Sarah Lawrence heads up the Labour & Employment team in the Middle East in addition to being the Dubai office deputy managing partner. Sarah is a UK qualified employment lawyer based in our Dubai office but covering the wider Middle East and, in particular, advising on labour law matters in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Sarah is described as “an exceptional lawyer” (Chambers Global) and “a real star” and "a trusted business advisor to her clients" (The Legal 500). Sarah advises multinational and regional clients on all aspects of labour law and employment and immigration issues both onshore and within the region's free zones. Sarah has particular experience of advising on workplace harassment issues and investigations, senior executive appointments and terminations, dealing with immigration matters for the recruitment and termination of employees, dealing with the labour law and employee relations aspects of corporate transactions, handling labour claims across the region and dealing with outsourcing and restructuring projects and cross-border employment issues. Her team is described as having “the right balance of local and international expertise, really understanding what businesses need and providing real commercial solutions rather than just legal text” (The Legal 500).

Sarah has been based in the UAE since 2013, advising both multinational and domestic clients on a full spectrum of employment law issues. Her expertise in cross-border issues, outsourcing and restructuring means she is a highly sought-after practitioner and has extensive experience advising clients across a range of sectors, including technology, professional services, media, finance, aerospace, defence and security, and real estate.

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  • Advising on a number of sensitive cross-border senior executive terminations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia arising out of a restructuring following a whistleblowing complaint and a subsequent internal investigation.
  • Advising an American multinational aerospace and defence conglomerate on all aspects of its employment relationships in the UAE and the KSA.
  • Advising on various high-value labour claims before the UAE, the KSA and the Oman Labour Courts.
  • Advising a global bank on restructuring and outsourcing projects onshore in the GCC and the wider EMEA region and advising on local services agreements, the transfer of employees and treatment of end of service gratuity benefits and the drafting of services agreements.
  • Advising a DIFC investment bank on a sensitive workplace investigation.
  • Providing training to multiple multinational clients on workplace sexual harassment, bullying and harassment and discrimination issues in various sectors.
  • Advising a major Gulf-based airline on the employment and restructuring aspects of an extensive IT outsourcing and transformation programme.
  • Advising an international software, solutions and technology outsourcing company on a continuous basis on various employment issues across the Middle East, including day-to-day HR and immigration issues, local entitlements and benefits, global employment policies and managing legal advice for business operations in countries throughout the region.
  • Advising a regional television subscription provider with significant misuse of confidential information issues resulting in the filing of both civil and criminal proceedings.
  • Advising on grievances, disciplinary issues and drafting senior executive appointments and termination agreements for clients across a variety of sectors, including the negotiation of settlement terms on behalf of employers and advising employers in relation to the termination process, including the cancellation of residence visas and work permits.


  • Oxford University, B.A., Jurisprudence, 2004
  • Oxford University, Queen’s College, M.A., 2004


  • England and Wales, 2007
  • “Sarah Lawrence provides rapid, accurate, and commercial answers that get to the point immediately. Sarah always puts the right priority level on instructions.”
  • “Sarah Lawrence has deep knowledge of local laws and practices coupled with expertise in handling complex and sensitive employment matters.”
  • “Sarah Lawrence is a real force in the region, and a recognized brand of her own. Her responsiveness is remarkable.”
  • “Sarah Lawrence is an outstanding lawyer. She is always available to jump on a call and her advice is clear, concise and always very commercial.”
  • “SPB is one of the best and strongest law firms in the market. They have a strong employment section, dealing with major and complex matters.”
  • “Sarah Lawrence is the trusted lawyer you call when you have a problem. She is very intelligent, solution-driven and commercial.”
  • “Sarah Lawrence is among a select few well-rounded lawyers who are super responsive, commercial, and have a great command of regional laws and market trends.”
  • “Sarah Lawrence provides great advice and is wonderfully pragmatic.”
  • “She's extremely responsive and provides concise, commercial advice. She also has in-depth knowledge of our sector.”

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