Sarah Langford

Year of Call: 2005
Email Address:
Telephone: 01962 868 884 

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Sarah Langford has a broad practice and is instructed in civil, family and criminal work, meaning she has a wealth of advocacy and drafting experience.  She finds the areas can often compliment one another, and offer an advantage over other advocates without the same range of experience.  She has a calm, measured approach to her advocacy and advice. This, combined with her thorough preparation and robust determination to ensure the best outcome, ensures her popularity with her clients.

She receives instructions from all of Chambers’ Centres in London, Bournemouth, Bristol, Oxford & Winchester.
In her spare time Sarah enjoys travelling, tennis and skiing, and is also a keen rider and active member of the barrister’s Pegasus Riding Club.


  • Crime
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    Sarah is predominantly a Defence advocate and has amassed a wealth of trial experience on a wide range of offences, both when acting alone and whilst being led.
    She has appeared a number of times in the Court of Appeal, and has also undertaken work for Appellants in Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority cases, has experience of Courts Martial work and Prison Adjudication Hearings, and has represented interested parties at inquest hearings.
    Her regulatory work includes appearing on behalf of Trading Standards and on behalf of County Councils in Education Act prosecutions.  Sarah also worked for the Treasury Solicitors under their Baby Barrister Scheme for those under three years call, where she would routinely draft advices and statements of case for the Prison Service.
    She is also happy to draft Advices on Evidence, Skeleton Arguments, Sexual Offences Prevention Orders and Advices and Grounds of Appeal.
    She has also under taken pro bono work and was Junior Counsel in an appeal against a conviction for murder in Jamaica.
    Sarah is a member of the Criminal Bar Association.
    Sarah has particular experience of the following:

    Drug Offences 
    Sarah frequently appears in cases involving both the possession and supply of drugs.  She is well used to assimilating the large amount of evidence that is typical of such cases.

    Cases of note include: 
    R v Grant Williams [2011] EWCA Crim 275 - Further to the Defendant’s guilty plea to possession with intent to supply class A on the basis of being a custodian at Southampton Crown Court, Sarah represented the Defendant in the Court of Appeal, when it was held that although a benefit figure could be valued at the amount of drugs he had consumed over the relevant period, it was legitimate to reduce the amount of the benefit if it could be established that the drugs had been purchased in part with legitimate income.
    R v Vernon and Others, [2010] EWCA Crim 695 - Sarah was Junior Counsel in a two month trial at Bristol Crown Court in which she represented one of five men charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs, kidnapping, false imprisonment and three counts of rape.  Following the retirement of her Leader, Sarah appealed to the Court of Appeal against the three life sentences imposed and represented the Appellant alone.  The Court of Appeal held that a life sentence had to be reserved for cases where the culpability of the offender was particularly high or the offence itself particularly grave and that although the offences were serious and disgusting, they did not fall within the category requiring life sentences.

    Sex Offences  
    Sarah has represented both the Crown and the Defence in a number of cases involving sexual offences.
    She has particular experience of the following:
    Representation of Defendants charged with rape of a child under the age of 13, and representation of young Defendants charged with rape of a complainant under the age
    of 16.

    Representation of a number of Defendants accused of possession of a large quantity of indecent images and videos from levels 1 to 5.  This has involved analysing, interpreting and explaining complex expert evidence on the retrieval and storage of such images on various computer systems.
    Sarah has frequently and successfully argued against the making of Sexual Offences Prevention Orders, both in their application and in their content, and is well acquainted with the wealth of guidelines case law in this area.  She is also experienced in representing those charged with breach of a SOPO.
    Representation of one of a group of men accused of ‘cottaging’ in local public toilets.
    Sarah has been involved in a number of cases where Defendants have been accused of Grievous Bodily Harm, Gang violence including Violent Disorder and Riot, Affrays involving glassings and GBH level injuries and domestic and non-domestic Arson and Burglary offences.

    Road Traffic Act Offences 
    Sarah has frequently dealt with cases involving allegations of dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified, and driving whilst under the influence, as well as more minor road traffic offences.
    She is well versed in special reasons and exceptional hardship arguments for those who wish to avoid a driving ban and/or penalty points following a conviction

  • Family
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    Sarah's extensive family practice is focused on work involving children, both in private and public law proceedings.

    She is predominantly instructed to appear on behalf of parents, although she has also acted on behalf of Local Authorities and the Guardian in public law proceedings.

    Sarah is a member of the Family Bar Association.

    As well as extensive experience in Residence and Contact disputes and Care Order Applications, she also has experience of the following:
    Contested Hearings involving the instruction and subsequent cross-examination of numerous experts, including child and adult psychiatrists and psychologists.
    Representing parents in lengthy fact finding hearings involving allegations of non-accidental injuries to the children, or of extensive domestic violence including rape.
    Applications for permission to discharge Care Orders, and Application for Contact with a Child in Care.
    Cases involving disputed paternity.
    Cases involving allegations and judicial findings of implacable hostility by one parent against the other, resulting in the potential removal of the child from that parent.
    Applications for Specific Issue Orders including the change of a school, change of a child’s surname, and culturally sensitive issues such as a child’s circumcision.
    Applications for Prohibited Steps Orders preventing removal of the child from the jurisdiction, where there is a real fear that one or other parent will abduct the child to a non-Hague Convention country.

  • Personal Injury
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    Sarah Langford undertakes a range of civil work, with a focus on personal injury law. Sarah also undertakes credit hire work and is well versed in the wide range of issues and law that this area typically involves.

    She has considerable trial experience in both liability and quantum disputes on the fast and multi tracks, and in the Appeal Court.  She is also well used to dealing with interim hearings involving, for example, disputes concerning the instruction of relevant experts, default and summary judgment, and applications to strike out.

    Sarah is also well versed in dealing with issues of cost, at both the assessment and appeal stages.
    Sarah balances her Court work with a paper practice, and regularly advises on prospective and current cases involving a range of law, for example cases concerning Occupier’s Liability, Highways’ Act cases, the Workplace Regulations, and ‘slippers and trippers’.

    Sarah is happy to consider undertaking work on a Conditional Fee Agreement basis.

    Examples of issues in recent cases she has undertaken include:
    Several cases involving allegations of fraud made against a Claimant and their witnesses alleging the setting up of false whiplash claims.
    Issues of causation in cases involving personal injury and accident vehicle damage, in particular in low velocity impact cases.
    Negligence claims involving claimants who are unable to give direct instructions due to their age or mental capacity
    Appeals against costs order made in a successful CFA cases
    A variety of quantum disputes involving the exacerbation and acceleration of complex pre-existing injuries resulting in permanent disability

    Sarah is happy to give in-house lectures.

Academic qualifications

BA English Literature
Wilfred Getz Award (Gray's Inn, 2004)

Professional bodies

Criminal Bar Association

Family Bar Association