As head of our public sector IT and outsourcing practice, Sarah Sasse has over 20 years' experience of public procurement and commercial contracts. She works with public bodies and commissioners to structure their procurements and commercial arrangements to minimise risk and achieve their objectives – whether that's saving money or transforming services. Her understanding of the public sector context, as well as the latest government thinking and policy, also helps clients bidding into the public sector to rapidly identify and address the commercial challenges and risks involved.
Lawyers in this field need more than a good understanding of public procurement and contract law; they need to be able to combine that with a detailed knowledge of the commercial (and often political) backdrop. Sarah's experience as lead partner on significant projects, together with the knowledge gained through a seven-month secondment at the Cabinet Office helping draft the Model Services Contract, means she brings an instinctive 'feel' for the right approach, as well as the necessary legal expertise.
Sarah is known for her 'hands on' approach to projects, advising on public procurement, leading negotiations and helping identify solutions to the issues and challenges which inevitably come up in the course of a complex procurement. She relishes the challenges of working on complex projects, helping her clients design and negotiate contracts that address the risks, but are still workable for those who have to manage them over the next five to ten years.
Sarah is an experienced client partner, leading our relationship with a range of public bodies, local authorities, the Crown Commercial Service and the Whitehall & Industry Group. Within Gowling WLG, she plays a lead role in our gender diversity initiative, working to help more women achieve partnership and management positions within the firm.
Leading our team advising Croydon Council on its complex, multi-contract procurement of a contract for its core ICT services with Capita, together with a separate contract for DC/DR services with SunGard and a contract for web design/hosting services.
Working within the Cabinet Office, as part of a shared secondment to the ERG Legal Team, on the standardisation of Government terms and conditions and drafting/developing the new Model Services Agreement.
Advising the Department of Health and NHS acute trusts on the Department's £5bn Independent Sector Treatment Centre programme, including contracts for IT, FM and clinical services. Sarah scored highly in the Department's Competency Assessment Centre for lead negotiators.
Assisting a County Council with its 10-year, £100m outsourcing of IT/support functions to Capita. In the closing phases, Sarah worked on-site embedded within the project team to finalise the contract within 3 weeks of preferred bidder appointment.
Helping a County Council structure and implement a 30-year concession arrangement for the outsourcing of its bereavement services, including refurbishing and running the local crematorium and operating a number of cemeteries.
Helping design interface arrangements for a telecoms/infrastructure client on its bid to provide emergency services communications in Canada.
Advising a leading music industry client for over 10 years on a range of IT and outsourcing arrangements, including offshoring its finance and accounting services and a range of IT agreements relating to key digital platforms and services.