Climate change leader Sarah Barker joins Pollination

One of the world’s leading climate change lawyers, Sarah Barker, will join Investment and Advisory firm Pollination — further extending the company’s status as a global leader in climate and nature.

Barker joins from leading commercial law firm MinterEllison, where she has spent more than two decades and is currently a Partner and Global Head of Climate & Sustainability Risk Governance.

“The core of the value proposition Pollination offers is that we provide our clients access to the best expertise from an integrated team of global thought leaders and practitioners,” Pollination Co-Founder and CEO Martijn Wilder said.

“Adding Sarah to our team bolsters that capability in many ways. The experience and relationships she has forged across 25 years in the field mark her as an unparallelled expert and resource when it comes to navigating the intersection of company law and climate change.”

Barker is regarded as a leading expert on company directors’ duties, misleading disclosure, climate change and sustainability — areas of law and corporate governance that are shifting rapidly as company directors and executives grapple with emerging risks, opportunities and responsibilities associated with global climate change.

“Bringing that expertise to Pollination – alongside the other leaders we already have in this field – means clients can receive leading edge advice about the risks and opportunities they are exposed to and can then access the strategy and implementation advice they need in order to act on it, all in one place,” Wilder said.

Ratings agency Chambers awarded Band 1 status to only four lawyers in the area of climate change across the Asia Pacific in 2024. Barker, who was awarded such status, joins fellow Band 1 awardee and Pollination CEO Wilder — meaning the investment and advisory firm will be home to half of the top-rated climate change lawyers in the region.

“The chance to join Pollination is a chance to work alongside the clear thought leaders when it comes to sustainability and was one I absolutely jumped at,” Barker said.

“Working in an area that is so fast-moving and dynamic it is a great opportunity to be surrounded by an entire firm of people who have a deep understanding of the trends, issues and opportunities that the net zero and nature positive transition throws up.”

In addition to her experience advising some of Australia’s largest corporates, banks, superannuation and investment funds, Barker has been a non-executive director of the Victorian State Government’s Emergency Services & State Super Fund and is also Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Climate Governance Community of Experts.

She teaches a course for non-executive directors at Cambridge University’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership and is a Board Member of the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative.

“When I started working in the area of climate risk and governance it was not really considered a mainstream area of corporations law. That has now changed to the point where it is an unavoidable necessity,” Barker said.

“Whether it’s advising on directors’ duties, reporting and disclosure, contract implications or a host of other areas where climate and law intersect, I can’t wait to get started working as part of Pollination’s global team of experts, helping our clients navigate their way through these areas.”

Joining Barker in the shift to Pollination will also be other key members of her current team, spearheaded by Phoebe Roberts. Roberts, who was awarded the Law Council’s Mahla Pearlman Award for Australian Young Environmental Lawyer of the Year in 2023, will become a Pollination Executive Director.  Phoebe is also recognised as a leading advisor in the space, combining more than a decade of experience as a construction and procurement lawyer with deep sustainability expertise.  In addition to her previous role at MinterEllison, Phoebe has served as the Director of Implementation and Built Environment Lead at the London-based climate contracting initiative, The Chancery Lane Project.


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