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Sarah McCann
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Consistently brilliant, extremely pragmatic and commercial

Legal 500

Sarah is a specialist Commercial and Insurance practitioner with particular expertise in Construction and Engineering, Property Damage and Professional Negligence and Indemnity work both in the construction and non-construction field. Sarah also carries out a significant amount of insolvency work in those areas and has specific expertise in the insolvency of insurers and the cross-border effects of such insolvency.

Sarah has a wealth of experience in high value, technically and legally complex cases in all forums: litigation, arbitration (both domestic and international), adjudication and mediation.  Sarah is also an active TECBAR accredited adjudicator and a CEDR accredited mediator.

Sarah is recommended as a leading junior for her construction work in Legal 500 and Chambers UK as well as for professional negligence in Chambers UK. A “clear orator, who is extremely knowledgeable and approachable”, she is noted for her “tenacious” advocacy and negotiating skills (Chambers UK) and her “analytical”, “pragmatic and commercial” approach (Legal 500).

Banking & Finance

Sarah has acted for most of the main banks and lenders in relation to claims against solicitors and valuers arising out of lending transactions. Sarah also advises generally in relation to loan, mortgage and guarantee disputes and financing of construction projects. Sarah also has experience of experience of acting for the FOS and advises on the regulation of financial services under FSMA.

Recent work:

  • For details of Sarah’s experience of claims against solicitors and valuers arising out of lending transactions see her Professional Liability section.
  • Advising client on breach of trust claim in relation to mortgage advance.
  • Advising on the enforceability of mortgage in light of claims of fraud and undue influence.
  • Acting on an appeal as to whether the FOS’s compulsory jurisdiction pursuant to the FSMA (Transitional Provisions) (Ombudsman Scheme and Complaints Scheme) Order 2001 applied to a firm formerly authorised by FIMBRA but which was never a member of the PIA.
  • Financial Ombudsman Service v Heather Moor & Edgecomb Ltd [2009] 1 All ER 328, CA, led by Charles Flint Q.C. in an appeal concerning the legality of case fees charged by the FOS to IFAs in respect of complaints raised by consumers.

Civil Fraud & Asset Tracing

Sarah has considerable experience of dealing with domestic and international fraud cases.

Recent work:

  • Acting with Nigel Jones QC for the liquidator of an international insurer in a c.£36m claim against former directors involving allegations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt. Also involving complicated jurisdiction disputes.
  • Junior Counsel to Nigel Jones QC in a multi-million pound dispute involving allegations of misuse of confidential information, conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty by a former director of an investment fund.
  • Successfully defending a c. £2m claim for fraudulent misrepresentation relating to a profit and commission sharing agreement.

Commercial Arbitration

Sarah is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and acts as an advocate in arbitral proceedings (domestic and international) under various standard and industry rules. Sarah has also been involved in drafting specific industry arbitration schemes.

Recent work:

  • Acting in a c. £45m joint venturing dispute being arbitrated under the LCIA rules.
  • Junior Counsel in a USD 4m international arbitration under the ADCAC Rules in Dubai, a case concerning the allegedly defective design of shoreline protection facilities at a power plant which was damaged by Cyclone Gonu.
  • Advising on the enforceability of and possible challenges to various awards.

Commercial Litigation

Sarah has extensive experience of commercial dispute resolution and is praised for her “extremely pragmatic and commercial” (Legal 500) approach to disputes.  Although part of Sarah’s commercial work centres on her associated professional negligence and construction work, it also encompasses all other kinds of business and trade disputes including those involving agency, sale of goods, insolvency, banking and financial services, ,mortgages, securities, bonds and guarantees, consumer credit, shareholders’ rights, directors ‘ and fiduciary duties, economic torts, partnerships and joint ventures, utilities, misuse of confidential information and fraud.

In addition, together with Nigel Jones QC, Sarah is standing counsel to the liquidator of a major international insurer and has acted in relation to all of his commercial and insurance disputes arising across five jurisdictions. This has included advising on the entire reinsurance programme, the effect of claims control provisions in the policy on ongoing litigation, ownership of the insurance books, disclaimer of various policies, commission arrangements with brokers, and the interplay between the FSCS, policyholders and other purported creditors.

Recent work:

  • Edge Tools & Equipment Ltd v Greatstar Europe Ltd [2018] EWHC 170. Represented the successful claimant in a trial concerning a dispute relating to a commission and profit sharing agreement and a counterclaim for misrepresentation of c. £2m.
  • Acting as junior Counsel to Andrew Mitchell QC in a €5m Commercial Court dispute under a Warranty and Indemnity policy concerning an allegedly defective roof and fire protection system at a shopping centre in Vienna, currently listed for a six week Commercial Court trial.
  • Acting with Nigel Jones QC for the liquidator of an international insurer in respect of a claim to proprietary rights over the solicitors’ professional indemnity and after the event insurance business written by the company, along with associated assets claimed to be c. £9m.
  • Acting for the liquidator of an insurer in respect of the termination and disclaimer of a claims handling contract which culminated in the claimant’s application for an injunction preventing the liquidator from terminating the agreement.
  • Acting with Nigel Jones QC for the liquidator of an international insurer in a c.£36m claim against former directors involving allegations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt. Also involving complicated jurisdiction disputes.
  • Junior Counsel to Nigel Jones QC in a multi-million pound dispute involving allegations of misuse of confidential information, conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty by a former director of an investment fund.  Settled on the eve of a three-week trial.
  • Acting on an appeal as to whether the FOS’s compulsory jurisdiction pursuant to the FSMA (Transitional Provisions) (Ombudsman Scheme and Complaints Scheme) Order 2001 applied to a firm formerly authorised by FIMBRA but which was never a member of the PIA.
  • Financial Ombudsman Service v Heather Moor & Edgecomb Ltd [2009] 1 All ER 328, CA, led by Charles Flint Q.C. in an appeal concerning the legality of case fees charged by the FOS to IFAs in respect of complaints raised by consumers.
  • Clydesdale Financial Services v Smailes [2009] EWHC 1745 (Ch), acting as Junior Counsel to Nigel Jones QC in a claim involving removal of administrators appointed under a pre-pack administration and sale at an undervalue of assets of a solicitors’ practice.

Companies, Joint Ventures & Partnerships

Sarah is regularly involved in commercial disputes involving directors and/or shareholders. Many of these disputes concern claims against directors involving allegations of fraud, breach of duty, secret profits and misuse of confidential information.

Sarah’s company work predominantly focuses on claims against directors or claims brought by shareholders.

She is also experienced in dealing with joint ventures and partnerships both as part of her construction work and her commercial work.

Recent work:

  • Acting with Nigel Jones QC for the liquidator of an international insurer in a c.£36m claim against former directors involving allegations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt. Also involving complicated jurisdiction disputes.
  • Junior Counsel to Nigel Jones QC in a multi-million pound dispute involving allegations of misuse of confidential information, conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty by a former director of an investment fund.  Settled on the eve of a three-week trial.
  • Advising a minority shareholder on his potential remedies, settling petitions and points of claim pursuant to section 994 Companies Act 2006 in respect of four companies.
  • Acting for a company seeking emergency declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the defendant from holding himself out as a director of the company or otherwise interfering with its management.
  • Advising a company when its proposed transfer of shares to a connected company was challenged by a former director and minority shareholder.
  • Acting in a c. £45m commercial joint venturing dispute being arbitrated under the LCIA rules.
  • Advising on numerous disputes between parties engaged in construction joint ventures.

Adjudication

Sarah has a busy practice both as an adjudication practitioner and sitting as a TECBAR accredited adjudicator. The types of adjudications Sarah has acted on encompass the full range of construction related disputes. Sarah is also often instructed in relation to the enforcement.

Recent work:

  • Acted with Paul Reed QC in relation to an adjudication concerning a major central London fire.
  • Acting for monitoring surveyors in a multi-million pound negligence dispute.
  • Acting for an employer in a c. £1m smash and grab adjudication and cross-adjudication on valuation.
  • Wes Futures Limited v Allen Wilson Construction ltd [2016] EWHC 2863 (TCC), 170 Con. L.R. 121; [2016] 6 Costs L.R. 1083. Represented the claimant in adjudication enforcement proceedings and successfully argued that an offer, expressed as a Part 36 offer, made by a sub-contractor to a contractor did not, following its acceptance, entitle the sub-contractor to recover the costs of two sets of adjudication proceedings.
  • Acting on numerous interim payment and final account disputes.

Construction Litigation

Sarah is a highly regarded construction practitioner recommended by both Chambers UK and Legal 500 for her construction and engineering work.  She has extensive experience of high value, complex litigation, arbitration (domestic and international) and adjudication in relation to all construction related matters, including, by way of example, defective works, payment disputes, final account disputes, prolongation claims, negligent design, defective work, joint venture disputes, property damage, professional indemnity claims, fraud and conspiracy, public liabilities and street works disputes, local authority contracting and procurement. Sarah is a TECBAR accredited adjudicator and her experience of adjudication from that side of the fence is invaluable in conducting adjudications for her clients and advising on enforcement.

As a leading junior in Professional Negligence work, Sarah is particularly well placed to deal with cases involving allegations of negligence against the full range of construction and engineering professionals, including architects, engineers, contract administrators, quantity surveyors and project managers and she has a large portfolio of such work.

Sarah is noted as being “excellent on insurance” (Chambers UK) and a substantial part of her construction practice consists of acting for the insured under subrogated claims and advising both insurers and the insured in relation to coverage under CAR, public liability, professional indemnity, product liability and public liability policies. Sarah also regularly advises policyholders in relation to NHBC buildmark cover.

Sarah also has extensive experience in utilities; in particular she has been instructed on behalf of a major electricity distributor for a number of years in claims involving allegations of fires stemming from resistive heat failures within their distribution equipment. This led to her acting as junior counsel in the successful month long trial of five test cases in Smith v South Eastern Power Networks Plc [2012], which was one of 2012’s significant TCC trials. Since then she has continued to be regularly instructed in relation to large scale and complex fire damage claims as part of her construction and property damage practice.

Sarah is a contributor to Paul Reed QC’s book Construction All Risks Insurance, published by Sweet & Maxwell in 2014 (1st edition) and 2016 (2nd edition) and to Construction Professional Indemnity Insurance published by Sweet & Maxwell in 2018.  She is also a regular contributor to Practical Law’s Construction Blog and delivers seminars on all construction topics internally and externally.

Examples of work

  • Edge Tools & Equipment Ltd v Greatstar Europe Ltd [2018] EWHC 170. Represented the successful claimant in a trial relating to the sale and properties of JCB construction products.
  • Schweppe v Closier [2017] EWHC 1486 (TCC). Represented the defendant in a successful strike out and summary judgment application based on abuse of process and limitation. The claim was for fraudulent misrepresentation and unlawful act conspiracy in connection with a construction contract dating back to the early 1990s and involved two previous sets of connected proceedings over two decades.
  • Wes Futures Limited v Allen Wilson Construction ltd [2016] EWHC 2863 (TCC), 170 Con. L.R. 121; [2016] 6 Costs L.R. 1083. Represented the claimant in adjudication enforcement proceedings and successfully argued that an offer, expressed as a Part 36 offer, made by a sub-contractor to a contractor did nof, following its acceptance, entitle the sub-contractor to recover the costs of two sets of adjudication proceedings.
  • Acting as junior Counsel to Andrew Mitchell QC in a €5m dispute under a Warranty and Indemnity policy concerning an allegedly defective roof and fire protection system at a shopping centre in Vienna, currently listed for a six-week Commercial Court trial.
  • Acting on behalf of the claimant homeowner in a long and complicated dispute with NHBC relating to a defect with the basement in his period property requiring remedial works of c. £1.5m.
  • Acting for an employer in a c. £1m smash and grab adjudication and cross-adjudication on valuation.
  • Acted for the owner of a high bay warehouse in a £14m dispute against its contractor and their sub-contractors relating to defective foundation and structural steel works.
  • Advising employer in a £4m claim against its contractor and contract administration relating to the negligent design and installation of windows in two high rise blocks.
  • Advising insurer on its liability in respect of a claim relating to the catastrophic failure of mobile elevated work platforms used at the Olympic Park.
  • Junior Counsel in a USD 4m international arbitration under the ADCAC Rules in Dubai, a case concerning the allegedly defective design of shoreline protection facilities at a power plant which was damaged by Cyclone Gonu.
  • Acted with Nigel Jones QC for a housing association in a claim against the local authority in relation to a £12m dispute concerning over 6,000 properties transferred under a LSV Transfer which had been discovered to sufer from construction defects resulting in sound insulation problems.
  • Acting for the main contractor in a substantial claim against its architect / lead designer / lead consultant and its mechanical and electrical sub-consultant for defective heating and ventilation works at six schools.
  • Smith & Others v UK Power Networks [2012] EWHC 2541 (TCC) Successfully acting as Junior Counsel to Paul Reed QC on five test cases to determine the obligations of national electricity distributors in respect of installation, inspection and maintenance of their supply side equipment.
  • Kent County Council v Snohetta and Davis Langdon (2009) (TCC) acting as Junior Counsel to Paul Reed QC and Nigel Jones QC on this high profile case involving the design competition and aborted project for the proposed Turner Contemporary museum in Margate.

Construction Arbitration

Sarah acts on both domestic and international construction arbitrations.

Recent work:

  • Junior Counsel in a USD 4m international arbitration under the ADCAC Rules in Dubai, concerning the allegedly defective design of shoreline. protection facilities at a power plant which was damaged by Cyclone Gonu.
  • Assisting with ICC $136m arbitration in Cayman Islands regarding damage to a hotel during construction.
  • Advising on arbitration provisions in various ad hoc and standard form contracts.

Energy & Renewables

Sarah also has extensive experience in utilities; in particular she has been instructed on behalf of a major electricity distributor for a number of years in claims involving allegations of fires stemming from resistive heat failures within their distribution equipment. This led to her acting as junior counsel in the successful month long trial of five test cases in Smith v South Eastern Power Networks Plc [2012], which was one of 2012’s significant TCC trials. Since then she has continued to be regularly instructed in relation to large scale and complex fire damage claims as part of her construction and property damage practice.

Recent work:

  • Acting as junior counsel to Paul Reed QC in a claim relating to the recovery of c. £6.5m damages in connection with a major central London underground fire.
  • Assisting Nigel Jones QC with full review of liability of distribution network operators for fires at connection points.
  • Smith & Others v UK Power Networks [2012] EWHC 2541 (TCC) Successfully acting as Junior Counsel to Paul Reed QC on five test cases to determine the obligations of national electricity distributors in respect of installation, inspection and maintenance of their supply side equipment.

Property Damage

As part of her construction and insurance work, Sarah has a busy property damage practice and deals with claims usually arising from construction or utilities projects, fires, explosions, floods, heave and subsidence.

Sarah has a particular interest in fire damage claims due to her work in the electricity sector.  She has been instructed on behalf of a major electricity distributor for a number of years in claims involving allegations of fires stemming from resistive heat failures within their distribution equipment. This led to her acting as junior counsel in the successful month long trial of five test cases in Smith v South Eastern Power Networks Plc [2012], which was one of 2012’s significant TCC trials.  Since then she has continued to be regularly instructed in relation to large scale and complex fire damage claims.

Sarah regularly lectures on fire claims at Hardwicke’s Property Damage Day events.

Examples of work

  • Acting as junior counsel to Paul Reed QC in a claim relating to the recovery of c. £6.5m damages in connection with a major central London fire.
  • Acting for main contractor in a multi-party £12m dispute arising from a disastrous fire at a major national retailer’s flagship store.
  • Junior Counsel in a USD 4m international arbitration under the ADCAC Rules in Dubai, a case concerning the allegedly defective design of shoreline protection facilities at a power plant which was damaged by Cyclone Gonu.
  • Acting for the electricity distributor against Leading Counsel in a claim resulting from an alleged fault on an underground supply cable.
  • Acting for the manufacturer of recalled defective consumer units which caused a catastrophic fire.
  • Defending the electricity distributor in a substantial claim for damage resulting from power failures.
  • Acting in numerous cases for electricity distributors in claims resulting from alleged resistive heating fires in supply side equipment.
  • Smith & Others v UK Power Networks [2012] EWHC 2541 (TCC) Successfully acting as Junior Counsel to Paul Reed QC on five test cases to determine the obligations of national electricity distributors in respect of installation, inspection and maintenance of their supply side equipment.

 

Construction Insolvency

Sarah’s construction practice encompasses all types of disputes and that often concerns the insolvency of one of the parties involved in the project. Sarah advises employers, contractors, sub-contractors and other interested parties as to their rights when insolvency is looming or has hit.

Recent work:

  • Advising sub-contractor on ability to suspend works or terminate contract on contractor’s insolvency.
  • Advising on the enforceability and impact of step-in rights.
  • Advising bondholders on their rights under the bonds in the event of insolvency.

Corporate Insolvency

Sarah is well equipped to advise on all aspects of corporate insolvency. She is particularly familiar with it in the context of construction, professional indemnity or general commercial disputes.

In addition, together with Nigel Jones QC, Sarah is standing counsel to the liquidator of a major international insurer and has acted in relation to all of his commercial and insurance disputes arising across five jurisdictions. This has included advising on the entire reinsurance programme, the effect of claims control provisions in the policies on ongoing litigation, ownership of the insurance books, disclaimer of various policies, commission arrangements with brokers, and the interplay between the FSCS, policyholders and other purported creditors.

Sarah is a cntributor to Atkins Court Forms on Insolvency and Bankruptcy.

Relevant work:

  • Frederick White v Ozon Solicitors LLP [2017] EWHC 1595. Acting with Nigel Jones QC on an application for delivery up of a portfolio of several thousand motor claims defence files held by the defendant. Involved consideration of the nature of the retainer and the extent of the claims control clause. First reported decision on the meaning and effect of Regulation 3(3) of the Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990.
  • Acting in relation to claimant’s application for permission to lift a stay under Article 20 of the UNCITRAL Model Law in respect of a c. £45m arbitration.
  • Acting with Nigel Jones QC for the liquidator of an international insurer in a c.£36m claim against former directors involving allegations of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt. Also involving complicated jurisdiction disputes.
  • Acting with Nigel Jones QC for the liquidator of an international insurer in respect of a claim to proprietary rights over the solicitors’ professional indemnity and after the event insurance business written by the company, along with associated assets claimed to be c. £9m.
  • Acting for the liquidator of an insurer in respect of the termination and disclaimer of a claims handling contract which culminated in the claimant’s application for an injunction preventing the liquidator from terminating the agreement.
  • Advising liquidator of insurer on migration of book of GAP insurance to new carrier and obligation of FSCS to indemnify the policyholders.
  • Acting for liquidator of insolvent insurer in a multi-million pound costs dispute with the insurer’s former solicitors.
  • Advising on complex reinsurance position of international insurer and potential recovery.
  • Advising liquidator of insurer in relation to disputes with various brokers and sub-brokers in France, Germany and Italy.
  • Advising on and settling correspondence in respect of claims by firms of solicitors to a proprietary interest in premium monies on the liquidation of the insurer.
  • Advising on the assignability of a portfolio of thousands of insurance backed guarantee products.
  • Clydesdale Financial Services v Smailes [2009] EWHC 1745 (Ch), acting as Junior Counsel to Nigel Jones QC in a claim involving removal of administrators appointed under a pre-pack administration and sale at an undervalue of assets of a solicitors’ practice.

Construction Insurance

Sarah is “excellent on insurance” (Legal 500) and is regularly instructed by leading solicitors and direct by insurers and the insured on complex coverage issues arising in respect of CAR, public liability, professional indemnity, product liability and public liability policies. Sarah advises on all issues arising under the policy including aggregation of claims, renewals, conditions precedent, notification, avoidance, reservation of rights and issues between primary and excess insurers and insurers of different years.

Sarah is a contributor to Construction All Risks Insurance, (Sweet & Maxwell, 2012 & 2016) and Construction Professional Indemnity Insurance published by Sweet & Maxwell in 2018 and is also a contributor to and on the editing panel of Insurance Broking Practice and the Law, edited by CMS Cameron McKenna, (Informa looseleaf).

Recent work:

  • Acting as junior Counsel to Andrew Mitchell QC in a €5m dispute under a Warranty and Indemnity policy concerning an allegedly defective roof and fire protection system at a shopping centre in Vienna.
  • Junior Counsel advising an insured ground engineering and piling contractor, who was a defendant to a multi-party £200m construction dispute, as to its potential claims for indemnity against its Product Liability and Professional Indemnity insurers.  Involved complicated issues as to what constituted ‘damage’ and the nature of the remedial solution.
  • Providing coverage advice on a costs inclusive All Risks policy.
  • Advising in respect of a number of water damage and fire damage claims at a major new contemporary mixed use development, including advising on the terms of the Project Contractors All Risks Policy.
  • Advising the public liability insurers of an electrical engineering and installation contractor in respect of a fire at premises where they were undertaking works.
  • Acting with Paul Reed QC in advising the lead public liability insurer when a water main pipe was damaged causing water to escape and cause damage to the surrounding residential properties and railway station.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Sarah is “excellent on insurance” (Legal 500) and has a strong professional indemnity practice encompassing both construction and non-construction related work. She is regularly instructed by leading solicitors and direct by insurers and the insured on complex coverage issues. Sarah advises on all issues arising under the policy including aggregation of claims, renewals, conditions precedent, notification, avoidance, reservation of rights and issues between primary and excess insurers and insurers of different years.

Sarah is a contributor to Construction Professional Indemnity Insurance published by Sweet & Maxwell in 2018 and is also a contributor to and on the editing panel of Insurance Broking Practice and the Law, edited by CMS Cameron McKenna, (Informa looseleaf).

Examples of work

  • For examples of Sarah’s construction professional indemnity work, please see her Construction Insurance section and Professional Liability section relating to construction professionals.
  • Acting with Nigel Jones QC for the liquidator of an international insurer in respect of a claim to proprietary rights over the solicitors’ professional indemnity and after the event insurance business written by the company, along with associated assets claimed to be c. £9m.
  • Advising solicitors’ professional indemnity insurers on issues of coverage where there were disputes as to whether the notification and co-operation provisions had been complied with.
  • Junior Counsel advising an insured ground engineering and piling contractor, who was a defendant to a multi-party £200m construction dispute, as to its potential claims for indemnity against its Product Liability and Professional Indemnity insurers.  Involved complicated issues as to what constituted ‘damage’ and the nature of the remedial solution.
  • Acting for the run-off insurer in a claim brought in restitution by solicitor insured for re-payment of premium.

Insurance Coverage

Sarah advises on a range of different coverage disputes outside of her construction and professional indemnity work. In addition, she is involved in more general disputes as to other types of policies. For example, together with Nigel Jones QC, Sarah is standing counsel to the liquidator of a major international insurer and has acted in relation to all of his commercial and insurance disputes arising across five jurisdictions which has included advising on the entire reinsurance programme, the effect of claims control provisions in the policy on ongoing litigation, ownership of the insurance books, disclaimer of various policies, commission arrangements with brokers, and the interplay between the FSCS, policyholders and other purported creditors.

Recent work:

  • Frederick White v Ozon Solicitors LLP [2017] EWHC 1595. Acting with Nigel Jones QC on an application for delivery up of a portfolio of several thousand motor claims defence files held by the defendant. Involved consideration of the nature of the retainer and the extent of the claims control clause. First reported decision on the meaning and effect of Regulation 3(3) of the Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990.
  • Acting with Nigel Jones QC for the liquidator of an international insurer in respect of a claim to proprietary rights over the solicitors’ professional indemnity and after the event insurance business written by the company, along with associated assets claimed to be c. £9m.
  • Acting for the liquidator of an insurer in respect of the termination and disclaimer of a claims handling contract, which culminated in the claimant’s application for an injunction preventing the liquidator from terminating the agreement.
  • Advising liquidator of insurer on migration of book of GAP insurance to new carrier and obligation of FSCS to indemnify the policyholders.
  • Acting for liquidator of insurer in a multi-million pound costs dispute with the insurer’s former solicitors.
  • Advising on complex reinsurance position of international insurer and potential recovery.
  • Advising liquidator of insurer in relation to disputes with various brokers and sub-brokers in France, Germany and Italy.
  • Advising on and settling correspondence in respect of claims by firms of solicitors to a proprietary interest in premium monies on the liquidation of the insurer.
  • Advising on the assignability of a portfolio of thousands of insurance backed guarantee products.
  • Advising on migration of book of GAP insurance to new carrier and obligation of FSCS to indemnify the policyholders.
  • Advising a major legal expenses insurer whether its ATE policies were unenforceable by reason of FSMA and on the effect of the potential unenforceability of the client’s CFA with the solicitor on the insurance policy and potential avoidance for non payment of premiums.
  • Acting on behalf of the underwriter’s agent in a claim brought against them for refusal to provide legal expenses cover which included allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and breaches of the Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) Regulations 1990.
  • Acting as junior Counsel to Andrew Mitchell QC in a €5m dispute under a Warranty and Indemnity policy concerning an allegedly defective roof and fire protection system at a shopping centre in Vienna.

Construction Professionals

Sarah’s construction expertise makes her perfectly placed to handle professional negligence disputes relating to construction projects and property professionals involving, inter alia, architects, engineers, designers, project managers, contract administrators, surveyors, valuers and monitoring surveyors.

Recent cases

  • Acting in a claim against a piling contractor for negligence in carrying out excavation works.
  • Advising an employer in a claim against its contract administrator for defective service of a termination notice and loss of opportunity to claim against the contractor for remedial works.
  • Advising an architect and its professional indemnity insurers in a claim against it as architect and contract administrator, involving complicated issues of scope of duty.
  • Acting in a substantial claim in the TCC brought by contractors against a specialist sub-contractor and engineers for structural damage caused by defective works.
  • Numerous claims against solicitors and valuers arising out of residential and commercial conveyancing transactions.
  • Acting as co-counsel for the defendant valuer in a £12m mortgage fraud claim, one of The Lawyer’s top 20 cases of 2012.
  • Acting in several substantial claims for negligence against a valuer and solicitor in connection with back to back transactions.
  • Acting on behalf of a surveyor instructed to produce drawings for works and to deal with matters arising under the Party Walls etc. Act 1996, alleged negligence in failing to take account of the chimney which passed between the party wall.
  • Kent County Council v Snohetta and Davis Langdon [2009] (TCC), acting as junior Counsel on this high profile case involving the design competition and aborted project for the proposed Turner Contemporary museum in Margate.

Financial Professionals, Insolvency Professionals, Directors & Officers

Sarah is adept at handling professional negligence cases against a wide variety of those involved in the financial sector such as bankers, accountants, auditors, mortgage brokers, insurance brokers and financial advisers.

Recent cases

  • Acting for a claimant in his claim against accountants and tax advisers for the loss of Business Asset Taper Relief on client’s sale of businesses.
  • Acting on behalf of an IFA in a claim brought against him for negligence in failing to obtain payment protection insurance in respect of his client’s mortgage.
  • Advising accountants on allegations of negligence in the preparation of VAT and tax returns.
  • Advising in a claim against financial advisers for fraudulent misrepresentation relating to investments.
  • Acting in a substantial claim involving allegations of deceit and breach of duty causing parties to invest in a tax mitigation scheme.
  • Advising on claims based on negligent advice and recommendations in placing various types of insurance policy.

International

Sarah has a wealth of experience in high value, technical and legally complex cases across a wide variety of jurisdictions and in all forums: litigation, arbitration (both domestic and international), adjudication and mediation.

She is an active TECBAR accredited adjudicator and a CEDR accredited mediator.

Languages

Basic French and German

Professional associations

  • TECBAR
  • Society of Construction Lawyers
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • British Insurance Law Association
  • COMBAR
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association (committee member)

Publications

  • Contributor to Construction All Risks Insurance  published by Sweet & Maxwell (2012 & 2016)
  • Contributor to Construction Professional indemnity Insurance published by Sweet & Maxwell (2018)
  • Contributor to and on the editing panel for Insurance Broking Practice and the Law, edited by CMS Cameron McKenna, Informa looseleaf
  • Contributor to Atkins Court Forms on Insolvency and Bankruptcy

Qualifications

  • LLB (Law & German) – First Class
  • MCIArb
  • TECBAR Accredited Adjudicator
  • CEDR Accredited Mediatior

Directory recommendations

Sarah is recommended by both Chambers UK and Legal 500 for Construction and in Legal 500 for Professional Negligence.

“Bright, tenacious and decisive, she’s not afraid to take a view and to take a tough stance.” (Chambers UK)

Academically gifted and good at being able to simply the most complicated scenario.” Chambers UK

Determined, results driven and a joy to work with” Legal 500

A very tenacious advocate with a very analytical mind” Chambers UK

Consistently brilliant, extremely pragmatic and commercial.

Legal 500

She filtered through all the information to produce a great response that pulled everything together.

Chambers UK

Fastidious in her preparation and extremely generous with her time.

Chambers UK

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