Clerking team

Mark Robinson

Senior Clerk Chester

Sarah Philpotts

Lead Civil & Family Clerk

Sophie Dobson

Family & Civil Clerk

Sylvia is a Family Law specialist and experienced in all fields.

Sylvia read law at the University of London and was called to the Bar by Middle Temple Inn in 2001, having received the Jules Thorn Scholarship from the Inn to study the BVC. She practises in all areas of family.

Sylvia is accredited to accept Direct Public Access instructions.

Children (Public and Private law)

In public law matters she represents local authorities, parents and extended families, and children and has a particular interest in cases involving complex medical evidence namely non-accidental head injuries; purported fabricated and/or induced illness; and alleged bone disease. She is developing a practice involving care and adoption cases with an international element.

Her practice includes matrimonial finance with an emphasis on cases involving significant assets; family owned businesses; trust structures and valuation issues.

Sylvia’s practice also includes international jurisdictional disputes and multifaceted private law applications including complex medical evidence and leave to remove children from the jurisdiction,difficult child arrangement applications involving proven sexual abuse, homicide, private adoptions, protracted contact cases and international relocation.

Sylvia regularly appears in the family court and carries out an increasing amount of litigation in the High Court.

Sylvia is accredited by the Bar Council to undertake direct public access work and has advised and represented on this basis.


Local Authority v A v B v C v Interveners: Represented the successful Respondent in her challenge to the Local Authority’s plan for removal of the children from her care.

Local Authority v A v B v C v D v Interveners: In a case where significant allegations of sexual abuse were pleaded, represented the respondent father in his successful appeal from the lower court’s decision that there should not be any contact and removing a section 91(4) bar.

B v B: Successfully obtained order granting removal of children to Thailand.

D v D v Local Authority v The Child: Successfully represented the mother in having unsupervised extended care of the child in a case where allegations of FII were made by the medical team.

C v Local Authority v Interveners v The Children: Successfully represented a couple in their private law applications for an adoption order where the Local authority were not supportive and had identified competing adopters where the child’s half-sibling had been placed.

M v M: Represented a mother who had been convicted of murdering her father in her application for contact with her young child.

Family finance

Her matrimonial and private law practice is evenly split between Applicant and Respondent work.


X v Y: Successfully obtained injunctive relief preventing further dissipation of matrimonial funds by the respondent pending final hearing.


  • Family Law Bar Association