closely collaborates with the department's lawyers, assisting with a broad spectrum of matters at all stages of care proceedings....