Sarah Paterson

Administrative support: Stephen Jenner
Room: New Academic Building 6.06
Tel. 020-7106-1244

Sarah Paterson is an assistant professor of corporate insolvency. Before joining LSE she was a partner in Slaughter and May in London, with whom she retains a consultancy.



Research Interests
  • Corporate recovery and insolvency

  • Trusts

External Activities
  • Consultant to Slaughter and May

  • Member of the Insolvency Lawyers’ Association

  • Member of the Technical Committee of the Insolvency Lawyers’ Association

  • Member of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals


Butterworths Encyclopaedia of Banking Law (Butterworths Law, 1996-); contributing editor, Division F2

Debt restructuring (Oxford University Press, 2011) (with Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal, John Douglas, Randall Guynn, Alan Kornberg, Dalvinder Singh, and Hilary Stonefrost)

Selected articles
and chapters in books

(with Hugh Beale and Louise Gulifer) 'A Case for Interfering with Freedom of Contract? An Empirically-Informed Study of Bans on Assignment' Journal of Business Law (FORTHCOMING)

(with Hugh Beale and Louise Gulifer) 'Ban on assignment clauses: views from the coalface' Butterworths Journal of International Banking & Financial Law (2015) 30 (8) pp.463-466

Summarises the findings of two qualitative studies assessing the effect of ban on assignment (BoA) clauses in trade receivables financing. Reviews the law applicable to the assignment of receivables to a financier, noting uncertainty over the effect of a BoA clause. Considers whether BoAs in supply contracts adversely affect the availability of finance to small businesses and result in the use of workarounds, thereby increasing the cost of finance.

'The adaptive capacity of markets and convergence in law: UK high yield issuers, US investors and insolvency law'  Modern Law Review  2015, 78 (3), 431-460.

Provides an overview of theories on the relationship between law and equity capital markets. Traces the history of the development of the UK high yield securities market and English insolvency law, noting the ways financial markets adapt to the legal environment and the pressures the markets exert on the legal system. Assesses the prospects of convergence between the US and UK approaches to valuation in cases of default by companies in financial distress.

'Rethinking the Role of the Law of Corporate Distress in the Twenty-First Century' Law Society and Economy Working Paper Series, WPS 27-2014 December 2014

Thomas Jackson famously described the role of all bankruptcy law as reducing the incentive for individual enforcement against the assets of a distressed company. Although scholars have debated other aspects of Jackson's thesis, most have continued to identify with this as the central tenet of bankruptcy law. This paper proposes a new taxonomy: the law of corporate distress comprised of insolvency law and restructuring law. It argues that Thomas Jackson's description remains apt for part of that taxonomy but draws a distinction between the constituent parts. It reframes the unifying aim of the law of corporate distress as the facilitation of the reallocation of resource in the economy to best use and draws a distinction between insolvency law's role in reducing the incentive for individual enforcement and restructuring law's role in providing a deadlock resolution procedure. Adopting a comparative Anglo-American approach it examines the implications of this distinction for insolvency law and restructuring law in the twenty-first century.

'Bargaining in Financial Restructuring: Market Norms, Legal Rights and Regulatory Standards' Journal of Corporate Law Studies 14 (2) (2014) pp.333-366

In the 1990s large financial restructurings were typically negotiated by reference to the market conventions of the day, reflected in a set of principles known as the London Approach. Commentary on the London Approach at the start of the last decade sounded a note of caution for its survival in rapidly changing credit markets. This article is about what happened as parties moved away from negotiating by reference to market norms towards negotiating by reference to their strict legal rights. It considers the difficulties which have arisen and whether these are best tackled by law and the courts or by the market and regulation.

‘Lodging a Proof of Debt and Submission to Jurisdiction’ (2013) Corporate Rescue and Insolvency 6.3

‘COMI: The Elephant in the Room’ (2012) Corporate Rescue and Insolvency 5.4

‘Charter Communications: A Charter for Others?’ (2010) Corporate Rescue and Insolvency 3.4

‘LyondellBasell: The Longer Arm of Chapter 11’ (2009) Corporate Rescue and Insolvency 2.4