Author: Sarah Bentley

Libby’s arrival a major coup

Thirty years after sharing their first cases in family law, Sarah Bentley has re-united with Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Reed, a former leading light in the Crown Prosecution Service.

“It’s both a professional coup and a personal joy to welcome Libby aboard,” said Sarah. “We have been colleagues and friends for many years and her vast legal experience speaks for itself.”

Libby, who lives in Ightenhill, Burnley, has been tempted out of retirement by the challenge of the new part-time role with us, saying: “Family law was where I started and it has always remained a key element in my work, so when Sarah asked if I would be interested it was impossible to resist.”

The former Senior Crown Prosecutor has enjoyed a hugely successful career, rising to Head of Greater Manchester Crown Court Unit – the biggest outside London.

“It was a fascinating but very demanding role,” said the native of Middlesbrough, who started off as an office junior before obtaining a law degree and a diploma in legal practice at Manchester Metropolitan University and then qualifying as a solicitor in 1997. “My main function was to ensure correct decision-making across many serious criminal matters including murders, gangland murders, drugs trafficking, human trafficking, rape and serious sexual offences and the extradition of individuals to name but a few.”

Libby was also project manager on the implementation of specialist domestic violence courts across Lancashire. She worked within the domestic violence voluntary sector to enable it to come to fruition, receiving a prestigious Justice Award and also appearing on the Trevor McDonald television documentary on domestic violence.

“During my time with the CPS, I probably dealt with more or less every crime imaginable and the pressure, stresses and strains over a lengthy period left me ready for retirement a couple of years ago.

“I have really enjoyed the break – pursuing many outdoor pursuits and even taking up tap dancing! – and now feel suitably refreshed and very much up for this exciting opportunity at Sarah Bentley Solicitors.”

Sarah is delighted with her latest recruit: “Our specialism is family law, on which Libby is clearly well versed, and I am certain that her vast legal knowledge and infectious enthusiasm will be of immense value.”

Picture Caption: Libby Reed (left) is welcomed by Sarah Bentley.

Eve takes another step forward

Eve Brelsford – our first recruit – has taken a major step forward in her quest to become a solicitor.

Eve, 25, has successfully completed the finance and business module part of the professional-standard ‘Practice Skills’ … and is now set to qualify as a solicitor in the summer of next year.

“The module represents the main part of Eve’s training and we are delighted that she has come through with flying colours,” said owner Sarah Bentley. “We see Eve as the key to our future; someone with genuine ability, a desire to succeed and a great personality. Clients like to deal with her and she has the potential to go far in family law.”

The former Westholme School student said: “Sitting important exams is always a nervous time so I am so glad to get this important one out of the way. There are a few more obstacles to overcome, but I am hopeful that I can repay Sarah’s faith in me and qualify as a solicitor within the next few months.”

Lexcel quality standard achieved!

Sarah Bentley Solicitors is celebrating a prestigious industry standard … achieved inside our first year of trading!

We have been awarded the Lexcel quality mark by the Law Society in recognition of high standards of client care and management.

Founder Sarah Bentley said: “When people see the Lexcel accreditation they can be confident that they are dealing with a firm which understands the need for excellence and can deliver the very best in service, while also being cost efficient. Our ethos is based around professionalism, practicality, discretion and support and we are very proud to have been awarded the Lexcel quality standard.”

Lexcel is developed specifically for the legal profession and gives assurance that a practice meets high client care and business management standards. It is run by the Law Society, the professional body for solicitors in England and Wales.

Lexcel-accredited firms are inspected annually and to gain accreditation they must undergo a rigorous application and assessment process.

Christina Blacklaws, President of the Law Society of England and Wales, said: “Delivering good client care and maintaining a strong client relationship are essential for solicitors and those gaining and maintaining Lexcel show their dedication to go above and beyond.

“Committing to high standards in customer service and practice management is fundamentally important in today’s increasingly competitive legal services market.”

Picture Caption: Sarah Bentley (left) and Eve Brelsford proudly display the Lexcel certificate.