I am a regulatory solicitor and experienced advocate having qualified as a Solicitor-Advocate (All Higher Courts) in 2002.
I help clients to navigate the criminal and regulatory law that impacts on business life. I act for all types of organisations and individuals, including directors.
My advisory work includes advising clients on compliance with regulations affecting their business, undertaking legal ‘health checks’, drafting policies and procedures and providing training.
My objective is to help my clients stay on the right side of the right side of the criminal law to minimise the risk of something going wrong and the possibility of a criminal investigation and prosecution (which inevitably mean key people in the business being taken away from their usual roles), adverse publicity, hefty fines and a potential impact on future business.
When something does go wrong, I work with my clients to achieve the best possible outcome and support them through the process.
As well as compliance and defence work, I also prosecute for private prosecutors. I believe that acting for prosecutors and defendants assists with how I approach cases and is of benefit to my clients.
I am a Recommended Lawyer in the Legal 500 2021 guide.
Notable Work highlights
- Drafting privacy notices, data protection policies, retention policies, cookies policies, legitimate interest assessments, records of processing activities.
- Advising clients on responding to data subject access requests, including reviewing documents and advising on exemptions from disclosure. Also advising on requests for erasure of personal data and other data protection rights.
- Advising clients on responding to correspondence from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) following data breaches or complaints.
- Advising clients on actions needed following a data breach, including whether the thresholds for reporting the breach to the ICO and notifying affected individuals have been met. Advising on the content of reports to the ICO and notification letters.
- Advising clients on making and responding to Freedom of Information Act requests.
- Assisting Trethowans’ corporate team on transactions involving environmental due diligence and warranties.
- Advising business investigated by local authority in relation to alleged food hygiene offences. Advising client on responding to requests for interview under caution and putting forward case as to why enforcement action should not be taken. A prosecution was avoided.
Health and safety
- Advising client investigated by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following allegation that contractor had been exposed to asbestos. Reviewing client’s relationship with contractor, the policies and procedures in place and relevant documents. Assisting the client with a detailed response to a Notice of Contravention that had been served. The client avoided an improvement notice and prosecution.
- Advising client on whether an accident was reportable under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.
- Advising client on powers of health and safety inspectors.
- Advising a client investigated by the HSE following a farming accident. Advising the client in relation to answering written questions under caution. Following submission of the client’s answers, no further action was taken by the HSE.
- Member of the Health and Safety Lawyers Association
- Member of the UK Environmental Law Association.
- I am also Trethowans’ Privacy Officer.
“exceptionally able and dedicated” and “absolutely first class”. - Chambers and Partners
Areas of Expertise
What others say
Sarah Wheadon provided me with professional help a few years ago now when I had a brush with the legal system. Her advice at that time was absolutely spot-on and the outcome was much as was predicted. We were both happy with that.
More recently I had another incident requiring legal advice and Sarah was my first thought, based on my previous experience. The client relationship was very different this time with Covid restrictions in place which precluded personal meetings. Nonetheless, Sarah spent some considerable time on the phone with me giving her professional advice, again with a range of likely outcomes. It was a slightly more complicated scenario this time, so the range of options were greater, but these were all clearly laid out by Sarah. Because of the more complicated situation, Sarah took additional third-party advice, which seemed appropriate at the time, and produced excellent further advice. The final court outcome on this occasion was much better than I could have ever hoped for.
I put this success down to Sarah’s diligence in dealing with the details of the case in the first place, her professional attitude and considerable legal knowledge, her approachable style of operating, and knowing when best to take further advice. Wrap all this together and the result is a first-class solicitor! I call this Sarah.
Away from the office
I am a keen violinist and a member of the City of Southampton Orchestra. When I am not in the office I also enjoy gardening.