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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 as well as financial crime, fraud and asset recovery litigation.

sara-sheffield

About

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

Sara has over 19 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 Dubai in 2020, having been permanently based in the region since 2013. Sara previously worked for the federal prosecution agency in Australia and the Serious Fraud Office in the UK.

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 in 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
  • Financial crime, fraud, asset-tracing and both civil and criminal recovery actions
  • 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). She is currently (2023) a Co-Chair of the International Bar Association Asset Recovery Committee, and is also a member of the IBA Litigation Committee and the Fraud Lawyers Association. 

Sara received an Honourable Mention for Litigator of The Year at the LexisNexis Women In Law Awards 2022 and is ranked in several directories including Chambers & Partners (‘Up and Coming: Dispute Resolution’) and The Legal 500 (‘Arbitration Powerlist’). Sara is one of few lawyers ranked in Who's Who: Asset Tracing and Recovery UAE consecutively in the years 2018-2023.

Sara is admitted to practice in Australia (Queensland), England & Wales, the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts and the Abu Dhabi Global Markets Courts in the UAE, and the Astana International Financial Centre Courts in Kazakhstan.

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

  • honourable-mention-personality-of-the-year
  • honourable-mention-dispute-resolution-team-of-the-year
  • Private-Practice-Lawyer-of-the-Year-2024
  • Signature-LN WIL Awards-HM-Litigator of the Year

Our thinking

  • IBA Annual Conference 2024

    Charlotte Ford

    Events

  • Essential Intelligence – UAE Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery

    Sara Sheffield

    Insights

  • Enforcement of Foreign Judgments: United Arab Emirates - DIFC

    Patrick Gearon FCIArb

    Insights

  • The Virtual Currency Regulation Review: UAE

    Sara Sheffield

    Insights

  • Enforcement of Foreign Judgments - UAE: DIFC

    Patrick Gearon FCIArb

    Insights

  • Enforcement of Judgments

    Patrick Gearon FCIArb

    Insights

  • CDR - Essential Intelligence: Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery

    Sara Sheffield

    Insights

  • Lexology │Getting The Deal Through: Anti-Bribery & Corruption 2023 - United Arab Emirates

    Sara Sheffield

    Insights

  • DIFC Courts Offer Digital Vault Service to Store Documents

    Sara Sheffield

    Quick Reads

  • ADGM LAUNCHES NEW ‘MEDIATION IN THE METAVERSE’ SERVICE

    Sara Sheffield

    Quick Reads

  • UAE Ministry of Justice Supports Reciprocal Enforcement of English Judgments

    Dalal Alhouti

    Quick Reads

  • The Law Reviews - The Virtual Currency Regulation Review; Edition 5 - United Arab Emirates

    Sara Sheffield

    Insights

  • UAE Court Rejects Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Award

    Sara Sheffield

    Insights

  • Enforcement of Foreign Judgments - DIFC

    Patrick Gearon FCIArb

    Insights

  • Enforcement of Foreign Judgments - Abu Dhabi

    Patrick Gearon FCIArb

    Insights

  • Developments in the UAE

    Sara Sheffield

    Insights

  • DFSA & Whistleblowing: Merely lip service to speak up will not be enough

    Sara Sheffield

    Insights

  • Patrick Gearon, Sara Sheffield and Peter Smith write for Lexology Getting The Deal Through on enforcement of foreign judgments in the United Arab Emirates

    Patrick Gearon FCIArb

    In The Press

  • Our international expansion and four new partners across four offices picked up by the press

    Sara Sheffield

    In The Press

  • Charles Russell Speechlys continues international expansion with the hire of four new partners

    Sara Sheffield

    News

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