Clerking team

Ryan Barker

Assistant Senior Clerk (Matrimonial Finance)

Dan Johnson

Assistant Senior Clerk (Children)

Emma Manning

Matrimonial Finance Clerk

Elizabeth Fagan

Junior Family Clerk

Sonia was called to the Bar by Inner Temple in 1982 following a Post-graduate qualification from Manchester University in French and German. Sonia is also fluent in Norwegian, Romanian and Hungarian and also speaks conversational Italian. For several years Sonia advised and assisted an Irish Exploration Company in establishing a joint venture with East European mining companies.

Sonia practises in all areas of Family Law with emphasis on financial provision following divorce. She sits as a Recorder dealing with Private and Public law cases as well as Crime and Civil.

Chambers and Partners described her as “an experienced “battler” who handles international family law, financial disputes and public and private children cases”.

Sonia is Accredited to receive instructions directly from members of the public through the Public Access scheme.

Children (Public and Private law)

Sonia has extensive experience in all aspects of Children Act proceedings in both public and private law cases including finding of fact hearings and final hearings dealing with neglect domestic violence emotional and sexual abuse, as well as contact and residence cases acting for parents, children or extended family members.

Sonia has a particular interest in the international movement of children and child abduction.

Sonia has been recognised as offering sensible no nonsense advice and is good at handling clients in a sensitive but straight forward manner.

Sonia is frequently instructed on a direct-access basis in financial remedy cases of all types as well as private law children cases.


H v K (2014) Manchester District Registry: Contact and temporary removal from jurisdiction.

C v C (2013) Macclesfield District Registry: Successful residence application to alcoholic mother.

Family finance

All aspects of family law with particular emphasis on high value financial provision cases including dealing with company matters, corporate veils, pre and post separation agreements, s. 37 disputes, trusts, Schedule 1, pensions, farming cases, periodical payments, cohabitation, material non disclosure, costs, inherited assets, financial remedy in the context of confiscation orders and Appeals.

Sonia is also instructed in complex medium worth cases where competing issues of contributions, need, sale of FMH, pension offset, cohabitation and Mesher Orders have to be argued.

Sonia frequently advises and acts for members of the Legal Profession in their own financial dispute cases.


M v M (2014) Macclesfield District Registry: Cohabitation, contribution, school fees, Mesher order/immediate sale of FMH.

T v T (2013) Chester District Registry: Immerman issues.

D v D (2010) Manchester District Registry: Financial provision, main asset financed by third party.

C v C (2009) Manchester District Registry: Financial provision in case where main asset where proceeds of sale of multi-million Company.

P v P (2009) Manchester District Registry: Schedule 1 application by Mother with multi-million Asset base.

S v S (2006) Manchester District Registry: Schedule 1 applications against high profile sports personalities.

O v O (2005) Manchester District Registry

L v L (2005) Manchester District Registry: Acting for US-based company H had worked for and defrauded. Issue was quantum of wife’s entitlement.

Smith v Smith 3FCR 2001: Definitive authority that are merely a factor in the S.25 criteria.

Sport, media, & entertainment

Sonia has experience of acting in financial remedy cases for sports people.


Sonia is a qualified mediator.

Private FDR

Sonia uses her extensive experience of representing parties in Financial Dispute Resolution Hearings in court to chair private FDR hearings, at which parties can receive a quick and confidential determination without the stress, delay and cost of determining financial remedies on divorce through the court process.


  • Family Law Bar Association. (Treasurer of the Manchester Branch since 2002.)


  • Recorder
  • Accredited for Direct Access Instructions