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level 16, 324 queen st,
brisbane qld 4000
+61 7 3235 0400


40-42 scott st,
dandenong vic 3175
+61 3 9794 2600


level 7, 600 bourke st,
melbourne vic 3000
+61 3 8615 9900


level 21, 20 bond st,
sydney nsw 2000
+61 2 8298 9533

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Sarah Johnson

principal lawyer, commercial

meet Sarah

about Sarah

Often described as the “Swiss army knife” of lawyers, Sarah has over 20 years’ experience as a commercial lawyer.

Sarah has wide ranging expertise in the areas of general commercial law, contract negotiation, governance and structuring, intellectual property, private mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions and information technology.

Understanding her client’s business and objectives is a critical element in the advice that Sarah provides. Sarah’s focus is on providing practical advice that builds on the knowledge she has acquired and which facilitates the client’s decision-making process.

Sarah advises privately held companies, start-ups, investors and high net wealth individuals in relation to a variety of sectors, including heavy industry, information technology, biotech, manufacturing and FMCG.

Another key aspect of Sarah’s practice is her work with not for profit organisations. She provides specialist advice in relation to governance, restructuring and mergers, collaboration arrangements, federal and state government contracts and funding arrangements and agreements with other third parties such as sponsors and donors.

Sarah was also a recommended lawyer in the Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2019 and 2020 editions for Intellectual Property.

Areas of Expertise

commercial law
governance and structuring
intellectual property
private mergers and acquisitions
not for profit
private equity transactions
information technology


heavy industry
information technology
not for profit
fast-moving consumer goods

recent experience

  • private M&A

    Sarah acted for the seller of a large Australian family-owned packaging business to a multinational packaging group based in the United States for a purchase price of circa $80 million. Negotiation of the terms of the acquisition took place over a period of almost a year. Sarah advised on initial non-disclosure arrangements, guided the client through negotiations in respect of a lengthy sale and purchase agreement with comprehensive American-style vendor disclosure, undertook detailed vendor due diligence and advised on warranty insurance arrangements.

  • intellectual property

    Sarah advised a leading youth organisation in its negotiations with a specialist provider of educational technology services regarding a Development Services Agreement. The project involved complex negotiations regarding ownership of the intellectual property generated in respect of various elements of the services. Negotiations between the parties centred around balancing the need for the software provider to apply various elements of the services to future projects for its other clients, against the client’s requirements to own, use and adapt the data generated, course content and materials developed in connection with the services and exit the arrangement with sufficient rights to be able to continue to use the materials in future.

  • governance and structuring

    Sarah has worked with a number of charities who have transitioned from an incorporated association to a public company limited by guarantee including advising on the governance arrangements and structuring of the new company. As part of the transition process, Sarah typically assists the client to review and update its objects, determine the membership structure and the process for appointment and election of directors and advises on the winding up provisions (which arrangements are then documented in a new constitution and organisation policies). Sarah provides guidance at each step of the transition process, from assisting the client to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the transition, incorporating the new company and advising the board regarding their obligations as directors of the new company once it has been incorporated.