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

Matrix Chambers
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 > Administrative and public law (including elections)

(2021 Silks) Ranked: Tier

Sarah Hannett QCMatrix ChambersSarah is an exceptionally bright administrative lawyer. The submissions she drafts grapple with complex points of law in a way that enables the court to understand the importance of that detail. She is also extremely approachable and a very pleasant opponent.

Known as ‘leaders in the field‘, at Matrix Chambers ‘the calibre of barristers at both the senior and the junior ends is exceptional‘. David Wolfe QC  represented the Sikh Federation in a challenge to the absence of a Sikh option in the ethnicity field of the 2020 census, a matter involving issues of parliamentary privilege concerning the drafting of an order to be made by the Queen. Nick Armstrong represented the claimant in Mazhar v the Lord Chancellor, in which the Court of Appeal found that the Human Rights Act does not permit a person to seek a declaration from the High Court that the court’s own previous order violated convention rights. The set is ‘less exclusively claimant focussed‘ than others, with Sarah Hannett representing unled the Speaker of the House of Commons in a judicial review of plans of the plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport, concerning the claimant’s attempt to use evidence covered by parliamentary privilege. In election law, Gavin Millar QC successfully defended a challenge to the election of Lisa Forbes in the 2019 Peterborough by-election brought by the losing Brexit Party candidate, who dropped the challenge and was ordered to pay full costs.

London Bar > Education

(2021 Silks) Ranked: Tier

Sarah Hannett QCMatrix ChambersA real heavyweight lawyer in the field of education law. Great to work with and she adds a lot of value to court and tribunal preparation.

Matrix Chambers has a ‘stellar range of exceptional and experienced juniors and top-level silks‘ acting for a range of clients, particularly further education and higher education institutions. Helen Mountfield QC is the key member of the education practice and is representing claimant Ebenezer Azamati against the Oxford Union Society in a highly publicized matter pertaining to racial and disability discrimination as well as assault. Sarah Hannett was instructed by Ofsted in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, while David Wolfe QC represents the Independent Schools Inspectorate in the same inquiry.

London Bar > Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)

(2021 Silks) Ranked: Tier

Sarah Hannett QC –Matrix ChambersCan utilise the more esoteric pieces of legislation when trying to develop arguments for novel situations.

London Bar > Court of Protection and community care

(2021 Silks) Ranked: Tier

Sarah Hannett QCMatrix ChambersA great junior counsel.