Sarah Clarke KC

Call 1994 | Silk 2017

Sarah Clarke KC | Call 1994 | Silk 2017

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Sarah Clarke is a specialist in financial services, insider dealing, market abuse and fraud. She is known for her thorough preparation and ability to master complex issues and has a reputation as a tenacious advocate, particularly in cases that involve extensive witness handling and expert witnesses. She is an effective jury advocate but also impresses Judges and Tribunal Chairs with her thorough preparation, legal skills and ability to present solutions to difficult issues. Sarah was shortlisted for the Financial Services and Insurance Silk of the Year Award at The Legal 500 UK Bar Awards 2023.

Business & Specialist Crime

“She has real ability, and is a very conscientious and strong court performer. She is very good at insider dealing cases, having written the leading work on the law and practise of their prosecution.”
Chambers & Partners

Ex-UBS Compliance Officer in Court on $1.8 Million Insider Case
Sarah prosecutes the FCA’s latest high profile insider dealing case involving a former UBS compliance officer.
Click here for full news story

Experience & Expertise

Having previously worked as a Technical Specialist at (what was then) the FSA, Sarah is instructed by the FCA in its more high profile and difficult insider dealing and regulatory cases. In addition she is regularly instructed by clients involved in financial services and enforcement litigation or who require advice on financial services related issues such as insider dealing and market manipulation, the conduct of regulated activities, authorisation and approval applications and change in control issues.

Sarah draws on her six years’ experience in the Enforcement Division of the Financial Services Authority (“FSA”) where she conducted many of the FSA’s high profile insider dealing prosecutions as well as regulatory and disciplinary proceedings before the Regulatory Decisions Committee (“RDC”) and the Upper Tribunal. This followed ten years at the Bar where she had a successful and advocacy heavy practice in general crime, fraud and confiscation.

Chambers and Partners summarises as follows: “her previous experience working for the regulator, as well as her work for a variety of financial institutions, affords her notable experience in cases of fraud, insider dealing and market abuse”.

Insider Dealing and Market Abuse:

Sarah has a particular expertise in this field – both criminal and civil. She acts for the FCA and also for clients involved in criminal and civil investigations and in International matters. She is the author of the leading textbook in this field “Insider Dealing: Law and Practice” (2nd edition published by Oxford University Press (2020)).

  • Re T (2023): Advising a trader at a major investment bank in respect of allegations of market manipulation and Conduct Rule breaches
  • R v Coleman and Fisher (2017-ongoing): Representing the CFO of Redcentric Plc, an AIM listed company, in the first criminal prosecution for Market Manipulation under the Financial Services Act 2012
    Click here and here for news coverage.
  • Re U, Re V (2022): Advising individuals subject to FCA Enforcement investigations for
  • Re W (2021): Advising a US firm, listed on UK Regulated Market, regarding alleged breaches of MAR relating to obligation to disclose price sensitive information
  • Re X (2021): Advising an International Hedge Fund owner regarding US insider dealing law issues
  • Instructed by the FCA as its Expert Advisor (2021-2023) on proposed Government reform of the UK insider dealing legislation
  • R v Choucair and Malek (2016-2020): Leading Counsel in this significant insider dealing prosecution.  Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) leading Authority on disclosure and legal issues in respect of organised crime insider dealing rings [2020] EWCA (Crim) 1730
    Click here for the judgment
  • Re Y (2019): Advising the owner of a listed company in respect of market manipulation allegations
  • Re Z (2019): Advising Dubai based REIT in respect of Norwich Pharmacal proceedings related to alleged market manipulation on the Nasdaq Dubai
  • Al Ramz Capital LLC (2018): Instructed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority in its first market abuse related Enforcement case
    Click here for news coverage
  • 2017: Sarah prosecutes the FCA’s latest high profile insider dealing case involving a former UBS compliance officer allegedly passing tips to her co-defendant who then allegedly traded on the basis of that information.
  • 2016: Instructed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority on an Enforcement Investigation. Sarah has previously advised the DFSA on its Enforcement Investigations and Decision Making process.
  • R v Birk and Others (2016): Acted for the main defendant in this insider dealing case involving the £1.6bn takeover of Logica by CGI. Successfully mitigated for a suspended sentence of imprisonment following guilty plea.
  • R v Clarke (2016): Led Junior in this high profile insider dealing prosecution in which the defendant dealt on inside information obtained while he was employed at Schroders Investment Management.
    Click here and here for press coverage
  • Re X (2014): Advising an individual involved in the FOREX multi-agency, cross-border investigation.
  • Re Z (2014): Advising a trader at a well-known investment bank in respect of allegations of market manipulation.
  • R v Sanders and Others (2012): Most significant UK insider dealing prosecution to date. First US / UK case involving parallel SEC and DOJ proceedings. Listed in the Lawyer’s “Top 20 cases for 2012”.
    Click here and here for press coverage
  • R v Ahmad and Sidhu (2011 – 2012): FSA’s first “plea bargaining” case using SOCPA powers.
    Click here for press coverage
  • R v Calvert (2010): FSA’s first insider dealing prosecution of a city professional.
    Click here for press coverage
  • R v Uberoi (2009): FSA’s first insider dealing profession involving a City employee
    Click here for press coverage

Financial Services Cases:
Sarah has a broad range of experience acting for and against the FCA in Enforcement Investigations, RDC proceedings and in the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber). She is regularly instructed for corporate clients and individuals in these matters where she is able to bring her knowledge of the FCA to bear with notable success.  She is instructed increasingly in International matters.

  • Whitestone, Seiler and Raitzin v FCA; Julius Baer International (2018-2023): Acting for the main subject in this long running FCA investigation, RDC and Upper Tribunal proceedings.
  • Operation X (2022-ongoing): Advising on Judicial Review Claim and FCA Enforcement Investigation
  • PRA (2022): Advising the PRA in respect of an Enforcement investigation.
  • Frensham v FCA [2021] UKUT 0222 (TCC):  Leading case on non-financial misconduct and the imposition of prohibition orders.
  • Various individuals v FCA (2021): Acting for the FCA in RDC proceedings in the first non-financial misconduct cases.
  • Re X Bank (2021): Advising the MLRO of an overseas Bank in an FCA Enforcement investigation into breaches of the Money Laundering Regulations.
  • Al Masah Capital and Others v DFSA (2020): Acting for the DFSA in Decision Making Committee and Dubai Financial Markets Tribunal proceedings relating to privacy application, unauthorised collective investment scheme and misleading statements allegations.
    Click here and here for more information
  • Re X (2017): Advising an FX trader at one of the 5 major investment banks involved in the global FX Fix investigations.
  • Re C (2016): Instructed in FCA Regulatory Decisions Committee proceedings in respect of allegations of dishonesty in respect of conduct of bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Re X (2016): Acting for a large debt management company in respect of its application for FCA authorisation. Successful in persuading the RDC not to issue a Decision Notice and to thereby grant the application for authorisation.
  • Re S (2016): Acting for a Director of a SIPP Operator in respect of an FCA Enforcement Investigation. Successfully persuaded the FCA to close the investigation on the grounds that the FCA had failed to understand the regulatory requirements on SIPP Operators at the relevant time.
  • Re B (2016): Acting for a Compliance Director of a major IFA network in respect of an FCA Enforcement investigation into systems and controls failings.
  • Amir Khan v FCA (2014): important case on FCA policy of imposition of minimum financial penalty for submitting fraudulent mortgage applications.
    Click here for press coverage
  • Noel Walker v FCA (2014): Removal of right to conduct regulated activity on grounds of lack of integrity.
  • Westwood Independent Financial Planners v FCA (2013): breaches of Principle 7 (communication of information) and Principle 9 (suitability of advice) of Principles for Businesses and related Conduct of Business Rules in relation to Geared Traded Endowment Policies.
    Contested factual and expert evidence – 3 week hearing involving calling of large number of witnesses and 4 experts.
    Click here for press coverage
  • Andrew Jeffery v FCA (2013): General insurance broker – whether Applicant in breach of Statements of Principle 1 and 4; action under s 66 FSMA – whether prevented by limitation – construction of s 66(4), (5) – penalty – s 66(3) – prohibition order – s 56 FSMA.  Novel point of law in relation to application for recusal of judge – apparent bias – fair-minded and informed observer – whether sharing of office or other proximity to judge formerly chairman of RDC and involved in the case whilst employed by the FSA would lead observer to conclude that there was a real possibility of bias. (Court of Appeal).
    Longest ever FCA Tribunal case, involving calling of over 30 witnesses.
    Click here and here for more information
  • Abdul Razzaq v FCA (2013): Prohibition order and cancellation of permission.
    Click here for more information
  • Re Z (2013): Advising a high profile IFA network in relation to FCA Enforcement proceedings for change in control breaches. Successfully persuaded the FCA not to prosecute the firm and CEO.
  • James Perman & Company v FSA (2011): Cancellation – Suitability/fitness and proprietary – Threshold Condition 5 and Principle 11.
    Click here for more information

Fraud and other matters:
Sarah particularly enjoys the intellectual challenges that these areas of law bring. She is known for her versatility, attention to detail, forensic judgement and court room skills. Clients also rate her teamwork and client care.

  • Re X (2023-ongoing): Acting for an individual in FCA fraud, money laundering and breaches of the General Prohibition investigation.
  • Operation R (2023-ongoing): Acting for the SFO in a multi-million pount ponzi fraud investigation.
  • Re Director’s Disqualification Order (2023): Advising a Director in respect of investigation and DDO proceedings.
  • Re International Arbitration (2022): Advising a corporate party to an International Arbitration regarding allegations of bribery under UK and Isle of Man legislation.
  • R v Major General Welch (2021): Landmark fraud prosecution of the most senior army officer to be tried by court martial since the 1815 Napoleonic War.
  • Re Armed Forces (Iraq) (2021): Advising the Director of Service Prosecutions on cases involving alleged War Crimes abuses of Iraqi civilians by members of the Armed Forces in occupied Iraq.
  • Re ENRC (2022): Advising a Corporate entity involved in this long running investigation.
  • Pensions Regulator v Stotts Tours Oldham Ltd (2018): Instructed by the Pensions Regulator to advise on and conduct prosecution of important new criminal offences under the Occupational Pensions Scheme provisions
    Click here and here for news coverage
  • R v K (2016): Instructed to represent a defendant in a private prosecution for fraud. Successfully persuaded the CPS to take over and discontinue the case and then successfully obtained “wasted” costs orders against both the private prosecutor and his (direct access) Barrister on grounds of improper conduct
  • R v Hope & Von Badlo (2016): Instructed by the FCA as Leading Junior to prosecute this alleged multi million pound forex investment fraud.
    Confiscation proceedings invoked the enacted s.10A POCA
    Court of Appeal – Appeal against sentence, laid down important guidelines in respect of sentencing for “misleading statements” offences [2015] EWCA Crim 1236
    Click here and here for press coverage
  • Re M (2016): Advising a leading investment bank on employee fraud allegations. Whether criminal offences committed and corporate risks arising from the allegations.
  • Op M: (2015): Acting for a multi-national listed company in a bribery / corruption investigation. Contested production order applications.
  • R v Robin Radclyffe (2010): First prosecution for s.397 FSMA misleading statements offences and investment fraud.
    Click here for press coverage


“She is really sensible and has a great feel for how prosecutors might approach cases.”
Chambers & Partners

“She’s pragmatic and has excellent attention to detail. She is a very good leader, very aware of the facts and has a clear view of where she wants to go.”
Chambers & Partners

“Her bespoke knowledge around the FCA is particularly excellent.”
Chambers & Partners

“Sarah is extremely user-friendly, very good with clients and very respected.”
Chambers & Partners

‘Sarah is peerless on the law, particularly regarding market abuse, FSMA offences and insider dealing. Her preparation is thorough which leads to flawless courtroom advocacy, particularly when it comes to cross-examination, at which she is particularly skilled.’
The Legal 500

‘Sarah is a first-class intellect with tireless attention to detail. She is a compelling, persuasive advocate with great charisma and is able to explain complex matters in easily understandable language.’
The Legal 500

‘She’s very good to work with, is affable and a very good advocate.’
Chambers & Partners

‘She is brilliant; she’s very knowledgeable, articulate and understands complex matters with the ability to explain them in a simple way.’
Chambers & Partners

‘She is very good on the criminal side. She knows her stuff inside out in terms of the law and the procedure.’
Chambers & Partners

‘Sarah is excellent on her feet in court. She is fantastic at reacting to situations and is very knowledgeable in terms of financial crime and criminal procedures.’
Chambers & Partners

‘Sarah has a wealth of experience of regulatory and disciplinary cases, and an excellent working insight into the regulators concerned. Her advocacy is well-judged and very effective and she is good at cutting to the heart of matters.’
The Legal 500

‘Sarah is the undoubted expert in financial crime. She has been in the cases which have established the necessary definitions of technical terms in regulatory financial legislation.’
The Legal 500

‘Extraordinarily proficient leading practitioner in the field of financial services and crime impressive court presence, demonstrable devotion to client’s cause and a pleasure to work with.’
The Legal 500

‘A truly excellent all-rounder. She is a very hard worker who is very thorough in her preparation.’
The Legal 500

‘Brilliant on very technical aspects of the law but also has great courtroom presence. She conducts near-flawless cross-examinations in difficult circumstances and very quickly gains the trust of the judge and jury.’
The Legal 500

“She is very direct with her advice, very user-friendly and incredibly bright.”
Chambers & Partners

“She is very technical and gets things done quickly.”
Chambers & Partners

“Easy to work with and very responsive. She will put herself out for the good of the clients and you can see that judges clearly trust her.”
Chambers & Partners

“She has a great presence and is very calming and reassuring. She has very good judgement and is pragmatic and a real fighter.”
Chambers & Partners

‘Very responsive with an excellent understanding of the regulatory process, having spent time at the FSA and now regularly instructed both by and against the regulator.’
The Legal 500

“She offers rare expertise across both criminal and civil aspects of market abuse and other regulatory work.”
Chambers & Partners

‘Sarah is a powerhouse who should not be underestimated. A leader in the field on insider dealing. She is incredibly forensic and tactical, and has authority and composure both in court and on paper. Fantastic with judges and juries.’
The Legal 500

“She is very calming and reassuring, and has very good judgement. She is pragmatic and a real fighter.”
Chambers & Partners

“She is extremely hard-working and knows what she is talking about. She is practical, client-focused, good at communication and a safe pair of hands.”
Chambers & Partners

“She is a very strong advocate with a powerful intellect, who is not scared to take a decision.”
Chambers & Partners

“She’s hard-working and diligent, with a real eye for detail.”
Chambers & Partners 

“Highly knowledgeable and knows the ins and outs and procedures of the FCA. She’s very engaging and gains the trust of the client immediately.”
Chambers & Partners

‘Hard as nails in the court room where her advocacy shines; what she doesn’t know about insider trading isn’t worth knowing.’
The Legal 500

“An excellent speaker, whose background as a regulator gives added edge”.
Chambers & Partners

“She is extremely well prepared, very knowledgeable and puts the client at the heart of her advice.If it’s really technical she comes to the fore.”
Chambers & Partners

“She is very good at insider dealing cases, having written the leading work on the law and practice of their prosecution.”
Chambers & Partners

“Highly valued by the FCA, which often instructs her in major investigatory matters with significant technical aspects.”
Chambers & Partners

“Highly knowledgeable and very effective.”
The Legal 500

“Experienced and sensible,” “she is an expert on financial market fraud. She works very hard, is quick at seeing the point and writes very clearly and succinctly.”
Chambers & Partners

“She can take complex cases and identify the kernel of the issues.”
The Legal 500

“Extensive experience of market abuse and regulatory actions.”
The Legal 500

“She’s very good, very bright and very focused, and is strong in court. She’s gleaned a lot of experience from being in-house at the FSA.”
Chambers & Partners

“Works extremely hard on her instructions.”
The Legal 500

“She benefits from several years’ experience in the Enforcement Division of the FCA (then the FSA).”
The Legal 500

“She’s an advocate who works extremely hard for the clients and is not afraid to ask difficult questions. She is very skilled in FCA and criminal fraud matters.”
Chambers & Partners


Sarah is a member of the Lloyds Law Reports Financial Crime Editorial Board.

Author of “Insider Dealing: Law and Practice” published by Oxford University Press. The leading textbook in this field.

“Insider Dealing: Law and Practice is an excellent, and much welcomed, commentary on insider dealing from a person with unparalleled experience in this field. The text is as useful for those who are new to the topic as it is for those with substantial expertise. It serves as a good introduction to insider dealing law and gives a practical overview of how insider dealing operates within our legal system. … Insider Dealing: Law and Practicer is a thorough, well considered practitioner’s text and should find its way into the hands of any purporting to have an interest in the financial markets.”
Criminal Law and Justice Weekly

“This is a book which should be purchased by all Chambers and law firms who undertake work in insider dealing cases. … this is a book written by a practitioner for practitioners. it combines diligence with a lightness of touch, and is highly recommended.”
Archbold News Review

“This is a remarkably clear exposition of a dark corner of the City of London. Clarke’s book will be bought by lawyers, accountants and academics, but its avoidance of legal jargon taught this layman what insider dealing is, why its detection is important and what is being done about it.”
Stephen Halliday, Times Higher Education