Sarah leads our Planning and Infrastructure Consenting team in Scotland. She is the only lawyer in the country to be dual qualified as an accredited specialist in planning law by the Law Society of Scotland and as a chartered town planner with corporate membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute. With an exceptional track record providing strategically focussed advice for some of the most prestigious development projects in Scotland and further afield, Sarah is widely recognised as a leading planning lawyer. Her wealth of experience and expertise assists clients from across both the development and public sectors on all aspects of planning, environmental, CPO and transport matters. Major housing, infrastructure, energy, retail, waste, mixed use and regeneration schemes feature strongly in her workload.

With significant expertise in appeals and legal challenges to planning and other statutory consents, Sarah is particularly known for her ability to develop robust consenting strategies to guide major development projects from their early conceptual stage, through the complex consenting process to their delivery and beyond. Her practice covers matters such as development plan promotion & policy; advising on statutory process; reviewing & de-risking application submissions; negotiating & drafting complex planning & infrastructure agreements; and advising on appeals, court challenges, enforcement & compulsory purchase. She regularly appears as an advocate in inquiries and hearings. Sarah also has an excellent working knowledge of EIA and advises on a range of environmental and regulated process matters including habitats, permitting and licences. 

  • Olympic Delivery Authority on planning applications, supporting documentation, planning agreements and led on transport matters in respect of the London 2012 Olympic Games & Legacy (circa £9 billion) and the wider regeneration of Stratford. 
  • The promoters of (circa £1 billion) Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine Railway (Scottish Legal Award Winner); Borders Railway; & Edinburgh Airport Rail Link (Scottish Legal Award Winner) in relation to securing development authorisation through the Scottish Parliament together with airport and harbour operators on their development & asset portfolios.
  • Planning authorities, investors & developers in relation to a number of Scotland’s largest strategic growth areas including Glasgow Harbour, Bishopton, Granton Harbour, Clyde Gateway, Shawfair, Corton & East Inverness.
  • A number of FTSE-100 retailers, investors & funds in relation to town centre, new store, retail park & shopping centre developments across the UK together with advising on investment acquisition & disposal portfolios.
  • A number of FTSE-100 utility, energy, manufacturing & waste operators in relation to their development and investment asset portfolios including onshore/off shore wind, EfW, gas, solar, biomass, thermal generation, CCS & commercial development.

"Sarah Baillie has a broad planning practice and is particularly active in regeneration and waste projects. One source describes her as "responsive and knowledgeable."

Chambers UK, 2016

"Sarah Baillie is a leading name on the team, who handles both contentious and non-contentious matters. She has been busy in the retail, energy and housing sectors."

Chambers UK, 2015

"Sarah Baillie is dual-qualified, as a lawyer and chartered town planning. She offers specialist advice on planning applications for large-scale projects in the waste and energy sectors."

Chambers UK, 2014

“Sarah Baillie is sought after by a range of development clients. She was involved on behalf of Ayrshire Power regarding plans for a contested multi-fuel power station at Hunterston.”

Chambers UK 2013

“Sarah Baillie is a qualified planner who handles both contentious and non-contentious matters.”

Chambers UK 2012

“Sarah Baillie is "straightforward and direct" and "puts a lot of effort into responses". She is a dual qualified lawyer and town planner.”

Chambers UK 2011

Sarah has consistently been ranked as a 'Leading Individual' by Chambers UK since 2009.

  • Sarah has had publications in:
    • The Journal of the Law Society of Scotland
    • Scottish Planning and Environmental Law Journal
    • The Scottish Planner, Planning Magazine
    • Business Insider
    • Real Power MagazineThe Times
    • The Scotsman.  
  • She often speaks at industry conferences and has done so for:
    • Scotland Policy Conferences
    • RICS
    • RTPI
    • Industrial and Power Association
    • SPF
    • Scottish Renewables.
Professional memberships
  • Law Society of Scotland
  • Royal Town Planning Institute
  • Law Society of Scotland Planning Law Committee
  • Scottish Property Federation Planning Committee
  • Construction Scotland Planning and Building Control Working Group
  • University of Edinburgh, LLB, DipLP 1997 - 2000
  • University of Strathclyde BA (Hons) Environmental Planning 1993 -1997
  • Year qualified  - 2003
  • French