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Sara Hanrahan

Sara HanrahanPartner

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I am a planning partner within the Real Estate Department and have over 20 years’ commercial experience.

I advise on all aspects of planning and specialise in major re-development and urban regeneration projects. I act for a wide range of clients including developers, housing associations, local authorities as well as high net worth individuals.


I am a committee member of the City of London Law Society Planning and Environmental Committee and have been recognised as a leader in my field in both the Legal 500 and Chambers.


Real estate

I have worked on a number of key regeneration schemes within London including: Dalston Square, Loampit Vale, Canada Water Basin and More London as well as acting for Southwark Council in relation the Nine Elms/Vauxhall/Battersea Opportunity Area. 


I have also advised on various similar sized projects across the South East and Wales including: Thanet new town centre, Westwood Cross, the redevelopment of Victoria Quay in East Cowes and the current Swansea City Centre £6 billion regeneration scheme.


In addition, I have a niche practice acting for high net worth individuals both within and outside London.


Retail, hospitality and leisure

I have extensive experience within the retail, hospitality and leisure sector and have worked on a variety of projects across the UK. This includes advising one of the largest supermarket groups on planning issues relating to both new stores and distribution centres across the south-east. I have also acted for a number of hotel operators, both national and private owned, as well a leading  health and fitness club.

Awards and recognition

  • Chambers 2024 (Planning – London (Firms)) - "Sara knows the planning system inside out and provides no-nonsense advice. She is a very smart and commercial lawyer."
  • Legal 500 2024 (Planning) - ‘Sara Hanrahan is a very strong planning lawyer with a vast range of experiences to call upon.’ ‘Sara Hanrahan of Lewis Silkin is highly recommended and our experience concurs with this recommendation.’ ‘Sara Hanrahan is very approachable; she is willing to discuss, amend where necessary, agree consensual approach and go the extra mile.’
  • Legal 500 2023 (Planning) Excellent strategic planning adviser’ ‘very good with clients and knowledgeable in her field’ ‘Sara Hanrahan, planning specialist. Very good with clients and knowledgeable in her field.’ ‘Sara Hanrahan – have known her for nearly 6 years now working on various issues. She is responsive, timely, thoughtful and efficient.’ ‘Sara Hanrahan is an excellent strategic planning adviser.’
  • Legal 500 2022 (Planning) - ‘I would recommend Sara for any planning problem. She is very bright, committed and tenacious, as well as having the ability to get on well with clients. I think she has a very good understanding of what developers need in today’s planning world’
  • Legal 500 2022 (Planning) - ‘Excellent practice, now led by Sara Hanrahan. She has much experience of commercial development and is a sought-after solicitor’
  • Chambers UK 2020: ..."really clever at thinking outside of the box and putting solutions together for her clients."
  • Chambers UK 2020: "[She's] very easy to get on with, knows what she's doing and is always available."
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