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.