Sara Holder
Managing Partner, MEA

Sara, based in Dubai, is Managing Partner of our operations in the MEA Region.

Sara Holder is co-head of Rouse's Global Patent/Technology Practice. She holds degrees in law and science (Biochemistry) and qualified and practiced in New Zealand as a lawyer before joining Rouse in 1998. Since then, she has worked in China, Indonesia and Middle East, becoming a specialist in the issues and challenges faced by, and encountered in, developing intellectual property jurisdictions

Sara handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious intellectual property matters, with a particular focus on technology strategy and advisory work, monetisation and management of technology and innovation, including the protection and enforcement of patents and IPR acquisitions and enforcement. Sara also handles regional trade mark portfolios for some of the world's largest brands and contentious trade mark matters.

In addition to her academic qualifications and experience, Sara is a member of various IP organisations, has published numerous articles in industry journals, contributed to various texts on Intellectual Property and speaks regularly at seminars and conferences on technology and commercialisation of IP.

Professional qualifications

  • LLB, University of Canterbury, New Zealand 

  • BSc, (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), University of Canterbury, New Zealand

  • Certificate of Professional Legal Studies (NZ Institute)

  • Enrolled as a Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand

  • Licensed as a Legal Consultant by the Rulers Court of Dubai


  • Legal 500 EMEA, 2020: Listed as Leading Individual
  • Who's Who Legal Trademarks, 2020: Recommended/Leading Practitioner
  • Chambers Global 2020: Listed as Eminent Practitioner
  • WTR 1000 2020: Ranked Gold
  • Listed in IAM’s Global Leaders 2019
  • Chambers Global 2019: Listed as Band 1
  • Listed in IAM Patent 1000 2019
  • WTR 1000 2019: Ranked Silver
  • Managing Intellectual Property 2019: Listed as an IP Star for Trade Marks
  • Managing Intellectual Property 2019: Listed as an IP Star for Patents
  • Managing Intellectual Property 2018: Listed as Patent & Trade Mark Star
  • WTR 1000 2018: Ranked Silver
  • Legal 500 EMEA 2018: Listed as Leading Individual
  • Chambers Global 2018: Listed as Band 1
  • Listed in Managing Intellectual Property's Top 250 Woman in IP 2017 and 2018
  • Legal 500 EMEA, 2017: Listed as Leading Lawyer and Recommended Lawyer
  • Chambers Global 2017: Listed as Band 1
  • WTR 1000 2017: Ranked Silver
  • Managing Intellectual Property 2017: Listed as an IP Star for trade marks
  • Managing Intellectual Property 2016: Listed as an IP Star for trade marks
  • Chambers Global 2016: Listed as Band 1 
  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2016: Listed as a Recommended Lawyer
  • WTR 1000, 2016: Ranked Silver
  • Who's Who Legal: Trademarks 2015: Listed as Most Highly Regarded Individual for Middle-East and Africa
  • Managing Intellectual Property, 2015: Listed as 'IP' star
  • Chambers Global, 2015: Band 1
  • Legal 500 EMEA, 2015: Listed as a Recommended Lawyer
  • WTR 1000, 2015: Ranked Silver
  • WTR 1000, 2014: Listed as a 'Leading individual'
  • Managing Intellectual Property 2014: Named as an 'IP' star
  • Who's Who Legal, 2014: "made a real name for herself” in this field of law due to her “fabulous technical skills, creativity and efficiency”
  • Chambers Global 2013: Listed as a 'Leader in their field'

Personal interests

  • Sailing, diving and travelling