Dame Sara Cockerill read Law at Oxford University, obtaining a first class degree and being awarded the University’s Eldon Scholarship. She was called to the Bar in 1990, and joined Essex Court Chambers in 1991. She practised as a barrister from those chambers until 2017, specialising in commercial cases and in compelled evidence (author of ‘Compelled Evidence in Civil Proceedings’ (2012 OUP)). She was appointed a Queen's Counsel (now KC) in 2011.

She was appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge in 2015, sitting in the Queen’s Bench Division (the Administrative Court and the Commercial Court). She became a High Court Judge in 2017. She was Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court in 2020-2022.

She is also authorised to sit in cases in the Financial List, the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the Technology and Construction Court as well as in other Queen’s Bench work, including crime. She is a member of the Senior Editorial Board of the White Book (the principal guide to civil procedural law in England and Wales).

Sara is also active as a historian; author of ‘Eleanor of Castile – The Shadow Queen’ (2014) and ‘Eleanor of Aquitaine – Queen of France and England, Mother of Empires’ (2019).