Our People

Sarah Forster

Our director and solicitor, Sarah Forster, founded Forster Dowling in 2016 following a career as an employment lawyer in leading law firms based in the South West and Cardiff.

Sarah has over 20 years post qualification experience in employment law, providing advice and representation to: businesses of all sizes and across most sectors (including plc’s in the retail sector, manufacturers and start ups); and individuals in a range of roles, including retail workers, directors and consultants.

Sarah has extensive experience in Employment Tribunal litigation and advocacy and has represented individual and employer clients at Tribunal hearing centres across the country, in all manner of claims, including complex discrimination claims and multi day hearings.

Around 50% of Sarah’s time is spent dealing with Employment Tribunal work. The rest of Sarah’s time is spent negotiating exit packages for outgoing employees under settlement agreements and providing non contentious advice and support, such as preparing contracts of employment and consultancy agreements. She has also helped a number of individuals and organisations navigate their way through difficult disciplinary and grievance processes.

Sarah’s transactional experience has included providing employment law support on business sales and purchases, including TUPE advice on the transfer of assets from one brewery to another.

Sarah is ranked as a “recognised practitioner” in the 2020 Chambers and Partners Directory.

Sarah’s Latest Work includes

2020: advising a company on the employment aspects of the purchase of a retail business out of liquidation, a transaction that had be turned around within a few days in order to save the business and the jobs of the affected staff.

2019: assisting a start up business with employee documentation including preparation of core policies and contracts.

2019: advising a whistleblower on their exit from their public sector employer and negotiating favourable terms under a settlement agreement.

2019: advising a senior manager in respect of their long term absence from work and grievances based on age and disability discrimination.

2018: advising a number of directors on exit from high profile private and public sector organisations where health and performance issues were factors.

2018: representing an SME in defence of an Employment Tribunal claim based on allegations of sex discrimination.

2018: supporting an international manufacturer on the exit of a key member of staff who raised allegations of race and sex discrimination.

Credentials

2016 to date: Founder, solicitor and director of Forster Dowling.

2008 to 2015: Senior Associate / Partner (employment) Capital Law Ltd Solicitors, Cardiff

2005 to 2008: Associate and Head of employment team (commercial division), Leo Abse & Cohen Solicitors, Cardiff

2001 to 2005: Senior Solicitor (employment) Bond Pearce Solicitors, Bristol and Southampton

1997 to 2001: Trainee / Solicitor (employment), Cartwrights Solicitors, Bristol

1999: Qualified as a solicitor – England and Wales

Education

  • 2015: Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Award in Training Principles and Practice: Level 1 (May 2015)
  • 1996 to 1997: Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (Cardiff University)
  • 1992 to 1996: University of Warwick (LLB (Euro) Hons 2:1)
  • 1995: University of Giessen (Kleine BGB Schein (small BGB certificate))

Memberships / Voluntary Work

  • The Law Society of England and Wales
  • Employment Lawyers’ Association
  • 2015 to date: School Governor
  • 2018 to date: Employment Litigant in Person Scheme (ELIPS) volunteer

Languages

  • German

Interests

Governor of a primary school.

Tae Kwon Do black belt. Welsh team captain and British champion during her teens. 2017 British Silver medallist (veteran class).

Sarah Forster, Solicitor and Director