Sarah Cornish

Sarah Cornish

Call 2002 Grays Inn

Member of Midland Circuit
Member of Criminal Bar Association
Member of Family Law Bar Association
Specialist interest in Youth Court work – Subscriber to Youth Justice Legal Centre and Just for Kids Law


‘A Class act’  – Vulnerable defendant in case of domestic violence

‘Sarah was fantastic. If you could please pass on my thanks to her again’ Professional client in a neighbourhood dispute

‘Thank you so much. It’s such a relief that it’s all over’ Case dismissed as a result of legal representations to CPS.

‘The best Barrister in Leicester’ Defendant in firearms matter.

Practice Profile

An experienced and compassionate advocate with a reputation for robust cross examination, Sarah Cornish was called to the Bar at Grays Inn in 2002.

Having joined 2New Street Chambers in May 2021 as a specialist family advocate Sarah is instructed on the full range of Public and Private Law Children Act Proceedings. She has represented the local authority, parents and the guardian in final hearings involving domestic violence, mental health issues and substance abuse.

Her 20 years of experience as a criminal lawyer including as jury trial  advocate appearing in the Crown Court in the East Midlands but also across England and Wales, means that she is  adept at dealing with cases involving issues of sexual and physical violence, controlling and coercive behaviour and police disclosure.

Her advocacy expertise developed in the criminal court covers many of the issues commonly found in cases in the family court:  non-accidental injury, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, emotional harm and neglect in contested hearings.

Sarah has considerable experience in dealing with vulnerable witnesses by dint of their age, developmental or mental health issues or those dependant on drugs and/or alcohol.

Sarah is developing a practice centred around the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 and issues of Surrogacy.

A recent case before the High Court involved Sarah making a successful legal argument re domicile and time limits resulting in a successful application for a parental order on behalf of British nationals living abroad and a Ukrainian surrogate.

Having spent 10 years as an inhouse solicitor advocate, Sarah always adopts a client centred approach, ensuring those involved in what can be a very daunting experience in the justice system, are kept informed and supported throughout the process.  She is approachable and takes time to explain the law in an ‘easy – to – understand’ manner.

Sarah prepares thoroughly, recognising the devil is in the detail and delivers her advocacy in a concise and persuasive way to obtain the best outcome.  In addition, she enjoys complex legal argument which can result in cases resolving without the need for a contested hearing.

Sarah accepts instruction in public and private law children, domestic abuse and financial remedies.

She is qualified under the direct access scheme to accept instruction directly from members of the public.

Notable Cases

Public Law Children

LCC & B & H & CG 2022 – 5 day contested final hearing re Placement Order : Acting for Respondent mother

LCC & K& A & CG 2022 – Contested Final Hearing for Foster Placement Final Care Order listed for 4 days : Acting for Applicant Local Authority

Private Law children

K & T 2021 –, professional couple Child Arrangements Order – Acting for Respondent mother.

M & M 2021 – 2 days contested Non Molestation Order – Acting for Applicant wife.

Surrogacy/HFE 2008

B & S & S 2021– Final Hearing re application by informal sperm donor for access to child – acting for Applicant sperm donor.

F & T & P & CG 2021– Final Hearing for Parental Order in the High Court involving issues of Domicile, Time Limits, Non-resident British Nationals, Ukrainian Surrogacy and Travel Restrictions in a pandemic.


Youth Rape  – R v JL Leicester Youth Court – 2018

15 year old D, rape of sister 8 years old, vulnerable witnesses and defendants, Abe evidence, Ground Rules Hearing. Intermediary

D was accused of raping his 8 years old sister. Step-father acting as appropriate adult required sensitive handling, intermediary for complainant. Legal argument as to admissibility of 8 year old C’s ABE evidence given apparent inconsistencies.  D acquitted of Rape. Child witnesses

Manslaughter -R v ChuanFang Zheng Leicester Crown Court 2016

Baby shaking, Causation, medical experts, interpreters

D was accused of shaking her new-born baby resulting in the infant being hospitalised in intensive care for 3 days before death. 5 medical experts.  D was vulnerable due to the sensitive circumstances of the case and her inability to speak fluent English. QC instructed.