Image of Sarah Wiggins

Sarah Wiggins

Corporate and M&A Partner, London

“I am a trusted adviser to company boardrooms, offering clients practical, business-focused advice that is strongly aligned with their commercial requirements and objectives.”

Overview

Professional experience

Education and qualifications

Overview

Sarah is the firm’s global head of clients and sectors and a member of the senior management Executive Board. She became the firm’s first female partner to take up the role as head of the London corporate practice.

She is a board room adviser and regularly works on a wide range of corporate transactions including M&A work, IPOs, privatisations, joint ventures and general corporate finance often with a cross-border element. Furthermore, Sarah has significant expertise in high profile crises and investigations.  Her experience spans the oil and gas, chemicals, construction, real estate, professional services, insurance and FMCG sectors.

Sarah leads on several key relationships with a number of the firm’s significant clients, including BP, Reckitt Benckiser and PwC. During 2012/2013, Sarah was seconded to BP’s Head Office for eight months where she worked closely with the general counsel and deputy general counsel on a number of market-related and crisis management issues, including criminal settlement with the DoJ. During 2015/16 Sarah acted as interim general counsel of Reckitt Benckiser (RB) for 16 months advising on a number of acquisitions and a number of business critical issues. 

Sarah was profiled in The Law List by Powerful Media in 2015 and in 2017 was named an Acritas Star Law in a new global database of client nominated Star Lawyers.

Work highlights

During her career, Sarah has advised on M&A transactions with a combined value of more than US$300bn. Among the market-leading transactions, Sarah has advised:

  • SIX Group AG on the CHF 2.916bn auction sale of its Payment Services division to Worldline SA
  • Reckitt Benckiser’s US$17.9bn acquisition of Mead Johnson Nutrition Company
  • PwC in relation to its acquisition of Booz & Co. US$1.18bn
  • Bayer AG on its US$11.7bn spin-off of Covestro
  • Reckitt Benckiser subsidiary Oxy RB in relation to the high profile H&S issue in South Korea
  • Schlumberger on the multijurisdictional sale of its Global Connectivity Services (GCS) business
  • BP transactions including (1) US$49bn merger with Amoco; (2) joint venture and dissolution of the joint venture with Mobil; (3) sale of its stake of TNK-BP to Rosneft
  • Vodafone’s £62bn merger with AirTouch and subsequently Vodafone AirTouch on its acquisition of Mannesmann for US$180bn, which is the largest ever takeover and was also the first ever hostile takeover in Germany
  • Uniq on an innovative US$470m deficit-for-equity swap, which involved Uniq transferring the majority of its shares to the company pension scheme to address the pension deficit

Professional experience

Sarah is an active supporter of Linklaters’ gender equality initiatives and is a former member of the steering committee of the 30% club, a cross-business UK initiative committed to promoting gender diversity in the boardroom. She is a member of Radius’ Advisory Panel with particular reference to its LGBT programmes.

She spent a number of years sponsoring the firms’ flagship education programme, Learn for Work, which focused on raising the aspirations and achievements of more than 4,000 young people in Hackney. She was previously a member of the Advisory Council for Step up to Serve #iwill, which aims to encourage and increase volunteering amongst young people in inner cities.

Sarah contributed to the Linklaters publication, A cross-border guide to private M&A (2016), which analyses some of the key legal questions and hurdles potential acquirers venturing into new markets need to consider. The guide considers issues such as restrictions on foreign ownership, merger control procedures and employee rights, from Australia to Vietnam.

Education and qualifications

Sarah studied history at Manchester University.