Sarah Hannaford KC > The Chambers of Alexander Nissen KC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

The Chambers of Alexander Nissen KC
Keating Chambers


Sarah Hannaford KC is a leading commercial barrister whose work spans both the United Kingdom and international markets. She specialises in construction, engineering, infrastructure and energy disputes together with professional negligence work within these areas of expertise. She has also carved out a strong procurement practice in recent years. Sarah was called to the Northern Ireland Bar in 2015.

Sarah is widely regarded as a star of the Procurement Bar and is the natural choice for complex high value procurement issues. She is instructed in the most significant cases in this area, regularly advising Government bodies, local authorities, utilities and industry clients. Sarah has acted in numerous high profile procurement challenges, including the prominent case of NATS v Gatwick Airport, a dispute concerning the tender of air traffic control services. She recently acted for the UK Government in a multi party and high profile dispute relating to the procurement of criminal legal aid services, which was listed by the Lawyer as one of the top cases of 2016.

She is regularly instructed in complex construction and commercial disputes in the UK Courts, adjudication and international arbitration. She has experience in the full range of contractual claims which arise out of construction projects, including claims relating to defects, termination, delay and professional negligence. Recent work has included acting for the Ministry of Justice in relation to electronic monitoring claims against Serco and G4S, and acting for the Secretary of State for Defence in two substantial disputes relating to a nuclear submarine base. She also has considerable expertise in energy, offshore construction and shipping disputes, including acting high profile disputes such as the Solitaire and the Varg.

Sarah has experience in disputes involving most standard form contracts including the JCT standard forms, ICE, NEC, IChemE and FIDIC forms. She also regularly advises on PFI contracts, PPP contracts and facilities management contracts, including both the waste and health sectors.

Sarah is the author of a chapter in Keating on Construction Contracts (10th edition, 2016). She has also authored key publications on party walls and rights of light (another area in which she has considerable expertise). She frequently lectures on topical issues in construction and procurement law.

In addition to her work as Counsel, Sarah sits as arbitrator and is a trained mediator and accredited adjudicator.


Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland, 2015
Queen’s Counsel, 2008
Trained Mediator, 2006
TECBAR Accredited Adjudicator, 2004
Appointed to the Treasury A Panel, 2003
Member (and former Committee Member) of the Technology and Construction Bar Association (TECBAR) 1991
Keating Chambers, 1990
Called to the Bar (Middle Temple), 1989


Working knowledge French, Spanish.


Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb)
Technology and Construction Bar (TECBAR)
Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
International Bar Association (IBA)
Society of Construction Law (SCL)
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)


Lincoln College, Oxford (1986 BA; MA).


Skiing and tennis.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Construction

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 4

Sarah Hannaford KC – Keating Chambers ‘Sarah is an absolutely superb advocate. She is crystal clear, totally in command of all the issues and the facts, and her cross-examination was a joy to watch.’

London Bar > Public procurement

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Sarah Hannaford KCKeating Chambers

Keating chambers assists government bodies with both contentious and non-contentious work, and has been at the forefront of the development of procurement law. Keating Chambers is commended as ‘a chambers that has a number of excellent advocates in the field‘ including Sarah Hannaford KC who is acting for HS2 Limited in Siemens v HS2, a case revolving around the award of the contract for rolling stock used for HS2. Versatile silk Fionnuala McCredie KC regularly acts for interested parties in litigation, as does Rachael O’Hagan who since joining the set in 2019 has been involved in extremely high-profile procurement challenges as senior junior.