Sarah Barker

Sarah Barker

Special Counsel


  • Antitrust Advisory
  • Cartels
  • Branding and Advertising
  • Automotive

WSG Practice Industries




Sarah has two decades' experience advising Australian and multi-national clients on governance, compliance, misleading disclosure and competition law (antitrust) issues. In addition to tertiary qualifications in commerce and law, she has undertaken postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics, and holds a Masters degree from the University of Melbourne (awarded with Dean's Honours).

Sarah is an experienced director and advisory board member. She is currently a non-executive director of one of Australia's largest superannuation funds, Emergency Services & State Super, and of NRCL Ltd. She has been actively involved as an examiner, lecturer and course materials author for the Australian Institute of Company Directors for more than a decade, including the 'Directors' Duties & Responsibilities' unit of Australia's leading professional directors' qualification, the Company Directors' Course.

Sarah has particular expertise around director and trustee duties, misleading or deceptive disclosures, board governance and effective compliance, and ESG (environmental, social, governance) in investment. Her thought leadership on ESG and fiduciary duties is internationally recognised, with her work on responsible investment receiving awards from organisations such as the Global Corporate Governance Institute and the United Nations PRI. She sits on the Technical Working Group of the international Climate Disclosure Standards Board, and is an academic visitor at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University.

She has worked with clients ranging from Australia Post to the Department of Industry & Science in the public sector, BMW Australia Ltd, Bosch, Adelaide Brighton Ltd, Toll Ltd, Linfox, Fonterra Ltd, Hertz Australia, Subaru Australia, Maxitrans Industries Ltd and Computershare Ltd in the corporate sector, and AMP Capital, CBus, GE Capital, Medibank Private Ltd, Subaru Insurance, BMW Finance, IAG and AON in the financial services sector.

Industry participation, presentations and publications

Sarah is a sought after speaker and commentator on governance and disclosure issues. In addition to her on-going work with the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Oxford University, she has presented at or on behalf of the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI), Responsible Investment Association of Australia, Global Corporate Governance Institute, NCCARF, IGCC and the OECD.

She is widely published in the financial press, academic and industry literature on the themes of governance, compliance and sustainability. Publications include the Australian Financial Review, the Financial Times, Energy and Resources Law Journal, the Law Institute Journal, Company Director (Journal of the Australian Institute of Company Directors), Governance Institute Journal, Keeping Good Companies (Journal of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries), RI Quarterly, and the newsletter of the International Bar Association.

Sarah is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia.


Areas of Practice

Antitrust Advisory | Automotive | Branding and Advertising | Cartels | Climate Change | Competition and Market Regulation | Compliance | Consumer Protection | Corporate HQ Advisory | Financial Services | Franchising | Merger Clearance | Regulatory Investigations and Litigation | Superannuation

Professional Career

Professional Associations

  • Australian Institute of Company Directors, Facilitator, Company Directors Course (Diploma), 'The Legal Environment'

The 'Next Normal': Climate Change Risk Governance in a Pandemic Age - Part 1
MinterEllison, May 2020

While immediate pandemic pressures may moderate short-term corporate progress on climate risk assessment and disclosure, there is little to suggest that regulatory and investor expectations have significantly diminished in 2020. Corporates may face increasing investor pressure to make a 'Paris-aligned' business strategy a central pillar of their corporate rebuilding and recovery plans, with a measurable pathway to net zero emissions...

Additional Articles