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Sarah McQueen

Special Counsel

Corporate Advisory

Home Our People Sarah McQueen


Sarah is a corporate lawyer with specialist knowledge in managed funds, superannuation and insurance law. ​She has extensive experience advising clients on the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013, including legal and compliance matters relating to unit trusts, superannuation schemes, KiwiSaver schemes and discretionary investment management services. Sarah also has experience advising insurers on the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010, including in respect of corporate transaction and regulatory obligations.
Sarah is acknowledged by both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners guides as a trusted advisor in Investment Funds law. Recognised in Chambers as an "Associate to watch" for Investment Funds, she is described as, "technically strong and provides really good, focused advice."


Sarah's work highlights include:


  • Advising Westpac Group on the sale of its New Zealand life insurance business to Fidelity Life for NZ$400m, including a 15-year life insurance distribution arrangement between Westpac NZ and Fidelity Life.
  • Acting for National Australia Bank (parent company of BNZ) on the sale of BNZ's life insurance business to Partners Life for $290 million.
  • ​Acting on the acquisition of the Sovereign life insurance businesses from CBA.
  • Acting on two other recent acquisitions of life insurance businesses in New Zealand.
  • Advising on insurance portfolio transfers.
  • Advising a number of insurers on regulatory requirements under the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010.
  • Reviewing insurance policies, including for compliance with the unfair contract terms provisions in the Fair Trading Amendment Act. 

Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 (FMCA) regime

  • Advising on the transition of managed investment schemes (KiwiSaver schemes, superannuation schemes and unit trusts) to the FMCA regime.
  • Advising on establishing new managed investment schemes under the FMCA regime.
  • Reviewing product disclosure statements for managed investment schemes.
  • Advising on a wide range of legal and general compliance matters under the FMCA regime.


  • Advising on superannuation and other retirement savings products, including their establishment, preparation of trust deeds and other required documentation, preparation of offer documents and ongoing maintenance.
  • Advising on the superannuation aspects of corporate transactions.
  • Advising on scheme transfers and closures, including employee communications and engagement with the Financial Markets Authority.


BA, LLB (Hons), University of Auckland


Sarah was admitted to practise in 2003.
Sarah joined Russell McVeagh in June 2020 from another New Zealand law firm, where she acted for domestic and international fund managers, insurers and trustees. Earlier in her career she spent two years at Slaughter and May in London.

She is ranked in the Chambers and Partners 2024 Guide for Financial Services and is 'recommended' by The Legal 500 for Investment Funds. Sarah is also co-author of the New Zealand Chapter of The Legal 500: Insurance & Reinsurance Comparative guide.

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