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Sarah Hitchins



Hitchins Sarah
Sarah Hitchins



Sarah specialises in representing firms and senior individuals involved in internal and regulatory investigations.

She has significant experience of advising on UK and cross-border investigations involving a broad range of issues, including market abuse, insider trading, financial crime, cyber and data security breaches, individual accountability, operational resilience, misselling, systems and controls failures, whistleblowing, cultural issues and non-financial misconduct.

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

In addition to her investigations experience, Sarah has also advised over 75 firms (including banks, building societies, insurers, asset and fund managers) on the implementation of the UK Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR), as well as a variety of post-implementation issues. In particular, Sarah has significant experience advising clients on the individual accountability aspects of investigations, including assessments of fitness and propriety and potential breaches of the FCA and PRA Codes of Conduct.

Sarah was previously selected by Global Investigations Review (GIR) as one of the top 100 women in investigations.

News & insights

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Publications: 03 FEBRUARY 2020

Proposed FCA and PRA enforcement action against former Chief Executive for seeking to reduce his personal tax liability

We consider here the FCA's and PRA's decision notices issued to Stuart Forsyth, the former Chief Executive of the Scottish Boatowners Mutual Insurance Association (SBMIA), a small mutual insurer.

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Publications: 04 DECEMBER 2019

IT and operational failures: financial services in the spotlight

There is unprecedented demand for and use of technology in the financial services sector.  However, greater reliance on technology brings with it increased levels of risk.  In particular, IT incidents…

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Publications: 22 OCTOBER 2019

Fair corporate criminal liability trial despite absence of company's directing mind and will

The Court of Appeal has refused to grant a company leave to appeal its conviction for conspiracy to corrupt, notwithstanding that the directors who constituted the company's directing mind were not…

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Publications: 19 FEBRUARY 2019

Australian Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry: Key Themes in the Final Report

The final report (the Report) of the Australian Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuationand Financial Services Industry (the Royal Commission) was released on 4 February 2019.…

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Allen & Overy LLP
One Bishops Square
E1 6AD

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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.