I am a public law, equality and regulatory lawyer. I advise public sector clients on how to comply with their statutory, constitutional and common law obligations and avoid Judicial Review. I help the public sector defend litigation where necessary. I also advise those regulated by the public sector on how to comply with their regulatory regimes, and – where necessary – enforce public law duties against their regulators. I quickly understand and advise clients on a range of extremely technical areas of law. I also advise on public procurement and data protection / freedom of information law.
I have significant experience of advising healthcare, local government, education, audit and charity clients. I helped draft the governing documents for several public authorities – I was involved in the negotiations to establish a new statutory regulator, for example, and I drafted the constitutions for several NHS Foundation Trusts. I have advised many local authorities on the interpretation of their constitutions, and on other powers and duties. I have also helped public sector and other clients run a variety of investigations into alleged misconduct.
I have acted in a number of high-profile public law cases, including the Lumsdon judicial review of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, several judicial reviews involving NHS organisations in the High Court, and a First-tier Tribunal case, in which I conducted the advocacy (I am a qualified Solicitor-Advocate, Higher Courts: Civil Proceedings). I have also acted in a number of public procurement cases – for example defending a procurement of hospital supplies on behalf of several CCGs.
I have represented clients in several Equality Act claims – for example a disability discrimination claim challenging a new infrastructure project in the High Court and a reasonable adjustments claim in the County Court.
I also research and teach in the fields of public and equality law. I am currently completing a PhD at Queen Mary, University of London, which considers whether equality is a constitutional principle in the UK. This is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. I have also been a guest teacher on the public law course at LSE.
‘Government relations’ chapter, (2022) Lexology (with Melanie Carter, Simon Steeden, Harry Campbell and Jessica Collings)
‘Lessons for the Government from Miller I and the Scottish Continuity Bill Case’, (2021) 2 Queen Mary Law Journal, 1
‘Court of Appeal of England and Wales: Not Discriminatory to Pay Women More for Maternity Leave than Men for Shared Parental Leave’, (2021) 7 International Labor Rights Case Law, 225
‘Government announces Independent Review of Judicial Review’, (2020) Law Society Gazette, (with Melanie Carter)
‘Judicial Review in the GB Energy Sector (Practice Note)’, (2018) Lexis PSL, (with Melanie Carter and Charlotte Blackbourn)
- Acted for the claimants in the Lumsdon judicial review of the Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The challenged scheme was never introduced.
- Advised the BBC’s Trustees on a range of high profile investigations and complaints.
- Helped set up a new statutory regulator and draft the constitutions for several public authorities.
- Advised an NHS Trust on a judicial review against TfL about proposed changes to a road outside their hospital. This settled favourably to our client.
- Advised on an internal investigation into ‘Me Too’ allegations against an individual which resulted in robust action against the individual involved.
Sarah's areas of expertise
- Central Government & Agencies
- Higher Education
- Local Government
- Social Care
- Administrative and Public Law
- Regulatory challenges
- Ombud schemes
- Judicial review
- COVID-19 Advisory Service
- Employment, Pensions & Immigration
- Whistleblowing and raising concerns
- Equalities, diversity and discrimination
- Combatting Sexual Harassment Training
- Governance, Risk & Compliance
- Major Incidents
- Health, Care & Regulatory Law
- CQC Regulation
- Internal Investigations and Inquiries in Health
- Pharmaceutical Services
- Primary Care
- Regulatory Due Diligence
- Information Law
- Freedom of Information Act
- Data Protection
- Investigations & Inquiries
- Internal Investigations and Inquiries
- Inquiries and Reviews
- Litigation and Dispute Resolution
- Strategy & planning
- Procurement preparation
- Running the procurement process
- Procurement after contract award
- Procurement Training & Guidance
- NHS Commissioning
- Procurement Litigation
- Challenging the procurement evalution process
- Procurement clarification
- Obtaining procurement process information
- Standstill debriefing
- Automatic suspensions
- Managing the risk of procurement challenge