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Linklaters appoints first female corporate City head

Linklaters has named Sarah Wiggins as its first female corporate head in London, with the home-grown lawyer placing diversity on the agenda for her four-year term.

Wiggins, who was appointed by global practice head Jeremy Parr, takes up her new role today (1 May) and replaces former City head Shane Griffin.

Wiggins joined Linklaters in 1990 as a trainee and became a partner in 2000. She currently heads the firm’s energy, infrastructure and mining group, a role she will maintain alongside corporate head. She has worked across the firm’s corporate and commercial, corporate finance and M&A practice groups, with a particular focus on M&A, IPOs, privatisations, joint ventures and general corporate finance, and recently returned from a secondment at BP’s head office.

Some of her recent work includes representing PwC in relation to its acquisition of Booz & Co, and BP in relation to the sale of its stake of TNK-BP to Rosneft.

On top of standard objectives to increase corporate revenue and develop client services, Wiggins told Legal Business she aims to help the firm bring on more female partners, commenting: ‘It seems now is the right time; clients are increasingly asking more about diversity. I want to help ensure that more women are able to come through. This is not a main focus, as the firm is already working on this, but being a woman, I want to help develop this.’

Steps in this direction were in evidence in the Magic Circle firm’s latest partner promotion round in early April, when it made up 21 lawyers, of which nine were female, totalling around 43%.