Sara specialises in all areas of commercial law. She has a particular interest in jurisdictional disputes, including jurisdictional issues arising in arbitration. She also has extensive experience in insurance and reinsurance, sale of goods, shipping (including ship-building and ship sale disputes) and commodities, aviation (contractual rather than technical/navigational disputes), construction, energy and European Union law.
She has appeared in the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the House of Lords, and the Privy Council and before the European Court of Justice. She also appears frequently before arbitrators in a broad range of disputes both in the UK and abroad.
She accepts appointments as an arbitrator both in international trade and shipping matters and in commercial disputes more generally, and is also a CEDR accredited mediator. She is appointed to the SCMA (Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration) panel of arbitrators and is also registered as a practitioner with rights of audience before the DIFC Courts.
Sara is recommended as a leading "new silk" in the fields of Commercial Litigation, Commodities, International Arbitration, and Shipping by The Legal 500 2012, and by Chambers and Partners (2013) in the Shipping & Commodities category where she is described as a "clear favourite with instructing solicitors who appreciate her provision of first-rate, clear and effective advice without fuss". Prior to taking silk she was listed as a Leading Junior for Shipping and Commodities in Chambers and Partners (UK Guide 2012) where she is described as "persuasive and possessed of a great ability for presentation", she was also recommended in the Legal 500 (2011) for Commercial Litigation, Commodities and International Arbitration. She was named by The Lawyer magazine as one of the "Hot 100" for 2009.
She was instructed for the insurers in "The Front Comor" (West Tankers v Allianz SpA), an important case before the ECJ on the compatibility with EU law of anti-suit injunctions to enforce arbitration clauses, in which the ECJ ruled that an anti-suit injunction granted restraining the Insurers from proceeding before the Italian Courts was incompatible with EU law. The case has subsequently been before the Commercial Court on two occasions and before the Court of Appeal.
Sara lectures frequently, particularly on arbitration, jurisdiction and conflicts of law. She is the European editor of The White Book (English civil procedure rules) and also edits the sections dealing with service out of the jurisdiction, jurisdictional challenges, and depositions and evidence for foreign courts.
Current work of particular topical interest includes advising upon the impact of UN and EU sanctions in the commodities, shipping, banking and financial services sector. Sara also lectures on this subject and has been appointed as arbitrator to determine disputes arising as to the effect of the EU sanctions regime.
Sara sits on the Executive Committee of COMBAR and is Vice-Chairman of the North American Committee. She also sits on the Bar Council's Legal Services Committee.