Sara George has a wealth of experience in UK and international regulatory and criminal investigations. She represents corporations and individuals against allegations of involvement in regulatory contraventions and criminal offences, including market abuse, insider dealing, money laundering, cybersecurity breaches, fraud, corruption and bribery. She is also frequently called upon to advise firms on misconduct issues and reputational management.
Sara advises in international criminal and regulatory investigations involving the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and in cases brought by European regulators, police forces and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). Previously a criminal barrister, she also has extensive experience of advocacy before the Financial Services Tribunal, the Regulatory Decisions Committee of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal.
Sara is a former prosecutor for the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and brought the first criminal prosecution by the FSA against a director for misleading the market (Regina v. Rigby and Bailey), the first Listing Rule contravention, numerous market abuse cases and refusals of authorization.
A leading individual in Chambers UK 2020 for both Financial Crime and Financial Services, sources describe Sara as “a tenacious defender of individuals.” Sources from the 2019 edition describe her as “fearless” and say that “she is a strong lawyer and a strong advocate.” It is also noted that “she’s a real FCA specialist; she knows that world inside out.” In the 2017 edition of The Legal 500, clients described her as “clever committed and charming” and it was noted that she has been involved in “some of the crucial stand offs with the regulators over the past few years.” Most recently, she has been listed in Best Lawyers 2021 for Financial Services.
Prior to joining Sidley in 2019, Sara was a partner in the regulatory and investigations practice of another international law firm.