Sarah will succeed Andy Hart who has completed his term and will return to focusing on his practice at the firm.
Sarah, who has served as head of the London Dispute Resolution group since 2019, has been a partner in the firm’s Dispute Resolution group since 2008 and specialises in complex financial services litigation, investigation, and regulatory enforcement proceedings. Sarah is also a member of Freshfields’ diversity and inclusion committee and is an ally of the Halo and Black Affinity Networks.
Senior partner Georgia Dawson commented: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Sarah Parkes to lead our global dispute resolution team and supporting her in her strategic leadership of the practice. We are the market leaders in advising global clients on challenging litigation and arbitration work. Sarah’s appointment demonstrates the deep strength of our cross-border disputes offering, and the breadth of talent at Freshfields assuming leadership roles. I also want to acknowledge the contribution made by our incumbent head Andy Hart, who has been instrumental in driving the strategic growth of the practice.”
Partner Sarah Parkes added: “I am excited to lead the global dispute resolution practice, which is recognised as market-leading in litigation, arbitration, regulatory and investigations advisory work across many jurisdictions. I look forward to working with a world-class and diverse group of talented colleagues in driving the success of the practice and continuing to work with Andy Hart as he returns to his practice. Under Andy’s leadership, we have developed an outstanding global network which includes a first-class mass claims practice across Europe and a US litigation practice that has grown 50% over the last two years.”
Andy Hart said: “Sarah is an outstanding successor for this global role. I have been immensely grateful for the help and support of my colleagues, and I am sure that they will continue to provide this to Sarah over the next few years.”
Notable client advisory work for the global dispute resolution team includes acting for Volkswagen in its global defence during the diesel emissions scandal; and WEX Inc. on a landmark Material Adverse Effect litigation, the first of its kind to arise from the Covid-19 pandemic, in the context of a share purchase agreement to acquire eNett International Limited and Optal Limited.