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Sara Sheffield, Partner

Sara Sheffield is a dispute resolution lawyer based in our Dubai office with extensive experience in complex cross-border commercial litigation and international arbitration.

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About

Sara has over 14 years of experience as a commercial disputes, white-collar crime and regulatory disputes lawyer between Australia, England & Wales and the UAE. She joined the Litigation and Dispute resolution team in 2020, having been permanently based in the region since 2013.

Sara acts in complex commercial litigation in the Dubai International Financial Centre and the Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts in the UAE, and in the English High Court, as well as arbitration matters before local and international centres.

Sara handles a wide range of commercial disputes, often involving cross-border issues, with a focus on:

  • Shareholder and partnership disputes
  • Financial services disputes
  • Fraud, asset tracing and both civil and criminal recovery
  • Contentious insolvency matters
  • Regulatory (e.g. DFSA) investigations
  • Ancillary relief matters including third-party disclosure orders and worldwide freezing orders
  • Enforcement matters

Sara sits as a member of the DIFC Courts Rules Sub-Committee (2020 – 2022).

Sara is one of few lawyers ranked in Who's Who: Asset Tracing and Recovery UAE consecutively in the years 2018-2022.  Sara was also shortlisted for Arbitration Lawyer of the Year and received an Honourable Mention for Litigator of The Year at the LexisNexis Women In Law Awards 2022.

Sara previously worked for the federal prosecution agency in Australia and the Serious Fraud Office in the UK.

Experience

  • Acting for UAE investment companies in a claim in the DIFC Courts against a global investment bank for AED 100 million+ losses arising from alleged misselling of investment products.
  • Acting for a UAE based global crypto-currency trading platform company in respect of a claim in the DIFC Courts against a DFSA-regulated investment company arising from the loss of a significant amount of Bitcoin.
  • Acting for a UAE bank in the ratification and enforcement of English and New York judgments in the DIFC Courts, for onward enforcement in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Acting for an individual in connection with an investigation by the Dubai Financial Services Authority for alleged breaches of DIFC Regulatory Law.
  • Acting for an individual in a GBP 70 million dispute with a global media agency including an unfair prejudice petition in the Hong Kong Courts and contractual claims in the English Courts.
  • Acting for a UAE investment company in an AED 800 million+ partnership dispute with a foreign listed property developer in LCIA arbitration, including related court proceedings in Singapore and the DIFC Courts.

Recognition

Litigator of The Year - LexisNexis Women In Law Awards 2022

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