Two eminent solicitors have re-united ... some 30 years after sharing their first cases in family law.
Sarah Bentley has recruited the services of Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Reed - a leading light in the Crown
Prosecution Service for three decades - to strengthen her fast-expanding family law practice in Padiham.
Sarah, who established Sarah Bentley Solicitors just over a year ago, said: “It’s both a professional coup and a personal joy to welcome Libby aboard.
“We have been colleagues and friends for many years and her vast legal experience speaks for itself.”
Libby, who lives in Ightenhill, Burnley, has been tempted out of retirement by the challenge of the new part-time role, saying: “Family law was where I started and it has always remained a key element in my work, so when Sarah asked if I would be interested it was impossible to resist.”
The former Senior Crown Prosecutor has enjoyed a hugely successful career, rising to Head of Greater
Manchester Crown Court Unit - the biggest outside London.
“It was a fascinating but very demanding role,” said the native of Middlesbrough, who started off as an
office junior before obtaining a law degree and a diploma in legal practice at Manchester Metropolitan University and then qualifying as a solicitor in 1997. “My main function was to ensure correct decision-
making across many serious criminal matters including murders, gangland murders, drugs trafficking, human trafficking, rape and serious sexual offences and the extradition of individuals to name but a few.”
Libby was also project manager on the implementation of specialist domestic violence courts across
Lancashire. She worked within the domestic violence voluntary sector to enable it to come to fruition,
receiving a prestigious Justice Award and also appearing on the Trevor McDonald television
documentary on domestic violence.
She said: “During my time with the CPS, I probably dealt with more or less every crime imaginable and the
pressure, stresses and strains over a lengthy period left me ready for retirement a couple of years ago.
“I have really enjoyed the break - pursuing many outdoor pursuits and even taking up tap dancing!
"I now feel suitably refreshed and very much up for this exciting opportunity at Sarah Bentley Solicitors.”
Delighted with her latest recruit Sarah said: “Our specialism is family law, on which Libby is clearly well
versed, and I am certain that her vast legal knowledge and infectious enthusiasm will be of immense