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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926 - 2022

Portrait of Sarah Allan


A partner in the London office, Sarah is the head of the yacht team and works within the wider marine, trade and energy group. She specialises in all yacht-related matters and advises owners, managers and yards on contracts relevant to superyacht operations, including sale and purchase transactions, re-fit, yacht charters and management agreements. Her expertise in this area has in part derived from her passion for sailing, as both an accomplished sailor and yachtmaster who has competed at international sailing events and worked on yachts.

Sarah has particular expertise in yacht and superyacht litigation, including contractual disputes and insurance claims, and has handled significant yacht casualties, including total losses. She has also developed a practice in advising on matters relating to sailing regattas and racing incidents and rules related matters. She acts alongside the firm’s personal injury team in the event of more serious injury. 

With a background in shipping law, and having worked for an International Group P&I club, Sarah also frequently handles insurance claims and coverage disputes. She works closely with colleagues in the employment team to advise on regulatory issues, including crew issues arising in connection with the Maritime Labour Convention.

Sarah is ranked by Chambers High Net Worth for her work on yachts and superyachts, where a client describes her as 'understanding the best interests of clients' and being 'capable of great things'. She is also ranked in The Legal 500 for her insurance work in connection with yachts. As a Spanish speaker, she works closely with her colleagues in the Madrid office, as well as the other international offices.

Recent work highlights

  • Advising on the build contract for a new build bespoke composite yacht.
  • Representing the insurer and owner in relation to a number of superyacht losses caused by fire including advising on fire investigation and limitation of liability and pursuing subrogated claims.
  • Acting for a number of owners and charterers of superyachts on issues arising out of both Covid-19 and more recently the war in Ukraine including dealing with questions of whether the force majeure provisions avail owners of their obligations under the MYBA charter.
  • Advising owners and insurers on defending a crew claim for personal injuries which occurred on a round-the-world yacht race.
  • Advising on claims arising from significant damages to the topside and superstructure of superyachts.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP