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SBV Consulting – Legal Operations and Legal Bid Support

Sarah Barrett-Vane. SBV ConsultingI qualified as a lawyer in 1996 and worked in private practice – primarily Eversheds – before moving in-house in 2001, where I held positions in both the private and public sector. In 2007, whilst a lawyer at the Legal Aid Agency (Ministry of Justice), I moved sideways into legal procurement and contract management.

In 2009 I joined Royal Mail to carry out the company’s first legal panel review. In 2012 I moved to work directly for the GC as Director of Legal Operations. I left the company on 31/12/17 to pursue freelance/interim work full-time.

The Royal Mail legal team has undergone an almost total transformation since 2012, including the IPO. Under two GCs the team has won the following awards:

  • The Lawyer Awards 2014: In-House Commerce & Industry Team of the Year
  • Legal Business Awards 2015: In-House Team of the Year
  • Legal Week Innovation Awards 2017: In-House Innovation
  • FT Innovative Lawyers 2017: Innovation in Operations
  • Legal Week British Legal Awards 2017: Legal Department of the Year, Commerce & Industry

SBV ConsultingMy broad range of experience makes me well-positioned to advise in-house legal teams and law firms on both operational aspects of their practice and procurement work.

I work with in-house legal teams, law firms and other legal service providers, helping them to understand each other’s needs and work together more successfully and collaboratively. I am careful to keep myself up to date with relevant developments in the legal market place to ensure I am well placed to advise you on the most current trends and practices.

I recently attended a three day legal project management course  with Antony Smith in order to further my knowledge of this area. I am globally certified with the Legal Project Practitioner (LPP) certification, and can provide half or full day courses on this, specifically for in-house teams.

When working for clients, I make sure I understand their preferred ways of working, communication preferences and style – essential, in my view, to making sure the relationship is a success.



Some of you may be wondering where the idea for the bespectacled Basset Hound came from. Let me enlighten you.

I have always loved dogs and very much wanted a dog image as part of my website, so began searching for inspiration. I came across a rather fetching photograph of a Basset Hound wearing spectacles.

His handsome looks and intellectual pose appealed to me – and so Hector the Basset was born! I like to think he will add a certain gravitas to the proceedings.

Please note that my actual real life dog, Arthur, is a feisty Westie (with no gravitas). He knows nothing of Hector.

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