Sarah Duncan

Sarah Denton

Senior Overseas Practitioner, Allens

I have been at Allens for nearly two years.  I enjoy working at Allens because it provides the opportunity to work on high profile, complex transactions in a dynamic, collaborative and intellectually stimulating environment.  I think this makes it a genuinely enjoyable and rewarding place to work and I’m very grateful for the experience I’ve had so far!

What career steps have you taken to get to this point?

I did a summer clerkship at a large law firm in New Zealand while I was at university before joining as a graduate once I completed my studies. I also worked at a Magic Circle law firm in London for a few years before joining Allens.

What kind of work have you been involved with at Allens?

I work in the banking and finance team at Allens. I advise borrowers and lenders on a range of financing matters, with a particular focus on the financing of merger and acquisition transactions. I recently advised the Queensland Investment Corporation on the financing arrangements in respect of its acquisition of a leading Australian and New Zealand healthcare service provider and the lenders to Pacific Equity Partners on its acquisition of Up Education Group, New Zealand’s largest private education provider.

What do you enjoy about working at Allens?

I enjoy working at Allens because it provides the opportunity to work on high profile, complex transactions in a dynamic, collaborative and intellectually stimulating environment. I think this makes it a genuinely enjoyable and rewarding place to work and I’m very grateful for the experience I’ve had so far!

What has been the most challenging part of working at Allens?

The work we do is often complex and fast-paced (usually at the same time!). This can be challenging to navigate as it requires both continually stretching yourself intellectually and being able to perform well under time pressure. However, I’ve found that Allens helps makes this manageable through great access to information and resources as well as having a supportive team who are happy to share their time, answer questions and generally lend a hand where needed.

What is unique about working at Allens?

Allens has a distinctive culture, with a focus on collaboration across our teams and providing opportunities to develop your career. Culture has always been important to me when choosing a law firm and I think Allens has done a great job at establishing a culture that makes it an enjoyable and rewarding place to work.

What is the social life like at Allens?

I’ve enjoyed getting involved in the social life at Allens. I’ve found that there’s something for everyone. I quite enjoy running, so the highlights for me have been participating in the Allens team as part of City2Surf and Corporate Challenge fun runs. However, there’s also plenty of less formal activities and, in particular, good opportunities to make the most of the various outdoor spaces and events that Sydney has to offer (especially in summer!).

Did anything surprise you while working at Allens?

I was surprised at how friendly and inclusive the working environment is at Allens. It can be a little daunting starting at a new firm (in a new country no less) but I found everyone to be very supportive (and there are plenty of other Kiwis you can turn to when needed!).

What has been your favourite experience at Allens?

I’ve particularly enjoyed the range of opportunities I’ve had so far – from being involved in a number of the leading transactions in Australia and New Zealand to undertaking pro-bono work in collaboration with the Linklaters offices overseas. I enjoy that every day is different and it’s been great to be able to work with so many of my Allens and Linklaters colleagues.

What is your advice to other students who would like to work with Allens?

I would definitely recommend applying for a clerkship programme. It’s a great way to get a taste for what it is like to work at Allens. I would also suggest getting involved in any work experience or extra-curricular activities you can while at university – they don’t necessarily need to be law-related but it’s a good way to start to pick up the skills that will be really helpful for working at a place like Allens.

“At Allens, we’re focused on equipping our people with the skills and experience they need to be the lawyers of the future. We’re ready to define tomorrow. Are you?”

About the firm

Allens is a leading international law firm with a long and proud heritage of shaping the future for our clients, our people and the communities in which we work.
From playing a pioneering role in the development of legislation and regulatory frameworks in the Asia region for 200 years, to acting on numerous ‘firsts’ across a range of industry and community issues, it is in our DNA to make a difference and help shape what our world looks like.

Over this time, we’ve grown in scale and reach, today offering clients a global network of 41 offices in 26 countries through our global alliance with Linklaters.

We are privileged to hold some of the world’s longest ongoing client relationships, stretching back more than 170 years. Now, just as it has always been, we’re committed to bringing our talent, expertise and insights to continue solving their toughest problems and creating ways forward to help them thrive. New and exciting market entrants sit alongside these established companies in our client base, drawn to working with us through the innovative re-packaging of our services for the growing and fast paced startup market.

Opportunities for students

For a head start in your career, apply for a clerkship at Allens.

You’ll work with some of the most experienced and highly regarded lawyers in Australia and gain first‑hand experience in the type of work you could do as a lawyer at Allens. You’ll work as part of a team on real matters for real clients. Your allocated performance coach and buddy will be there every step of the way to support you and help you grow while you’re with us. Our clerkship program is a stepping stone to bigger things, and many clerks go on to become graduates with us.

You will thrive during an Allens clerkship if you are:

  • Driven
  • Ready to make the most of the opportunity
  • Open to getting to know our people
  • Applications are welcomed from penultimate year law students.

Location: Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney
Areas of Specialisation: Banking & Finance, Competition, Consumer & Regulatory, Corporate, Disputes & Investigations, Intellectual Property, Projects & Development, Tax
Contacts: Allens: Offices

Insurance litigation matters.

Greg Potter