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Sarah Keene


Sarah is a highly-skilled competition, consumer and economic regulatory lawyer and litigator with over 25 years of experience representing local and international clients from a diverse range of industries.

Sarah’s practice has focused on supporting clients facing competition, consumer and economic regulatory investigations. This work includes cartel leniency applications; dawn raids; advocacy with the regulator; and injunctions and appeals. She works closely with business teams across the globe and with local and international expert economists, and has had a role in many of New Zealand’s most significant cases.

She has also provided extensive assistance on merger control matters, working seamlessly with local and international teams in advising whether to seek regulatory merger clearances. She leads teams running clearance or authorisation applications, and appeals, for some of New Zealand’s most complex and contentious mergers and acquisitions. 

She also regularly provides major corporations with compliance advice and assistance in respect of New Zealand competition and consumer law audits for New Zealand, trans-Tasman and global businesses.

Over the years Sarah has been recognised for her expertise, including in the leading directories as a Thought Leader in Who’s Who Legal and Band 1 in Chambers Asia-Pacific, and is the only New Zealander currently listed in Global Competition Review’s 100 Women in Antitrust.

Sarah is known for her ability to quickly understand the competitive and strategic dynamics of an industry, and her ability to communicate complex concepts simply, cutting through the technicalities to provide clear solutions to current business challenges.

Before joining Webb Henderson in the firm’s competition and disputes practice, Sarah was the head of the competition and public law practice, and partnership chair, for another leading national law firm, and has practiced on her own account as a barrister sole. Sarah was also Chair of the Large Law Firm Group and sat as its representative on the New Zealand Law Society Council including through the introduction of new culture and conduct rules for the profession.

A strong advocate for diversity in law, Sarah has sat on the Auckland Women Lawyers Association Executive Council, has acted as a formal and informal mentor for a number of women in law, including through the New Zealand Law Society and University of Auckland, and led the foundation work for the New Zealand Law Society and Bar Association’s Gender Equitable Engagement and Briefing Policy, supported by the Supreme Court in a 2022 Practice Note.

Sarah holds an LLB (Hons) degree from the University of Auckland. She regularly presents on competition and consumer law topics at conferences and seminars including those held by the New Zealand Law Society, ADLS, Competition Law and Policy Institute, and UniSA; and was until recently on the executive council of the Legal Research Foundation which publishes the New Zealand Law Review.