‘I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be a lawyer if I wasn’t a family lawyer,’ muses Sarah Hoskinson, who was made a partner at Burges Salmon in 2012 and has since built the foundations for a stellar practice in London and the West Country. ‘Family law is all about people, and it’s that human element rather than the black letter of the law that gives it the edge.’
Despite her focus on the human side, Hoskinson is extremely well versed in the intricacies of those ‘black letters’. She’s part of what she calls a lawyer’s ‘geek squad’, is accredited as a specialist by Resolution in complex asset cases and pensions on divorce, and gives regular lectures. She is also a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. She believes family law can be managed sensibly and co-operatively no matter how complex the case and it doesn’t have to be resolved by heavy litigation: ‘Clients are surprised to learn that even if someone has 37 offshore companies and trusts, we can sort it out.’
Her unwaveringly calm manner doesn’t just appeal to clients; peers trust Hoskinson too. ‘While her main focus is on finding solutions co-operatively, she also has significant experience of complex litigation when this is required,’ says one peer. ‘She’s the one to hold your hand in the case of a divorce. She takes the stress out of the situation,’ says another.