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Sarah Hitchins



Hitchins Sarah
Sarah Hitchins



Sarah specialises in advising clients on regulatory and internal investigations involving the most high-profile and sensitive issues, which typically attract the highest levels of scrutiny from regulators, the media and politicians.

She has significant experience of advising on and conducting UK and cross-border investigations involving a broad range of issues, including market abuse, insider trading, financial crime (civil and criminal), cyber and data security breaches, individual accountability, operational resilience, fund liquidity issues, misselling, environmental disclosures and ‘greenwashing’, systems and controls failures, whistleblowing, cultural issues and non-financial misconduct (including, in particular, allegations of bullying, harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct).

Sarah has a notable focus on representing clients that are involved in regulatory investigations, including in particular investigations conducted by the UK Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), where she previously completed a secondment in its Enforcement Division. Sarah has also represented a number of clients in investigations concerning compliance with UK Listing and Takeover Code requirements.

Alongside her investigations practice, Sarah has advised over 200 clients in relation to the UK Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR). Her advice spans issues relating to both the implementation and post-implementation operation of the SMCR, in addition to assisting candidates with preparations for their Senior Manager authorisations interviews with the FCA and the PRA. Sarah is specifically sought out by clients to advise them on investigations with significant individual accountability considerations, including assessments of fitness and propriety, potential breaches of the FCA and PRA Codes of Conduct and potential adjustments to individuals’ deferred remuneration, due to her expertise in these areas.

Sarah has been selected by Global Investigations Review (GIR) as one of the top 100 women in investigations, and she has also been recognised by LegalWeek/ as one of the UK’s “Rising Star” female lawyers in recognition of her leading financial services contentious regulatory expertise and experience.

Related articles


Publications: 09 January 2023

FCA takes enforcement action against broker for market abuse identification and reporting failures – behind the headlines

Although, the FCA’s press release announcing its enforcement action against Sigma Broking Limited (Sigma) refers to “market abuse reporting failures”, some of the most interesting points in this case…

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Blog Post: 23 December 2022

Enforcement risks: UK FCA’s proposed anti-greenwashing rule and Sustainability Disclosure Requirements

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Blog Post: 20 December 2022

Non-financial misconduct: character - the missing link?

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Blog Post: 12 December 2022

The UK Senior Managers and Certification Regime: Back to the drawing board?

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Admitted as a solicitor, England and Wales, 2011


BA and MA, Law, University of Cambridge (Gonville & Caius College), 2008

LPC, BPP Law School (London), 2009

Published work

Regular contributor to Practical Law Company’s contentious regulatory materials.

Editor of Allen & Overy’s Investigations Insight blog, which focuses on the latest trends, risks and developments in financial services investigations.