Sarah Whittle provides great support, care and due diligence.
Sarah is a Legal Director in the Cardiff Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team with extensive experience of advising public sector and private clients on a wide range of commercial and public law disputes, in particular judicial reviews, public procurement disputes and disputes concerning intellectual property rights.
Main areas of practice
Sarah’s practice areas cover a wide range of commercial and contractual disputes including those relating to procurements challenges, breaches of contract and intellectual property issues. Sarah has vast experience of advising public sector clients in relation the defence of challenges to their decisions by way of judicial review. Sarah also has experience in dealing with public inquiries work and Court of Protection work.
Sarah has represented a wide range of clients in her practice. Having spent nine months on secondment to the Department of Health and further time on secondment to a private finance company advising on their litigation policy, Sarah is ideally placed to advise both public and private sector clients on a wide range of commercial disputes.
She receives repeat instructions from NHS England, local authorities, local health boards and the Welsh Ministers alongside private companies, such as large cosmetics brands, motor franchises, Universities, finance institutions and industrial companies.
Public sector work and Judicial review
- Advising all seven Health Boards in Wales in relation to a judicial review claim challenging their application of legislation concerning the funding of nursing care in private care homes. This claim was appealed to the Supreme Court, who gave their own view on the interpretation of the legislation and Sarah continued to assist the Health Boards in the implementation of the judgment.
- Representing NHS England in relation to various judicial review applications made against it challenging the application of their policies.
- Representing NHS England in relation to a challenge brought to the methodology used for the re-procurement of orthodontic services across England.
- Advising a Primary Care Trust in relation to judicial review proceedings and injunctive relief concerning the outsourcing of services and advising as to the best way to manage the various stakeholders’ interests. This included ongoing advice as to the subsequent procurement of services.
- Representing the Adjudication Panel for Wales in judicial review proceedings brought against the Panel for the review of a decision made by a Case Tribunal, an unprecedented challenge in Wales.
- Representing NHSE england in relation to a challenge brought against a refusal to fund drugs pursuant to an Individual Funding Request.
- Representing an Ombudsman in relation to judicial review proceedings brought against it seeking reviews from the Ombudsman of decisions taken by third parties. This required an extensive understanding of the statutory limitations of the Ombudsman scheme and ensuring that the judicial review system was not misused by Claimants seeking to appeal third parties’ decisions via judicial review proceedings against a public body.
- Representing the Trust Special Administrators of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust in relation to a judicial review challenge made to the acceptance of their recommendations to the Secretary of State for Health to dissolve Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
- Representing a University Health Board in respect of judicial review proceedings issued to challenge its decision to close inpatient beds due to safety concerns and successfully defending these proceedings.
- Representing NHS England in relation to several challenges brought to the re-procurement of orthodontic services across England and resolving the majority at a pre action stage.
- Defending the fully litigated cases arising out of the orthodontic procurement, such as Accessible Orthodontics v NHS Commissioning Board  EWHC 785 (TCC) and Braceurself Ltd v NHS England  P.T.S.R. 1611,  EWNC 1532 (TCC) and  EWHC 2348 (TCC).
- The case of Braceurself Ltd v NHS England involved complex areas of procurement law, the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (as amended) and general EU Treaty principles and dealing with arguments previously untested in the courts. We were ultimately successful in arguing that no damages were due to the Claimant in the proceedings and that the Claimant’s claim for damages should be dismissed.
- Advising a multinational diagnostic services company in several procurement challenges brought by it, including issuing proceedings and resolving the challenges through settlement.
- Advising Welsh Government on procurement issues arising out of procurement exercises run by it.
- Regularly advising on complex legal issues arising in procurement litigation including confidentiality of third party documents, confidentiality rings and split trials.
- Advising an incumbent supplier of services at a treatment centre on and during a simultaneous procurement challenge to and judicial review of a contracting authority’s published ITT documentation during a procurement process.
- Advising a global diagnostics provider on procurement policy and issues.
- Advising on rights and protection of confidential information in relation to procurement challenges issued by unsuccessful bidders
- Advising contracting authorities on a number of challenges including issues of unequal treatment, discrimination and a lack of transparency.
- Advising contracting authorities and economic operators on the effect of the automatic suspension and the merits of opposing/making an application for it to be lifted.
- Advising clients on a variety of contractual and procurement issues arising from frameworks, procured contracts or call-offs.
- Representing a major cosmetics company in relation to a claim under the Comparative Advertising Directive
- Representing the Eisteddfod Genedlathol Frenhi concerning a dispute arising over copyright licences for their performances.
- Advising the UK market leader in the manufacture and distribution of industrial, commercial, and residential ventilation concerning patent infringement
- Advising a UK start up design company regarding patent and design protection and exploitation.
- Representing the Welsh Government concerning their intellectual property in a former brand used by one of their divisions and representing Welsh Government in the proceedings in the Company Names Tribunal.
- Representing a University’s product development arm regarding issues and disputes arising over the intellectual property in products they assisted to third parties to design and develop.
- Advising a client within the motor industry as regarding the ownership of vehicles sold to a company involved in fraudulent activities with finance companies and successfully representing their case in the Court of Appeal
- Seconded to a private finance company to develop their in house litigation procedure and manage their in house litigation team.
- Advising an NHS trust on a claim brought against them by a consultant for outstanding payment and successfully defending the claim that the consultant was entitled to an hourly rate, which included advising on issues arising out of requests made for information under the Freedom of information Act.
- Advising an NHS trust as to the recovery of monies fraudulently obtained by a member of staff who had submitted false claims for payment
- Advising on a high value, multi party contractual dispute concerning liability for negligence and nuisance
- Litigation & Dispute Resolution
- Judicial Review
- IP Disputes
- Intellectual Property
- Public Procurement
Sarah completed her LLB at the University of Southampton in 1998, then went on to obtain Post-Graduate Diploma on a Legal Practice Course at Cardiff University in 1999. Sarah has worked at Blake Morgan since starting as a trainee in 2000 and was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors on completion of her training contract in 2002.
"Extremely professional and very responsive."
Insights by Sarah
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