Sarah Lee QC specializes in Competition, Regulatory Law, EU and Public Law. She is a qualified Mediator and is registered by the Civil Mediation Council
Sarah advises commercial parties in relation to State aid and subsidies, resale price maintenance and facets of abuse of dominance/regulatory pricing conditions, including price controls along with issues relating to margin squeeze, price discrimination and tying. She has a particular interest in trade and trade remedy related matters, along with telecommunications and utilities. She is experienced in commercial and regulatory judicial review and in private damages actions. Sarah has acted for BT on a stream of regulatory challenges, including a successful challenge to a price control and to a non-SMP condition (at each stage, from the Competition Appeal Tribunal up to the Supreme Court).
She is familiar with a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, farming, energy, pharmaceuticals, insurance and public procurement and has a wide Commercial Law background. She undertakes both advisory and advocacy work for private and public clients.
Sarah Lee QC undertakes advocacy and advisory work in all aspects of Competition Law and economic regulation and the overlap between them. She has a specific interest in trade and trade remedies and has recently co-hosted a webinar series on the topic. She has been instructed in a full range of competition law cases including Art 101/102 damages claims, collective actions, State aid damages cases and State aid in broadband (before the General Court of the EU), State aid cases in the High Court, public procurement in relation to Structural Funds grant cases and in ICC arbitrations. Her regulatory practice includes acting for British Telecommunications in a number of high-profile cases challenging Ofcom decisions, as well as providing advice in relation to telecommunications damages claims and telecommunications commercial agreements. She was involved in the BT v Ofcom 0845 Conditions case at all stages in BT’s successful challenge, from the Competition Appeal Tribunal to the Supreme Court, and in the successful overturning of a price control condition in relation to Mobile Call Termination rates.
Sarah has very extensive experience in EU cases both before domestic and European Courts. In addition to those matters relating to competition and economic regulation (please refer to the the Competition and Regulatory Section of her CV). Subject matters include pharmaceutical regulation, sanctions measures taken against terrorist organisations, oil stocking regulations, environmental information, freedom of movement/services and internal market, advice on structural funds, subsidies and procurement. She has acted before the Information Tribunal in relation to environment information in a challenge against a decision by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Recent work includes advice on the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and on provision of services by UK nationals within the EU whilst in EU territory (Tier 4 provision) and on the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020. She has also looked very recently at trade remedies for a webinar series in relation to the UK’s new Trade Remedies system.
Sarah has acted in a number of judicial reviews, including those with an EU or commercial element. These include R (ota) Mabanaft v BERR, which involved a commercial judicial review challenge in the High Court to BERR's oil stocking regulations, which proceeded to the Court of Appeal and a further permission hearing, and in the High Court and Court of Appeal in R (ota) Federation of Tour Operators v HM Treasury, which involved a challenge to an increase to air passenger duty. She has frequently advised in relation to pre-action protocol matters.
Her practice has included advising on and appearing in challenges to pharmaceutical products licensing decisions, such as R v Secretary of State for Health ex parte Generics UK Ltd, and judicial reviews involving points of EU law, as in R (ota) Yvonne Watts v Secretary of State for Health. She advises on A1P1 issues and procedural points relating to consultations and has recently advised on such issues in relation to PPE supplies. She has acted in a number of challenges in respect of structural funds and subsidy decisions with a procurement element.
First Class Honours in Jurisprudence Finals, BCL, Oxford
French and German
Competition Litigation, UK Practice and Procedure (Blue Book) Brealey and George, first and second editions
Vaughan & Robertson’s Encyclopedia of EU law (Competition Law Volume)
Practitioners’ Handbook of EC Law (Commercial Agents)