Linklaters appoints Wiggins as first female London corporate chief

Linklaters has appointed partner Sarah Wiggins to lead the City corporate practice, as predecessor Shane Griffin’s four-year term comes to an end.

Sarah Wiggins

Wiggins, who takes up her new position today (1 May), was appointed to the role by the firm’s global corporate head Jeremy Parr. 

Wiggins already has a raft of leadership positions within the firm, including co-head of global chemicals and leader of Linklaters’ corporate natural resources group in the City. 

She leads the firm’s relationship with energy giant BP, and recently spent eight months on secondment at the BP’s head office. Wiggins worked with the client on the high-profile $27bn sale of its 50 per cent share in TNK-BP to Russian oil company Rosneft in 2012 (22 October 2012). 

She is also among the firm’s closest contacts with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and recently advised on its acquisition of New York-based consulting firm Booz & Co, which completed last month. 

The partner has played an active role in Linklaters’ diversity programme, and has helped to develop its Aspiring NEDs training programme in association with CASS business school which aims to help women lawyers who aspire to become non-executive directors. 

In its latest promotions round, Linklaters significantly boosted then number of female lawyers made up into its partnership. This year, 43 per cent of its new partners are women compared to 13 per cent in 2013 (7 April 2014). 

However, of the 21 promotions, only three were made up in the firm’s mainstream corporate practice, as opposed to seven last year. Just one of these – Tracey Lochhead – is based in London. 

Slaughter and May’s first-ever female corporate head Frances Murphy stepped down from the post yesterday. She has made way for the firm’s new corporate chief Andy Ryde who kicks off his three-year term today (5 March 2014).