SARAH LAINCHBURY is a Solicitor-Advocate, her practice focuses on the resolution of complex corporate and commercial cross-border disputes by way of litigation and arbitration, as well as contentious regulatory work and cross-border investigations.
Sarah has considerable experience of conducting litigation in the High Court (particularly the Commercial and Chancery Divisions) and the Court of Appeal, as well as proceedings in off-shore jurisdictions.
Sarah acts for clients in a wide range of industries, with a particular focus on the banking and financial services sectors. Sarah has acted in multi-jurisdictional disputes involving breach of contract, joint venture agreements, international sale and purchase agreements, shareholder agreements, and private equity structures. She has worked on a number of swap mis-selling cases and is co-author of a maintained guide on the mis-selling of interest rate hedging products.
As in previous editions (2022 and 2023), Sarah is recognized in The Legal 500 UK 2024 for the categories of Commercial Litigation: Premium and Banking Litigation: Investment and Retail, where clients say “Sarah Lainchbury’s responsiveness and knowledge of the specific field (contentious disputes and litigation) make you feel completely at ease.” Praises from the 2023 edition state “she has a first-class work ethic and tremendous judgement, combined with a determination to get to the right answer in all disputes she handles.” Sources from the 2022 edition describe her as “very hard working, very confident, very capable and again offers excellent client service.”
Sarah has further experience with the disputes processes associated with complex, cross-border insolvency matters and acted for GLAS Trust Corporation Limited in Financial List proceedings (and additional proceedings in Germany, New York, and Luxembourg) concerning a contested restructuring of the Galapagos Group in 2019 resulting in declaratory relief supportive to GLAS’s position, and a landmark case that deals with certain issues of construction of the distressed disposal provisions of an Intercreditor Agreement. Sarah also led the litigation work for China Fortune Land Development Co., Ltd. in the course of the restructuring of its US$4.96 billion offshore debt by way of an English scheme of arrangement. Sarah also notably acted for Deutsche Bank, representing the interests of subordinated bondholders in the administrations of two companies in the Lehman Brothers group, in the English High Court proceedings.
Sarah also has experience in contentious employment matters (including acting for Investec Bank PLC in a high profile bonus dispute in the Commercial Court and the Court of Appeal) and insurance/reinsurance disputes.
Her arbitration experience includes acting for clients with cases being conducted under ICC and LCIA rules, with arbitral seats in London and New York.
Sarah’s extensive regulatory work and investigations experience includes acting in a number of major enquiries such as investigations by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as multiple contentious internal investigations, most recently in the pharmaceutical and auto-motive sectors.
Sarah is also involved in a wide range of pro bono work, including representing women in prison with a view to re-establishing critical access and relationships with their children through Sidley’s partnership with the charity Not Beyond Redemption. Sarah also recently conducted the advocacy during a full day hearing before the Employment Tribunal representing a black, female Lance Corporal in the British Army in a claim against the Ministry of Defence for bullying, harassment, and discrimination, and also various County Court hearings regarding the non-payment of debts. Sarah has also succeeded in multiple challenges to Personal Independence Payment decisions before the Disability Benefits Tribunals in London.