Sally Barrett-Williams

Energy law barrister working under the Direct Access scheme

Sally Barrett Williams set up Lansdown Chambers following senior posts in the UK energy industry and sector regulators, such as National Power PLC, OFGEM and The Rail Regulator, and in private practice with European and US based entities CMS and Troutman Sanders LLP.


Sally’s track record includes leading roles for project financed and balance sheet financed international power projects in China and Turkey, and regulation framework design in Mozambique.


She is also a project developer, taking stakes in projects and joining the development team. At present she is involved in a number of small generation and battery projects and also in development of new-generation electric car charging schemes.


She was, until recently, a partner in The Carbon Catalysts Group, a project development group for renewable power projects and Chairman of the Energy & Utility Forum, an energy policy body partnering senior executives and politicians with a focus on renewables development and its policy impacts.

Energy matters

We are on the edge of an energy revolution. ‘Revolution’ because we don’t fully know how it will pan out, we don’t really know how things will look in 10 or 20 years’ time.


Change is being driven by the need to meet a 2050 zero-carbon climate target. It is being facilitated by innovation in electronics. 


  • Generation technologies are developing rapidly, becoming vastly more efficient.
  • Storage will soon be de rigeur for uses other than electric cars.
  • White goods are starting to be able to ‘talk’ to electronic devices, becoming part of a single system that can be managed nodally.
  • Soon everyone (every business, every domestic consumer) will be able to sell unused power through ‘demand-side response’ sales.


These are just some of the things that are now with us or will be with us shortly.


Developments in electronics are the other part of the revolution, enabling a key feature to be introduced into the whole system, flexibility. Much of what will happen over the next 2-3 years will be facilitated by the development of and refinement of different kinds of flexibility, via flexibility platforms and flexibility devices. It is flexibility that will bring about virtual local networks, that will enable peer-to-peer sales, that will keep down the need for new generation plant and, ultimately, keep down costs.


The 2050 target involves electrification of the UK, with or without the use of hydrogen as a heating fuel. It also depends on much, much more renewable power. We think we know what that renewable power will look like. I predict that we don’t, that the changes we’re seeing in current technologies will be outstripped by new technologies.


One huge change has happened that sets this all in context. There is no longer any possibility of talking about energy without also talking about climate change. The future for energy just is dealing with climate change.

Working with Sally

The practice offers legal services for energy and new technology, regulation and a wide range of commercial contracts.


Clients include governments, large corporations, housing associations and very small enterprises, such as new energy sector market entrants.


Sally works in several ways:


  • ‘one-off’ advice to law firms and companies, in regulatory or energy matters;
  • arm’s length lawyer to an energy project, perhaps as a complement to a law firm dealing with other aspects of the project (often substantially sized one or multiple projects);
  • more closely with project developers, both in the UK and overseas, either at arms’ length or as part of a team whose rewards come when the project is sold or operational. 
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