Sarah Kerr - Director, Lowndes




Sarah Kerr joined Lowndes as a Director in late 2017 with over 20 years of experience, including 11 years as a partner, first in the corporate team at Hesketh Henry in Auckland and later at a boutique corporate law firm in Auckland. Earlier in her career, Sarah worked at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, for US law firm Holme Roberts & Owen LLP in London and for English law firm Clifford Chance in Frankfurt.

Sarah practises corporate law, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, joint venture and shareholder agreements, venture capital and the drafting and negotiation of high value commercial contracts.

Sarah advises clients who operate across a broad range of industry sectors including industrial lubricants, automotive parts, manned security, nutritional supplements and natural health products, retail, market research, life sciences and diagnostic products.  Sarah also counts amongst her clients one of New Zealand’s newest and fastest-growing players in the insurance industry.

Sarah regularly represents venture capital and early stage and expansion capital investors such as K1W1, for whom she has acted since 2004. Sarah has advised K1W1 on the entry into, exit from, and restructuring of, many of its investments over the last 14 years including in relation to Phitek Systems (aircraft cabin noise cancellation technology), PureDepth (visual display technology), Avertana (bulk industrial commodities), Icebreaker (clothing), Piako Yoghurt (food), Solar City (solar energy), Hubsta/The Deal (online shopping), Living Nature (cosmetics) and Tomizone (WiFi).

Sarah has been a contributing author of the Thomson Reuters publication Mergers, Acquisitions and Takeovers, Practice and Procedure for over 10 years.

She is a member of the New Zealand Private Equity and Venture Capital Association and speaks German and French.


Main Phone: +64 9 373 3331

Direct Phone: +64 9 373 7705

Mobile: +64 21 441 324


  • BA/LLB (Hons) 1996
  • Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 1997
  • Admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales in 2001
  • Member of the New Zealand Private Equity and Venture Capital Association


Mergers & acquisitions transactions

  • Multiple acquisitions by an automotive parts and accessories distribution business of various competing businesses located in different regions of New Zealand, as part of a nationwide expansion strategy;
  • Advice on a joint venture between an electric lines company and a major player in the telecommunications sector;
  • Sale of the shares in a New Zealand cloud-based human resources software company to an ASX-listed provider of cloud-based human resources payroll solutions;
  • Advice on the New Zealand aspects of a global US$1 billion acquisition of a worldwide printer business;
  • Sale by a New Zealand venture investment vehicle (by way of an amalgamation with the New Zealand subsidiary of a US purchaser) of its cornerstone shareholding in an entity specialising in noise cancellation and audio enhancement equipment (overall transaction value NZ$60m);
  • Sale by the founding shareholders of a company operating a manned security business of a controlling interest in that company to a Shanghai-based corporation;
  • Acquisition by a Hong Kong listed corporation of a New Zealand company specialising in the manufacture of natural cosmetics and skincare products;
  • Sale by a New Zealand company of its recycling technology business to a Singaporean entity that subsequently redomiciled as an Australian entity and listed on the ASX, with part of the consideration paid to selling shareholders comprising shares in the ASX-listed entity;
  • Acquisition by an automotive parts and accessories distribution business of a competing business with offices in Hamilton and Christchurch;
  • Sale of two leading central Auckland veterinary practices to a major ASX-listed player in the veterinary industry, as the first step in a nationwide roll-up of New Zealand veterinary practices;
  • Sales by a New Zealand nutraceuticals company (majority-owned by Nestlé S.A.) of various of its assets (in separate transactions) to a New Zealand pharmaceutical company and a key player in the New Zealand kiwifruit industry;
  • Sale by a New Zealand venture investment vehicle to a US purchaser of its majority shareholding in an entity specialising in multi-layer screen technology; and
  • Acquisition by a leading waste recovery company of New Zealand’s largest organic waste to composting operation.


Advice provided to private venture capital investment company 

  • Regular advice in relation to investments in, exits from, or the restructuring of interests in, numerous companies.


Employee share option schemes and bonus schemes

  • Preparing employee share option scheme documentation and ensuring compliance with the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013; and
  • Preparing profit share agreements and executive cash bonus schemes.


General contract drafting and negotiating

  • Drafting and negotiating shareholder and joint venture agreements, supply and distribution agreements, contract manufacturing agreements, licensing agreements loan and security agreements and terms of trade.


Corporate advisory and compliance advice

  • Advice on the Companies Act 1993, the Personal Property Securities Act 1999, the Takeovers Code, the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013, the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009, the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017, the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993, the Fair Trading Act 1986 and others;
  • Advice to directors and shareholders in the context of shareholder disputes, including in relation to directors’ duties and shareholder remedies; and
  • General contract law advice, often in the pre-litigation stage of contractual disputes.


Sarah has been a contributing author of the Thomson Reuters publication Mergers, Acquisitions and Takeovers, Practice and Procedure for over 10 years.