Sarah Hannett KC > Matrix Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Matrix Chambers


Specialist in public law, human rights, discrimination and education. Recent cases include R v. Mackinlay [2018] UKSC 42 (notional election expenses), R (Steinfeld and Keidan) v. SSID [2018] UKSC 32 (opposite sex civil partnerships), Reilly v. Sandwell MBC [2018] UKSC 16 (whether dismissal of headteacher unfair), R (DSD) v. Parole Board [2018] EWHC 694 (Admin) (lawfulness of release of John Warboys), R (Elan-Cane) v. SSHD [2018] EWHC 1530 (Admin) (issue of passports with ungendered sex marker), Re M (Children) [2017] EWCA Civ 2164 (contact arrangements between trans father and children), and R (Al-Hijrah) v. Ofsted [2017] EWCA Civ 1426 (whether segregation of pupils constituted sex discrimination).


Called 2003; Lincoln’s Inn; Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel (A Panel) (2017); Equality and Human Rights Commission Panel of Counsel (B Panel) (2015); Pegasus Scholar (at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York) (2008); lecturer in law, King’s College, London (2000-05). Publications of note: ‘Special Educational Needs and Disability’ (with Aileen McColgan and Elizabeth Prochaska) (2017); contributor to Richard McManus QC, ‘Education and the Courts’ (2012).




Millfield School; Penrice School; University of Nottingham (1998 LLB); McGill University (1999 LLM).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Local government (including rating law)

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Sarah Hannett Matrix Chambers Sarah is very thorough and conscientious. She produces high quality work and does so within agreed timescales.’

London Bar > Court of Protection and community care

(2021 Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Sarah Hannett KCMatrix Chambers ‘Sarah is the first choice of a barrister to go. She is very knowledgeable and provides very balanced opinions and never misses a deadline. She is brilliantly articulate and concise.’

London Bar > Administrative law and human rights

(2021 Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Sarah Hannett KCMatrix Chambers

London Bar > Education

(2021 Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Sarah Hannett KCMatrix Chambers ‘A particularly thorough and conscientious silk.

(2021 Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Sarah Hannett KC Matrix Chambers ‘A particularly thorough and conscientious silk, Sarah produces high quality work within very tight timescales.

Matrix Chambers‘ education team has an excellent reputation, with a solid track record in acting for a client base that includes the Department of Education, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, individual students, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator and other statutory bodies. The set has seen an uptick in work involving universities and further education colleges. In recent work, David Wolfe KC acted in Goodred v Portsmouth City Council, a challenge to the legality of the Council’s policy and approach to parents who choose to home educate their children. In another matter, Sarah Hannett KC appeared for the local authority in R (WC) v Somerset County Council, which established the correct legal test applicable when closing a rural school. At the junior end, Claire Darwin appeared as sole counsel for the successful claimants in Gwynedd Council v Barratt and another, a Court of Appeal decision clarifying the duties of local authorities, particularly duties towards teachers who are directly employed by the authorities, when reorganising schools.

London Bar > Elections

(2021 Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Sarah Hannett KC – Matrix Chambers

(2021 Silks)Ranked: Tier

Sarah Hannett KCMatrix Chambers

Clients single out Matrix Chambers as ‘a market leader for election law with a highly respected election law team.’ Sarah Sackman, who joined in August 2021, has further strengthened the team’s prowess in this area. Sackman is often instructed in the most high profile election law cases including R (Coughlan) v Minister for the Cabinet Office,  the Supreme Court challenge to Voter ID requirements. Sarah Hannett KC, who has a particular specialism in cases that involve equality law, has also been involved in many high profile cases such as the EHRC investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party. Experienced election law practitioner Gavin Millar KC also acted in special case before the High Court following an election miscount in the Banbury Ruscote division of Oxfordshire.