Sarah Whitfield

Associate
  • Experience
  • Other Information

Sarah is an Associate in our specialist Utilities Team based in Ipswich.

Since joining the team in 2017 Sarah has a built up a strong background and expertise in the world of utility land rights. She works with a variety of leading statutory undertakers including Independent Distribution Network Operators (IDNOs), Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), gas transporters, code operators and water suppliers as well as Developers, Land Owners, Land Agents and Project Managers.  

Sarah likes to work closely with her clients to fully understand their goals and needs so she can provide a better and more efficient service and advice to them. She uses her extensive knowledge of the utilities industry to help her clients navigate this niche and sometimes complex area of land rights, providing out of the box thinking and a solutions based approach to find commercially viable and pragmatic solutions, whilst also ensuring her client’s interests are protected.

Sarah is instructed to deal with all aspects of utility infrastructure transactions from high volume residential, new build sites to complex commercial developments. She predominately deals with implementing agreements for large scale key infrastructure and commercial gateway sites across the England and Wales including drafting, negotiating and agreeing:

  • Freehold and leasehold acquisitions of operational land
  • Deeds of Easements and Wayleaves for infrastructures services including water, gas, electricity, fibre, heat and for EV
  • Option Agreements, Heads of Terms and Consideration Agreements
  • Supplemental Deeds including relocation of operational land, variations to equipment routes and surrenders
  • Licences to Work, Underlet and Alter

Sarah and the Utilities Team have a wealth of experience of the intricacies of the utilities sector dealing with all things electric, gas, fibre, water, heat and EV (Electric Vehicles). Their comprehensive knowledge and understanding of how the industry and sector players operate, and the strong working relationships they have with some of the leading network operators, make them perfectly positioned to provided well informed and bespoke advice on the unique operational and regulatory issues the sector can experience.

Recent work

Some of Sarah’s recent notable works include

  • Multiple substations, including a primary and secondary substations and private network leases, as well as associated on site and off site easements through third party land for a large flag-ship, low carbon commercial manufacturing and distribution centre in the Midlands
  • 250 year lease for a Primary Substation, and other multiple associated substation infrastructure agreements and leases for a new Strategic Rail Freight Interchange in the Midlands
  • Option Agreement and Deed of Easement for nearly a mile of Electricity cable to be laid through a bustling and state of the art Business Hub in the Thames Valley
  • Heads of Terms, Substation Leases and off site Deeds of Easements through third party land for a number of Data Centres and Battery Storage sites across England
  • Negotiating various utility leases and associated easements for multi million pound mixed use development sites across central London
  • Multiple integral substation leases as part of a £115m town centre regeneration scheme

History

During her first year at university, while studying for a Business and Management Degree at Aston Business School (part of Aston University) Sarah discovered her interest in law. Having spent a year in industry working as a Marketing Executive as part of her degree, she went on to major in Law alongside International Management studying modules in Strategic Management, Company Law and International Business Law. 

After a year out working, Sarah further pursued her interest in Law and went on to complete her Graduate Diploma in Law and Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice with the University of Law (Guildford and London) and was also awarded a Law Degree.

Sarah then worked at a small boutique London Litigation firm where she was a paralegal in the Professional Negligence department for 18 months before undertaking her training contract at the same firm; completing seats in Residential Property, Family, Commercial Litigation and Property Litigation before qualified into Property Litigation.

When she is not working Sarah enjoys getting out and about with her family and friends (and the dog) exploring the local Suffolk and Essex Countryside (and sampling the local pubs and food along the way).

Sarah is also learning BSL and would also like to start learning Spanish.

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