Sarah successfully leverages her foundation as a skilled trial attorney to navigate her clients through complex (often parallel) federal and state litigation, government investigations, and regulatory challenges.
Sarah advises corporations, individuals, and public entities to resolve multifaceted business disputes, defend class actions, and respond to federal criminal, civil, and regulatory investigations and state attorney general inquiries. She provides practical, data-driven advice to clients to mitigate risks and resolve problematic disputes. When clients are under attack on multiple fronts, Sarah excels in coordinating multi-jurisdictional legal defense efforts. With a keen ability to drive strategy and manage the execution of fact and expert case building, she successfully leads internal teams and collaborates with client's other trusted advisors.
Sarah also maintains an education practice assisting schools, colleges, and universities, and their boards, in navigating disputes, ranging from high profile matters with significant financial or reputational risks to employment, student, and policy matters and counseling clients on IDEA, Title IX, and Section 504 compliance. She has represented educational institutions in federal and state court, and before the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. Sarah serves as a trusted advisor to public boards on policy, procedural, governance, and judicial functions, including open meetings and public records matters.
Within the firm, Sarah serves as the managing partner of the Charlotte, NC office. She has previously chaired the firm's Innovation Board, the Associate Partner Panel Review Committee, and served as the partner liaison for the Transatlantic Lawyer's Network, a leadership and professional development program for the firm's U.S. and U.K. associates.
Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
- Counsel for the public hospital system in federal and state antitrust class action litigation.
- Represented educational institution in simultaneous state regulatory investigation, civil putative class actions, and business dispute.
- Counsel for educational institution in resolution of antitrust class action litigation involving labor claims.
- Represented educational institution in state regulatory investigation, with related civil and class action claims.
- Counsel for financial institution in responding to CFTC and SEC subpoenas.
- Conducted internal investigation for board of trustees of public pension fund regarding investment performance.
- Represented multiple entities in responding to Department of Justice inquiries.
- Counsel for large utility in federal criminal investigation, specifically responsible for multi-state and multi-firm discovery coordination.
- Represented entity in confidential multimillion dollar arbitration under rules of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resulution.
- Represented entity in antitrust merger challenge.
- Negotiated business resolution for commercial construction dispute for Canadian contractor.
- Represented public entity in multi-million-dollar architect and contractor disputes.
- Successfully represented public entity in multi-million-dollar software contracting dispute.
- Obtained finding of "no noncompliance" for private college in Office for Civil Rights investigation.
- Obtained complete summary judgment for banking client in negligence claim arising from consumer banking dispute.
- Obtained positive outcome for banking client in swap-related arbitration.
- Successfully obtained transfer of consumer product claims to multidistrict litigation.
- Acquired directed verdict for public school client in special education contested case seeking private placement.
Professional & Civic Engagement
- Mecklenburg County Bar Association, Board of Directors, Vice President (2020 – present)
- Women’s White Collar Criminal Defense Association
- Child Care Resources, Inc., Secretary and Development Chair
- Mecklenburg County Bar Association, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (2019 – 2021)
- Member, Class of 2011 Mecklenburg County Bar Leadership Institute
- United Way of Central Carolinas Youth and Children Investment Council, Past Member (2009 – 2020) and Chair (2016 – 2020)
- Co-author, “Expecting the Unexpected — Preparing For A Pension Fund Investigation,” Pension & Investments, February 2023
- Co-author, “Government Contracting Challenges and Opportunities with the Infrastructure Act, Supply Chain, and Beyond,” Womble Bond Dickinson, November 2021
- Co-author, “Wage Fixing & Anti-Poaching Defense: Feds Take New, Aggressive Stand on No-Poach/Non-Solicit Agreement,” Womble Bond Dickinson, August 2021
- Co-author, “Opportunity Economy: Risks in Antitrust Enforcement,” Womble Bond Dickinson, August 2021
- "Exploring Cross-Border Privilege Issues," Womble Bond Dickinson CLE, October 26, 2023
- “Ethics II – Privilege, Public Records, and Pension Funds … Oh My!” National Association of Public Pension Attorneys Legal Education Conference, June 2023
- “The Growing Role of Data Protection & Privacy,” Retirement Industry Trust Association’s Spring Conference, April 2023
- “Internal Investigations, Board Privilege, and Outside Counsel, Oh My!” National Association of Public Pension Attorneys (NAPPA) Winter Seminar, February 2023
- "The Attorney-Client Privilege: Automatic Confidential Protection? Or, Always Causing Problems?" Charlotte Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, December 2022
- "Risks in Antitrust Enforcements," Association of Corporate Counsel Ethics and Compliance Network, December 2021
- “Alice in WeChatland: Into the Compliance and Discovery Rabbit Hole of Messaging Apps,” Charlotte Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, April 2021 and Association of Corporate Counsel Ethics and Compliance Network, July 2021
- “Managing Litigation for the Non-Litigator: Controlling Costs, Protecting the Company, and Achieving Results,” Charlotte Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, March 2020
Honors & Awards
- Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings), Commercial Litigation, 2021 – present
- Recognized in Charlotte Business Journal’s 2023 “Women in Business”
- Selected to the North Carolina Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) in Business Litigation, Schools & Education, Construction Litigation, 2010, 2012 – 2020
- Recognized in Business North Carolina magazine’s Legal Elite, 2019