Since being called to the Bar in 1989, Sarah Hannaford QC has specialised in construction, engineering and energy disputes together with professional negligence work within these areas of expertise. She is also one of the leading barristers in the field of EU procurement law and regularly advises Government bodies, local authorities and industry clients on complex procurement issues. Sarah also has considerable expertise in disputes relating to party walls, rights of light and other easements.
Sarah's work spans both the United Kingdom and international markets with international arbitration being a key part of her practice, particularly in the field of energy projects. Over recent years she has been instructed in some of the largest international arbitrations in this field including a long-running dispute regarding the construction of an FPSO, a project relating to a pipe-laying vessel in Singapore and a project for the construction of two state of the art ultra harsh environment oil rigs.
As a Treasury A Panel Counsel prior to taking silk, Sarah represented U.K. Government bodies on numerous disputes, including the Highways Agency, Environment Agency, Ministry of Defence and the Department for Communities and Local Government.
In addition to her work as Counsel, Sarah Hannaford is a trained Mediator and accredited Adjudicator.
“Handles international arbitrations relating to energy matters”...“an in-depth understanding of disputes involving party walls, rights of light and other easements.”
“Absolutely superb”...“a doyenne of the Public Procurement Bar”...“Unstuffy, client-friendly and someone who will really put herself out for you”...“a committed procurement specialist who really gets into the detail of a case.”
Chambers and Partner 2013
"A strong advocate who can master all manner of construction disputes in short timescales." "excellent knowledge of procurement challenges." “Her pragmatic and direct manner have attracted praise.”
“Impresses with her commerciality, approachable manner and ability to provide pragmatic advice that goes beyond the simple letter of the law."
Chambers and Partner 2012
"Carving a niche for herself in procurement issues." "she is a very robust performer who gives firm, unambiguous advice."
"She is a real star and is very clear in her advice. Her real skill lies in handling the client."
Chambers and Partner 2011
Particularly sought after for her procurement expertise, she "can comfortably handle other much more experienced silks."
"Someone who will work unbelievably hard for you," she has a "punchy and pragmatic style," and is seen as a "formidable yet approachable opponent."
Chambers and Partners 2010
“Energetic and tireless,” …”blossoming cross-examination skills.”
Chambers and Partners 2009
‘Considered, takes the right points, and assiduous.‘
Legal 500 2009
“a very tough lady who works hard and is great to have on your team,”…“a great junior.”
Chambers and Partners 2008
"Conscientious and hard working."
Legal 500 2007
Recommended in both the Construction, European and Public Procurement sections of
Chambers and Partners 2007 and in Chambers and Partners Global 2007
"Well-honed cross-examination skills."
Chambers and Partners 2007
"Absolutely top-notch, intelligent and tough."
Chambers and Partners 2006
Recommended as a leading Counsel in Construction
Legal 500 2006
“Incisive, go-getting,”…“rated extremely highly,”…“a tough advocate who never panics in Court.”
Chambers and Partners 2005
- Acting for the Secretary of State for Transport on claims in the Technology and Construction Court in relation to the alleged defective design and construction of the Thelwall Viaduct on M6 motorway.
- Acting for a design and build contractor in a multi-party dispute in the Technology and Construction Court relating to a warehouse floor.
- Representing a Government Department in an adjudication concerning the final account dispute for the design and construction of an Academy in Northampton.
- Representing a design and build contractor in a dispute about the mechanical and electrical installations in a large office block, both in the Technology and Construction Court and in mediation.
- Acting for Birse Construction Limited (now part of Balfour Beatty), in adjudication and subsequent court proceedings in the Technology and Construction Court relating to the construction of a computer data centre in the U.K. for Citibank.
- Acting for a Singaporean contractor in relation to an arbitration under domestic Singaporean Rules concerning claims arising from piling works for a commercial development.
- Acting for the contractor in ICC arbitration proceedings relating to the construction of a new highway in Equatorial Guinea.
- Acting for the Ministry of Defence in the Chancery Division on a dispute concerning the procurement of food supplies for U.K. armed forces worldwide. The claims related to the negotiated procedure under the Public Supply Contracts Regulations 1995.
- Acting for the Legal Services Commission and Lord Chancellor in the Court of Appeal on a dispute relating to the effect of EU procurement law on contracts for the provision of legal aid services. The disputes related to the obligation of transparency and technical specifications.
- Advising Government bodies, lay and industry clients on potential or actual breaches of European procurement law and challenges in the Courts in relation to works, services and supply contracts.
- Advising on the implications of EU law on development agreements.
- Advising on framework agreements and central purchasing bodies.
- Advising on the applicability of Directives and Regulations to particular employers and projects.
- Advising tenderers and employers during pre-qualification and tender procedures.
- Representing the Environment Agency in professional negligence claims arising out of the design and construction of a channel to relieve flooding from the River Thames.
- Representing employers and professionals (architects, engineers, building surveyors and quantity surveyors) in relation to professional negligence claims including the construction of a fire training centre, substantial commercial premises, a school and a prison.
- Representing German energy company Eon in the English Courts (Chancery Division) on a multi million pound dispute relating to contracts for the reprocessing of nuclear waste from European power stations at Sellafield.
- Acting for a Korean shipyard in a US$500 million international arbitration under LCIA rules concerning specification and delay issues relating to the construction of two ultra harsh condition jack up oil rigs.
- Acting for the Singaporean shipyard Sembawang in relation to a long-running arbitration under LMAA rules. The dispute related to the contract to convert the bulk carrier "Solitaire" into a pipe-laying vessel for the oil & gas industry. The arbitration was the largest marine arbitration ever held in London.
- Acting for a Singaporean shipyard in relation to claims under LCIA arbitration rules relating to the construction of an FPSO vessel.
- Advised major contractor regarding a contractual dispute to establish, install and provide services in relation to a secure digital radio network across 52 regions.
- Advising a City Council regarding tendering issues for the placement of an IT Contract.
- Advising the Ministry of Defence regarding a contractual dispute for the supply and installation of digital copier printers.
- Advising on the approach to be taken on a £3.5 million software development contract dispute to be heard in the Technology and Construction Court.
- Advising and acting on behalf of a major telecommunications provider in a dispute under a PFI Contract relating to the Connect Project under which the entire communications systems for the Underground Network is being replaced.
Party Walls and Rights of Light
- Acting for contractors in relation rights of light disputes in relation to commercial and domestic developments.
- Acting for contractors and private individuals in relation to numerous party wall disputes.
Selected Reported Cases
- Harry Yearsley Ltd v Secretary of State for Justice
 EWHC 160
- Exel Europe Ltd v University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust
 EWHC 3332
- Kaye v Lawrence
 EWHC 2678 (TCC),  NPC 106,  1 All ER 1088,  BLR 77,  44 EG 124,  1 EG 66,  CILL 2955
- Alstom Transport v Eurostar International Ltd
 EWHC B32 (Ch)
- Alstom Transport v Eurostar International Ltd & Anor
 EWHC 2747,  Eu LR 229
- Croft House Care Ltd v Durham CC, Orchard Home Care Ltd v Durham CC, Kelly Park Caring Agency v Durham CC
 EWHC 909 (TCC),  PTSR 363
- European Dynamics SA v HM Treasury (sued as Buying Solutions)
 EWHC 3419 (TCC),  Eu LR 397, (2010) 26 Const LJ 191 and 128 Con LR 36
- Amaryllis Ltd v HM Treasury (sued as ogcbuying solutions) (No.2)
 EWHC 962 TCC,  EWHC 1666 (TCC), (2009) 25 Const LJ 528,  BLR 425 and  Eu LR 152
- R (on the application of the Law Society) v Legal Services Commission & the Lord Chancellor
 EWCA Civ 1264; (2008) 2 WLR 803; (2008) 2 All ER 148
- Mast Electrical Services v Kendal Cross Holdings Ltd
 EWHC 1296 (TCC)
- British Nuclear Group Sellafield Ltd v Kernkraftwerk Brokdorf and others
 EWHC 2245 (Ch)
- Environment Agency v Lewin Fryer & Partners
 Con LJ Vol 22 No.8 p574 TCC; EWHC 1597 (TCC)
- BFS Group Ltd v (1) Secretary of State for Defence (2) Purple Foodservice Ltd
 EWHC 1513 (Ch)
- AMEC Civil Engineering Ltd v Secretary of State for
 1 WLR 2339 CA,  Con LJ Vol. 21 No.8 p.640 CA,  101 Con LR 26 CA,  CILL 2228 and  BLR 227 CA and  CILL 2189 TCC
- CIB Properties Ltd v Birse Construction Ltd
 1 WLR 2252, BLR 173 TCC and  EWHC 2365 (TCC
- Awarding Public Contracts Lawfully and Skilfully within the Procurement Rules - Whitepaper conference, 2013.
- The Sweet & Maxwell Construction Law Conference 2010 – Build on your knowledge of current and recent developments Finola O'Farrell QC, David Thomas QC, Richard Harding QC and Jonathan Selby (October 2010)
- International Bar Association - 4th Biennial IBA Conference on Construction Projects from Conception to Completion (September 2010)
- Claims and Remedies and A Practical Guide to the Legal Process - along side James Thompson (April 2010)
- RICS (MatRICS) Seminar - Party Walls (February 2008)
- Contractual Adjudication: Extent of Powers and Challenges to Decisions: A lecture given to the Hong Kong Society of Construction Law (October 2006)
Recent lectures on European procurement law include:
- Public Procurement Conference 2011: Current Issues and Major Problem Areas (February 2011)
- The New Remedies Directive: One Year On (January 2011)
- Procurement – Contract Suspensions and Injunctions and Time limits after Uniplexociety (May 2010)
- Current Issues in Procurement Law and NEC the Contract of Choice? Good, Bad or Indifferent? with Robert Evans (March 2010)
- Procurement - Awarding Public Contracts Skilfully and Lawfully within the Procurement Rules (February 2010)
- Procurement – Claims and Remedies (February 2010)
- Procurement – Under the new Remedies Directive, how will a court enforce an order to set aside concluded contracts and cancel prospective contracts? (January 2010)
- Procurement – Litigating Procurement Matters (January 2010)
- Applying the EU Procurement Rules to Utilities Contracts (December 2009)
- Damages in Procurement Cases (December 2009)
- White Paper Conference - Procurement (London: 24 June 2009)
- How to Apply the EU Defence Procurement Rules to Major Projects (10 June 2009)
- Construction Law for Property Professionals - Procurement Issues (London: May 2009)
- Loss and Expense Claims Seminar (Birmingham: March 2009)
- Applying the EU Procurement Rules to Major Projects (Belfast: January 2009)
- Remedies – Recent cases - Central Law Training Conference in relation to Public Procurement Disputes (London: November 2008)
- CLT conference, Public procurement – the difficult issues (June 2008)
- TECBAR Annual Seminar: Procurement Law Update (April 2008)
- Society of Construction Law United Kingdom: European Procurement Law – why it matters to you (March 2008)
- RICS (MatRICS) Seminar – Recent Developments in EU Procurement Law (January 2008)
- European Society of Construction Law: Contractors qualification criteria for European Public Sector Projects (September 2007)
Education and Professional Career
|MA in Jurisprudence, Lincoln College, Oxford|
Called to the Bar (Middle Temple)
Member (and former Committee Member) of the Technology and Construction Bar Association (TECBAR)
Member of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
Appointed to the Treasury A Panel
TECBAR Accredited Adjudicator
Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
Technology and Construction Bar Association (TECBAR)
Society of Construction Law
Procurement Lawyers Association
In her spare time Sarah enjoys skiing and is a keen tennis player. She lives in London.
If you would like to discuss ways in which Keating Chambers can assist you or your organisation, please contact Senior Clerk, Nick Child
, in the first instance, on +44(0)20 7544 2600. The teams of Clerks will be pleased to advise you on the member of Keating Chambers appropriate to your requirements.
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