January 27, 2021
4. Sarah Clarke KC: The Expert Advocacy Trainer

In this episode Sarah Clarke KC shares her perspectives on advocacy, having trained experienced practitioners throughout the world and having sat as a Judge. She discusses how to improve court room skills, including some alternative yet familiar resources.

  • How Sarah began to learn advocacy and her recommended reading.
  • What makes Sarah a formidable advocate? 
  • Sarah’s advocacy training journey including the International Criminal Court, Pakistan, Malaysia, Sierra Leone, Yugoslavia and more.
  • How can experienced practitioners improve?
  • Authenticity as an advocate.
  • Preparation: no shortcuts.
  • How to prepare for the facts that can sink your case.
  • Practical steps to improve your preparation.
  • What Sarah does for every speech in court.
  • Direct examination / examination-in-chief: controlling the story.
  • Cross-examination: when a Judge doesn’t like where you’re going.
  • How Sarah uses her voice in cross-examination to build the narrative, and deals with verbose and lying witnesses. 
  • How sitting as a Judge helped Sarah understand what helps Judges (to help you).

Books mentioned: 

The Devil’s Advocate Iain Morley KC
The Art of Cross-Examination, Francis Wellman
The Art of the Advocate, Richard Du Cann


Courses mentioned: 

Sarah Clarke KC

Sarah Clarke KC was called to the bar in 1994 and took silk in 2017, having joined Serjeants’ Inn Chambers in 2011 after a period of six years working in-house at what was then the Financial Services Authority (FSA). This experience contributed to Sarah’s renowned expertise in financial services, fraud and insider dealing, with Sarah having written the leading textbook on insider dealing law. Sarah also acted in R v Sanders and Others in 2012, one of the most significant UK insider dealing prosecutions to date, and the first involving parallel proceedings in the US Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice.

Sarah also practises in police disciplinary actions and represents medical professionals and Hospital Trusts at Inquests. She has a niche practice representing medical professionals in the Crown Court in respect of sexual and fraud offences and also prosecutes on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service and Service Prosecutions Authority. She was further appointed as a Recorder of the Crown Court in 2012 and was authorised to sit in cases involving Serious Sexual Offences in 2016.

Sarah has been described as a “formidable advocate” in court, particularly where it comes to witness handling and cross-examination. Sarah is a leading advocacy trainer both nationally for Inner temple and the prestigious “Keble” Advocacy Course, and internationally, including for the International Criminal Court, the Pakistan Prosecutors at the Special Terrorism Court, Lahore, and the Supreme Court for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo.