As the co-founder of gunnercooke; Sarah is passionate about challenging, improving and evolving the way in which legal services are delivered to businesses.

Sarah is also hugely passionate about creating a business model that gives lawyers the opportunity to use the best of their legal abilities, in a way that motivates them. She is adamant that people should be able to practice law without sacrificing their personal life, something that many lawyers find difficult in the more traditional environments.

Sarah has over 20 years’ experience practising commercial law in a range of organisations, including FTSE 250 companies, private entrepreneurial businesses and the public sector. She has held numerous executive and non-executive board positions, working in the leisure, media, financial and health sectors. She is an experienced Non-Executive Director and has a detailed knowledge of merger & acquisitions and governance requirements in listed companies.

 

  • Lawyers seeking to make a transition to a new way of working.
  • In-house counsel seeking an experienced adviser to help them manage their legal spend.
  • Responsible for all legal and company secretarial services of a listed PLC.
  • Managing panel law firms.
  • Built and managed a team responsible for Legal, Group Secretariat, Pension, Health and Safety, Insurance and Facilities functions with budgetary responsibility for these areas.
  • Led various multi-million acquisitions and disposals including management of tax, accounting, legal and PR advisers; including:
  • Trinity’s acquisition of Thomson Regional Newspapers (£325m).
  • Trinity’s disposal of US publishing business ($60m).
  • Stanley Leisure’s disposal of its Betting Division to William Hill (£500m).
  • Experience in managing Corporate Governance and risk management for listed PLCs.
  • Responsible for the production of the Annual Report.
  • Chairperson of Defined Benefit and Contribution Pension Schemes, managed pension schemes.
  • Implementation and management of LTIPs, Executive and SAYE Incentive Schemes.
  • Oversight and direction of down-sizing project of central costs through redundancy programme.
  • Organised AGMs and EGMs, including liaising with institutional shareholders.
  • Ensured compliance in all aspects of a listed PLC’s obligations (FSA/Listing Rules/Companies Act).
  • Providing guidance to the Chairman and the Non-Executive Directors on Board level issues including Board evaluation and performance.
  • Legal Business Woman of the Year 2012, Association of Women Solicitors.
  • University College London (LLB) 1986
  • Qualified as a Solicitor 1989
  • Chartered Secretary and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.
  • Manchester Business School (MBA) 2008
  • Commercial Lawyer at Bank of Scotland.
  • General Counsel and Deputy Company Secretary, Trinity PLC, FTSE 250 Publishing Company.
  • Head of Legal and Company Secretary, Stanley Leisure plc, FTSE 250 Leisure Company.
  • Company Secretary, REA Holdings PLC, FTSE 350 Manufacturing Company.
  • Non-Executive Director of Countess of Chester FT Hospital.
  • Member of the Business Board for NSPCC Chester and North Wales.

Recent awards