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Sarah Vince

Sarah Vince

Sarah Vince

Barrister (Senior Associate)

About Sarah

Sarah is an experienced Barrister, specialising in complex inquests, court of protection and professional discipline. She is an experienced Crown Court advocate, now representing NHS clients, local authorities, national regulators and international companies, and is well known for providing pragmatic, friendly advice and support.

Called to the bar in 2007, Sarah’s inquest practice involves Article 2 jury inquests concerning offender health, mental and physical healthcare, emergency services, child and adult social services and private companies.  These inquests often carry a high risk of reputational damage for the client and Sarah is adept at navigating these issues. Sarah’s background in the crown court means she is instructed on cases where potential criminal concerns are raised, such as inappropriate release from prison, unsafe working practises of employers, failure to provide care with linked Fire Service and CQC prosecution.

Sarah represents NHS Trusts and ICB’s in Court of Protection proceedings involving serious medical treatment and welfare decisions and has recently appeared in the High Court in relation to a serious medical treatment case involving high level restraint and general anaesthetic to a patient.

Her regulatory practice involves challenging cases concerning jurisdiction, historical sexual offences, terrorism charges and large cases involving multiple defendants.

An advocate for helping those from all backgrounds enter the legal profession, Sarah supports the Firm’s D&I and social mobility initiative, mentoring FAIRE legal careers access scheme students and working with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds via the National Literacy Trust’s ‘Words 4 Work’ programme.

Sarah is frequently instructed for inquest work by NHS Trusts, including those providing prison healthcare, ambulance services, community care providers and Local Authorities in all manner of inquests including those where Article 2 is engaged and involve juries. These are complex inquests, are often emotive and require a sensitive approach to advocacy whilst remaining robust to protect the interests of the client and with a strong focus on organisational learning.

Sarah represents NHS Trusts in prison inquests, often with a focus on mental health provision, where the focus of the inquest is on the appropriateness of the care provided, the interplay with the prison ACCT process for those patients at risk of suicide and forward planning for their release from custody.

She successfully represented an ambulance Trust at an inquest where the Trust were accused of contributing to the death of a patient, having failed to attend the call emergency for 12 hours.

Local Authority inquests have provided Sarah with exposure to inquests with a community care focus, an interplay with hospital discharge policies and social care responsibilities. Sarah is instructed in inquests involving persons who decline social care support, raising arguments of capacity and related duties on agencies to coordinate the appropriate care.

Sarah is also experienced in advising the Care Quality Commission in relation to the Health and Social Care Act 2008 matters, involving cancellations of registration and subsequent appeals to Tribunal.

Sarah provides advice and representation to public sector clients on matters relating to professional discipline and regulation.

She receives instruction from the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) on complex cases involving arguments over jurisdiction, historical sexual offences and terrorism charges. Sarah also handles large cases involving multiple teacher defendants and linked offences. Sarah’s background as a criminal Barrister is especially useful in this area as cases may typically involve fraud, sexual offences and maladministration. Sarah is also able to receive instructions in relation to the enforcement of professional healthcare standards and discipline, having previously been instructed on behalf of NHS England in matters involving removal from Performer’s Lists.

Sarah often represents NHS Trusts and CCGs during Court of Protection proceedings, including s21A Mental Capacity Act challenges to an individual’s deprivation of liberty and also in cases before the High Court involving serious medical treatment.

These cases are often intertwined with Local Authorities and Sarah has good understanding of the difficulties faced by both organisations. Sarah is able to provide advice in relation to best interest decisions and has been involved in cases where a trial return home is considered, as well as challenges to the care provided to individuals whilst in their place of residence.

Sarah is often jointly instructed by the Trust, the CCG and/or the Local Authority, in cases where there is no conflict. Recently she has appeared in the High Court in relation to a serious medical treatment case involving the restraint and general anaesthetic to a patient, in order to provide necessary care.

Sarah has a background in advising on commissioning issues and so has an appreciation of the difficulties faced by CCG’s in balancing competing needs and responsibilities.

Recent experience

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Birmingham office

Birmingham office

15th Floor
103 Colmore Row
B3 3AG