Overview

Sarah advises clients on private mergers and acquisitions, development projects, joint ventures, financings, sustainable investing, environmental, sustainability, and governance (ESG), and restructurings, with a focus on the energy and infrastructure industries.

She represents U.S. and global clients, including Japanese companies doing business in the United States and around the world. Her clients include power developers, investors, sovereign wealth funds, and private equity across a broad range of industries, such as power generation, publishing, biotech and medical devices, and automotive. Enjoying both business and the practice of law, she often acts as outside general counsel for clients without legal departments, in addition to advising on transactions.

A recognized leader in her field, Sarah has received numerous industry accolades from her peers and clients. In the words of clients according to the 2020 Chambers USA guide, “She is a brilliant attorney who’s insightful, responsive, and creative. She has an easy way of dealing with situations: she just fixes things.”

In addition to her corporate practice, Sarah has long been committed to public service and she actively lends her expertise to pro bono initiatives. She reads and speaks Japanese.

  • Experience

    • Acted as U.S. M&A counsel to Hitachi Metals Ltd. in its $3.5 billion sale.
    • Represented the buyers in a 16.67% minority stake in the Birdsboro 485MW natural gas-fired power plant in Berks County, Pennsylvania.
    • Represented Chugoku Electric Power America, LLC in its acquisition of a 10 percent membership interest in South Field Energy Partners LLC from Advanced Power.  South Field owns a 1,182-megawatt electric generation facility in Columbiana County, Ohio.
    • Represented Chugoku Electric Power America, LLC in its acquisition of a 16.2 percent interest in Kleen Energy Systems, LLC, a 620-megawatt, Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power plant located in Middletown, Connecticut from Ares EIF.
    • Advised Footprint Power LLC in the acquisition, operation, and demolition of the existing coal power plant located in Salem, Mass., and the subsequent development, financing, construction, and sale to Highstar Capital IV of a combined cycle gas power development project located at the same location. This project was recognized as a PFI Deal of the Year in 2015.
    • Advised Toyota Motors in connection with its collaboration with Air Liquide to construct hydrogen fueling stations at several locations in the Northeast.
    • Advised Marquis Energy LLC in securing a $228 million loan from AgCountry Farm Credit Services, including a construction loan, term loan, revolver, and refinancing of existing indebtedness. On completion of the expansion of its ethanol facility in Hennepin, Ill., Marquis Energy will be the largest dry mill ethanol producer in the United States.
    • Advised Tenaska Power Fund II in a $1.6 billion term loan to repay acquisition and project-level debt at seven electric-generating facilities in the U.S., plus additional construction and term loan facilities. The transaction was recognized as an IJ Global North American Portfolio Deal of the Year in 2015.
  • Credentials

    Education

    • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1990, cum laude
    • University of Pennsylvania, M.A., East Asian History, 1987
    • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., History and Oriental Studies, magna cum laude

    Bar Admissions

    • New York

            Clerkships

            • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (Boston), Staff Attorney (1990-1991) - originally hired to clerk for Judge Souter, who was promoted to the U.S. Supreme Court prior to start date.

            Professional Memberships

            • OurEnergyPolicy, Board Member (2021-present)
            • Law360 Energy Editorial Advisory Board (2020)
            • Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (2017-present)
            • International Bar Association, Power Law Committee, Co-Chair (2021-present); Senior Vice Chair (2019-2020); Vice Chair (2016-2018); North American Representative (2015-2016)
            • Women’s Infrastructure Network, New York Chapter Board Member (since 2016) and Secretary (since 2018). WIN is a global professional organization for women working in infrastructure.
            • American Bar Association, Renewable Alternative Distributed Energy Resources Committee, Chair (2014-2017); Various Vice Chair roles (2008-2014); (2018-present)
            • New York City Bar Association, Chair; Asian Affairs Committee, Chair (2007-2010)
            • Council on Foreign Relations, Member (1998-present)

            Languages Spoken & Fluency

            • Japanese, Fluent
          • Insights

            TITLE
            Event

            ESG: Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

            Practising Law Institute: Understanding Financial Products 2022

            Location:
            New York, NY
            In The News
            News Release

            New York Metro 2021 Super Lawyers Recognizes Attorneys

            Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce that four attorneys have been named to the New York Metro Super Lawyers list for 2021.

            News Release

            Schiff Hardin Joins the Japan America Society

            Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce it has joined the Japan America Society of Michigan and Southwestern Ontario, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the ties of friendship between the Japanese, American, and Canadian people in the Greater Detroit and Windsor area.

            News Release

            Schiff Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2022

            Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce that 51 attorneys have been listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2022.

            News Release

            Schiff Represents The Global LPG Partnership on Licensing Agreement with Gas Technology Institute for BioLPG Development

            Schiff Hardin provided pro bono representation to The Global LPG Partnership, a non-profit organization backed by the United Nations that helps communities adopt liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for clean cooking, in its licensing agreement with Gas Technology Institute (GTI) for its Cool LPG technology.

            Event

            How Risk-Management Pros Trade Contractual Risk

            World Commerce & Contracting

            Location:
            Webinar
            News Release

            The Legal 500 US 2021 Ranks Four Practices, 12 Attorneys

            Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce that four of the firm’s practice groups have been recognized in The Legal 500 United States 2021 guide, which provides a nationwide analysis of law firms that provide cutting-edge and innovative advice.

            News Release

            Chambers USA 2021 Ranks Five Practice Areas and 16 Attorneys

            Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to announce that five practice areas have been ranked in Chambers USA 2021 guide, including a new nationwide ranking for Energy: Electricity (Transactional).

            Other Publications

            • Distributed Generation Law: A Guide to Regulations, Policies, and Programs, (co-editor) American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources  (Aug. 25, 2020)
            • “New York City Needs Design-Build; The Governor’s Signature Can Deliver It,” (co-author) Gotham Gazette (Dec. 17, 2019)
            • “NY’s Landmark Climate Bill: Big Opportunities But Few Details,” (co-author) Law360 (Aug. 14, 2019)
            • “Vehicle Emissions Rollback Shouldn't Stop Utilities From Investing in Electric Vehicles,” (co-author) Utility Dive (Oct. 17, 2018)
            • “Five Questions on the Litigation Backlash from the Trump Administration’s Fuel Emissions Rollback,” (co-author) Schiff Hardin Energy & Environmental Law Adviser (Aug. 8, 2018)
            • "The ZEVs are Coming," (co-author) New York Energy Week (Jun. 25, 2015)
            • "New Ways to Manage Old Pension Liabilities," Law360 (Jun. 2013)
            • "Freedom is an Electric Car," HuffingtonPost.com (Sep. 25, 2011)
            • "Report of the Mission to China of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law (Oct. 2010)

            Speeches & Presentations

            • “ESG: Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance,” Practising Law Institute: Understanding Financial Products 2022, New York, NY (Jan. 19, 2022)
            • “How Risk-Management Pros Trade Contractual Risk,” World Commerce & Contracting, Webinar (Jun. 24, 2021)
            • “Distributed Generation: The New Paradigm for Energy and Why It Matters to You,” Harvard Law School Women’s Alliance, Webinar (May 18, 2021)
            • “Electronic Vehicles: Regulatory Challenges,” International Bar Association, Webinar (Apr. 22, 2021)
            • “New York’s Changing Energy Industry: Legal & Regulatory Impacts,” (panelist) New York State Bar Association, Webinar (Jan. 15, 2021)
            • “Women’s Networking Roundtable,” Infrastructure Investor New York Summit, Webinar (Dec. 3, 2020)
            • “Energy Justrice,” (co-host) OurEnergyPolicy’s Energy Leaders Webinar Series, Webinar (Oct. 28, 2020)
            • “The Effects of the Pandemic on Renewable Energy Projects,” International Bar Association Power Law Committee of the Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law Section, Webinar (Jun. 12, 2020)
            • “Electromobility and its impact in the power sector: from diesel to electricity,” panel, IBA Annual Conference, Seoul, South Korea (Sep. 25, 2019)
            • “Trends in Energy Financing,” 2018 Mid-Year Energy Forum, Energy Bar Association, Washington D.C. (Oct. 30, 2018)
            • “Power to the People: How Power Generation is and will be Moving from Large Utilities and Investors to Consumers and Newcomers in the Power Sector,” (moderator) IBA Biennial Conference of the Section on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure Law (SEERIL) 2018, Lisbon (Apr. 10, 2018)
            • “Access to Clean Energy: How the Lessons Learned from Cooking Fuels Can Lead to Transformation,” (moderator) IBA Biennial Conference of the Section on Energy, Environment, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure Law (SEERIL) 2018, Lisbon (Apr. 10, 2018)
            • “Climate Change” and “The Energy Challenges Facing Smart Cities” panels, IBA 2017 Annual Conference, Sydney, Australia (Oct. 9, 2017)
            • “Infrastructure Investment in the Americas,” Debevoise & Plimpton LLP seminar, Tokyo, Japan (May 11, 2017)
            • “U.S. Infrastructure,” Joint Seminar, Bae Kim & Lee and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Seoul, South Korea (Feb. 2, 2017)
            • “Climate Change and the Financing of Renewable Energy Projects,” IBA Annual Conference 2016, Washington, D.C. (Sep. 23, 2016)
            • “Infrastructure-Private Sector Investment in the African Power Sector,” IBA 2nd Annual Investing in Africa Conference, London (Jun. 29-Jul. 1, 2016)
            • “Main Challenges Operating Energy Projects: What a Board Member of a Power Company Should Know,” IBA Biennial Conference of the Section on Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law 2016 - Challenge, New York (Apr. 19, 2016)
            • “Renewable Energy,” Columbia Law School's Environmental Law Society Symposium, New York (Feb. 22, 2016)
            • “Private Sector Investment in the African Power Sector,” (moderator) Investing in Africa: Opportunities for Business and the Lawyers Who Counsel Them, New York (Jun. 25, 2015)
            • “Leveraging Institutional Capital to Power Africa,” 2nd Africa Alternative Investment Intensive, New York (Jun. 10, 2015)
            • “One Year In - How are States Progressing Towards Meeting the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Action Plan?” (moderator), ACORE Renewable Energy Seminar and Teleconference Series (webinar) (May 20, 2015)
            • “Trends and Issues in Renewable Energy Mergers and Acquisitions,” ACORE Renewable Energy Seminar (webinar) (Oct. 15, 2014)
            • “The State of the Union and the State of Renewable Energy Policy,” ACORE Renewable Energy Seminar (webinar) (Feb. 26, 2014)
            • “Aggregation of Renewable Energy Assets: Bond Pools, Securitization, and Other Financing Techniques,” (moderator), ACORE Renewable Energy Seminar (webinar) (Jun. 19, 2013)
            • “Managing Your Career in the Energy Industry,” WICE (Women in Communications and Energy) Managing Your Career in the Energy Industry, Columbia University (Oct. 4, 2012)
            • “Speak My Language: The Simple Facts about Renewable Energy and How to Use Them,” The Simple Facts about Renewable Energy and How to Use Them (webinar) (Sep. 19, 2012)
            • “Financing Renewable Energy Projects,” ABA/ACORE (webinar) (Jun. 14, 2012)
            • “Life After Harvard,” (Making Sure You Have A) Life After Harvard, Harvard University (Feb. 2, 2012)
            • “Finance in a World of Reduced Government Assistance,” ACORE Renewable Energy Seminar (webinar) (Jan. 18, 2012)
            • “Rating Renewable Energy Projects for Lawyers,” ABA Teleconference (Nov. 17, 2011)
            • “Panel G4: Excellence in International Business Partnering,” Renewable Energy Technology (RETECH) Conference, Washington, D.C. (Sep. 22, 2011)
            • “Life After Harvard,” (Making Sure You Have A) Life After Harvard, Harvard University (Feb. 3, 2011)
            • “’One World, One Dream’ and Many Opinions: Freedom of Expression at the Beijing Olympics,” New York City Bar Association (Jul. 24, 2008)
          • Citizenship

            Pro Bono Activities

            • The Global LPG Partnership
            • Four Freedoms Park Conservancy
            • Scenic Hudson and Scenic Hudson Land Trust

            Civic and Charitable Memberships

            • Regional Plan Association, Board of Directors and Executive Committee (2018-present)
            • Former board member of Scenic Hudson, Inc., and Scenic Hudson Land Trust. Sarah was significantly engaged in board activities, including an ongoing internal study on impact investing (2010-2018)
            • Actively involved in Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter, Inc., which was begun by residents of the upper east side of Manhattan to address the emerging homeless crisis in the 1980s and continues to provide services and support to New Yorkers in need (1999-2009)
          • Awards & Honors

            • New York Metro Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters (2021)
            • The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers (2019-2022)
            • The Legal 500 United States – Energy Transactions: Conventional Power (2017-2021)
            • Chambers USA – Energy: Electricity (Transactional), Nationwide, Global-USA (2014-2021)
            • Fellow, Energy Security Fellows Program, Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) (2017-2018)
            • Lawyers Who Lead By Example, New York Law Journal (2016) – recognized for service in pro bono, civic engagement, and mentoring young lawyers.
            • Energy Trailblazer, National Law Journal (2016) – recognized for work in novel projects during career.
            • Celine Marcus Community Service Award, Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter, Inc. (2010)