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

    Sarah is described as “excellent and very practical” (The Legal 500 EMEA 2015) and advises multinational and regional clients (including 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 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, media, finance, aerospace, defence and security, and real estate.

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    • Advising a major Gulf based airline on the employment and restructuring aspects of an extensive IT outsourcing and transformation programme.
    • 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.

    Education

    • Oxford University, B.A., 2004

    Admissions

    • England and Wales

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    • Author, “Changes to Nitaqat in Saudi Arabia,” 27 July 2016.
    • Author, “Employment: Be Alert, Update on Employment Law Developments Across the GCC,” 27 June 2016.
    • Author, “Ramadan in the GCC – A Practical Guide for Employers,” 9 June 2016.
    • Author, “New UAE Labour Law Rules,” 14 October 2015.
    • Author, “Be Alert Middle East: New Saudi Labour Law,” 18 June 2015.
    • Author, “Be Alert Middle East: Summer Working Hours,” 5 June 2015.
    • Author, “Top Employment Issues in the Middle East in 2014 and Beyond,” Society for Human Resource Management, 2014.
    • Speaker, Using Social Media to Further Your Career.
    • Author, “Balancing Act - Flexible Working Balancing Competing Claims,” Workplace Law, 9 May 14, 2013.

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