Competition and Antitrust
Phone +64 9 367 8133
Email [email protected]
+64 9 367 8133
Sarah heads the firm’s highly successful competition law practice, which has earned the highest New Zealand ranking from the Global Competition Review, a guide to the world’s leading competition law specialists.
Sarah specialises in competition, consumer and regulatory law and litigation and advises clients in relation to Commerce Commission investigations, prosecutions and appeals; the legality of behavioural arrangements and conduct; clearances and authorisations of mergers and acquisitions; and generally in relation to competition law advice, appeals and judicial reviews.
Sarah is the only New Zealander ranked as a Star Individual in Competition and Antitrust by Chambers and Partners Asia-Pacific 2019, making her one of the highest ranked competition lawyers in the country. Additionally, in 2018 and 2016 Sarah was rated New Zealand Competition Lawyer of the Year by the International Law Office Client Choice Awards, and ranked as a market-leading lawyer in the 2019 Asialaw Profiles. Best Lawyers® 2020 listed her as a leading lawyer in Competition and Consumer Law in New Zealand and awarded her 'Lawyer of the Year' for this category. Sarah has also featured twice in 2013 and 2016 as the only New Zealander in the Global Competition Review's '100 Women in Antitrust'.
Sarah brings skill and experience to complex legal issues. She has acted in a number of significant matters including acting for Woolworths-owned supermarket chain Countdown, implicated in a New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) investigation into allegations made in Parliament. Responding to the Commission under Sarah’s advice, Countdown was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Sarah also leads a number of high profile consumer law matters, including recently assisting Reckitt Benckiser in responding to the NZCC's charges relating to its indication specific range of Nurofen products.
Sarah has assisted a number of other major corporations with Commerce commission actions including Fairfax Media, NZME, Spark, Visy, Qantas and Poynter. Recent matters she has acted on include:
LLB (Hons), BA, University of Auckland.
Sarah began her career with Russell McVeagh and became a partner at the firm in 2006. Sarah was named the representative of large law firms on the New Zealand Law Society council in 2019, and she also currently serves as Co-Chair of Russell McVeagh's Diversity Committee. Her experience includes working as a senior associate in another New Zealand law firm and working in the European Competition and Regulatory team at a magic circle firm in London.
Last year, Sarah presented on Plurality and Privacy at the annual RBB Economics Sydney conference and at the 29th annual workshop for the Competition Law and Policy Institute of NZ on 'Consumer Analytica: New Zealand Consumer Law Application to International Developments in Privacy and Use of Data'. Sarah also presented alongside Corporate Partner Ian Beaumont for a CPD session on Cartel allegations in capital raising underwrites – what can we learn from the ACCC's recent charges?
Additionally, Sarah presented to a number of different audiences in 2017 including to the Law and Economics Association of New Zealand on 'Lessons Learned from Sky-Vodafone', and participating in a panel on the topic of drip pricing at the Commerce Commission's 'Competition Matters' Conference, as well as on wider professional development topics, such as the ADLSi's "Finding Your Way" webinar.
Sarah is the only New Zealander ranked as a Star Individual in Competition and Antitrust by Chambers and Partners Asia-Pacific 2019, making her one of the highest ranked competition lawyers in the country. Additionally, Sarah was rated New Zealand Competition Lawyer of the Year by the International Law Office Client Choice Awards in both 2016 and 2018, and was also named the 2019 Global 100 'Competition and Regulatory Lawyer of the Year' in New Zealand. She was ranked as a market-leading lawyer in the 2019 Asialaw Profiles and Best Lawyers® 2020 listed her as a leading lawyer in Competition and Consumer Law and awarded Sarah 'Lawyer of the Year' for this category. Sarah is recognised as one of only two thought leaders for New Zealand in Who's Who Legal's Competition Thought Leaders 2020 publication.
She has previously presented to a group of competition law agencies in the IPF, in association with ASEAN, on the subject of Regulator Cooperation between the ACCC and NZCC, and in the American Bar Association 'World of Monopolies' series on 'The Basics of Abuse of Dominance in Australia, Canada and New Zealand in 2013.
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