Sarah Lawrence is a UK qualified employment lawyer practising in our Dubai office.

    Sarah is described by clients as “an exceptional lawyer” (Chambers & Partners Global) and “a trusted business advisor to her clients – she is particularly responsive and gives crisp advice,” (The Legal 500). Sarah advises multinational and regional clients (including across the GCC and the wider Middle East) on all aspects of labour law and employment and immigration issues both onshore and within the region's free zones, including the Dubai International Financial Centre. Sarah has particular experience of handling complex workplace harassment issues and investigations, advising on 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.

    Sarah has been based in Dubai 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, leisure and hospitality, media, finance, aerospace, defence and security, and real estate.

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    • Advising a multinational video and communication technology corporation on all employment issues arising out of setting up in Saudi Arabia.
    • Advising on various high-value labour claims before the UAE, KSA and Oman Labour Courts.
    • Advising a major Gulf based airline on the employment and restructuring aspects of an extensive IT outsourcing and transformation programme.
    • Advising a leading international developer and operator of destination resorts, ultra-luxury hotels and residences on its sexual harassment training programme and delivering the training to over 3,000 employees.
    • Advising a multinational hospitality company on various employment and immigration issues in the UAE.
    • Advising a global consumer goods company on harassment and bullying in the workplace issues and providing training to all of its employees in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
    • Advising a global bank on restructuring and outsourcing projects onshore in the GCC and 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 major Gulf based airline on the setting up of a JV and the outsourcing and merging of staff loyalty programs as a result of a partnership arrangement reached with other airlines.
    • Advising 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 major airline on the transfer of employees from one entity to another and drafting related employment documentation. Advising the same client in relation to temporary staffing arrangements and the provision of personal services through a third party.
    • Advising a multinational video and communication technology corporation on all employment issues arising out of setting up in Saudi Arabia.
    • Advising a major US airline on the employment aspects of its closure of its routes to Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE.
    • Advising a French multinational IT services corporation on the termination of a senior member of their legal team.
    • Advising a regional television subscription provider with a 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.
    • Advising a global data storage company on several highly sensitive and confidential senior executive terminations arising out of a whistleblowing complaint related to bribery and completion issues raised in the US regarding employees in the UAE and Lebanon.
    • Advising a leading provider of avionics and information technology systems and services to governmental agencies and aircraft manufacturers on a number of sensitive, cross border senior executive terminations arising out of a restructuring following a whistleblowing complaint and subsequent internal investigation.
    • Assisting a state funded regional news organization with the project management of a significant restructuring exercise across several jurisdictions in the region including advice regarding the process for dealing with the terminations arising out of the restructuring.
    • Advising a multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate on several matters including pensions and end of service gratuity advice regarding their GCC nationals working in the UAE, the drafting of flexible working and family friendly policies and the implementation of such policies across several jurisdictions and supporting the mutually agreed exits of their Regional Managing Director and Head of Marketing.
    • Advising a regional leading e-commerce business with the implementation of an employee share options scheme.
    • Assisting a Kuwaiti bank with the drafting of a DIFC employment contract for senior executives.
    • Advising a global vehicle inspection company on the restructuring of their business in Oman and the associated implications from an employee and regulatory perspective including the negotiation of settlement agreements for the business' General Manager and Marketing Director.
    • Advising a luxury global student accommodation company on the implementation of new employment contracts and a new global employment handbook across several jurisdictions.


    • Oxford University, B.A., Jurisprudence, 2004


    • England and Wales, 2007
    • Recognized in The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa 2019 for United Arab Emirates – Employment as Next Generation Lawyer

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