Sarah Phillips, Partner

I am a Partner at Dean Wilson LLP.  I have specialised in family law since 2006 and trained as a collaborative lawyer in 2015.  I am a recommended lawyer for family law in the South East in the 2021 Legal 500, a leading guide to the top law firms and legal practitioners in the UK.


I am also a Resolution Accredited Specialist in the fields of complex financial remedies and private children law and am committed to conducting my cases in a sensitive manner which reduces conflict and promotes the longer term interests of my clients.

I believe that by advocating an approach which is emotionally intelligent and constructive, I save my clients both money and heartache.

I began my legal career in Kent honing my skills representing my clients at the local courts in relation to financial remedies on divorce, emergency applications relating to children and domestic violence injunctions.  I moved to a Sussex firm in 2014 and continued to develop my expertise in relation to financial remedies and complex Children Act litigation, including a successful appeal in the Court of Appeal in a highly acrimonious children case. Since working at Dean Wilson, I have advised on complex financial remedy cases involving trust and business assets, intervenors, and allegations of conduct.  I have acted on protracted children cases involving allegations of parental alienation, implacable hostility, and serious mental health issues.  I have a particular interest in domestic abuse, both in supporting victims of genuine abuse and also defending those who face false allegations of abuse.

I also advise clients with regard to cohabitation agreements and pre and post-nuptial agreements with a view to avoiding future litigation.

Legal 500 testimonials:

‘Sarah Philips – she is fantastic. Hardworking and shrewd but with a real desire to get the best result for her clients. Very good at handling vulnerable clients and giving them the strength to pursue their case to its conclusion. Empathetic but realistic.’

‘My solicitor is Sarah Phillips. She was recommended to me as someone who will “handhold you through the process but also know how to deal with a difficult ex partner” and this is exactly what I have found. I have found Sarah to be an amazing balance of emotionally literate, kind and understanding but also pragmatic and focused on resolving issues. She is patient in explaining the process to me and has also been very honest in her advice which I have appreciated. She has maintained a focus on the issues at hand despite sometimes personal attacks on her from my abusive ex partner. She has never allowed these unpleasant and unnecessary attacks on her to detract her focus or impact on her work. She has also responded with kindness as well as a firm protective legal response when my ex partner was arrested for assaulting me. This was a very frightening and upsetting time for me and Sarah’s support and focus was immensely helpful and something which I am very grateful for. I completely trust Sarah to give me good legal advice, even if it’s not what I want to hear, and I will be forever grateful for this. Sarah has also supported me to fund my proceedings by helping me understand how to access a loan for legal fees which means I can continue in trying to get a fair settlement in my divorce so that my children have somewhere safe and secure to live. I have particularly valued Sarah’s correspondence style and her skill for focused, succinct and to the point correspondence.  It’s difficult to articulate just how grateful I am and how much I appreciate Sarah’s approach, if I tried to summarise I would say it is: kind; focused; pragmatic; supportive and trustworthy.’

Outside of work, I have a passion for European travel, Greek food, Scandinavian literature, cycling and mountain climbing.  I have completed the London to Brighton Bike Ride and Moon Ride in order to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.