Sarah M. Ward’s practice focuses primarily on the representation of lenders and borrowers in acquisition and other leveraged financings, as well as corporate restructurings and workouts. Her clients include public companies, private equity firms and financial institutions.


Ms. Ward’s matters have won national recognition. For example, she represented the unsecured creditors’ committee of AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., in AMR’s $11 billion merger with US Airways Group, Inc., as part of AMR’s Chapter 11 reorganization (recognized in the 2013 Financial Times’ U.S. Innovative Lawyers report); and Barclays Bank PLC’s $1.45 billion debtor-in-possession credit facility for Residential Capital, in connection with ResCap’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, was recognized in the 2012 Financial Times’ U.S. Innovative Lawyers report, which was awarded the 2012 Deal Financing of the Year by The M&A Advisor and was named IFR’s 2012 U.S. Restructuring of the Year. In addition, Travelport’s financial restructuring, which involved $3.8 billion of debt issued by U.S., Bermuda, Cayman Islands, U.K. and other European entities, was named as the Out-of-Court Restructuring Deal of the Year (Over $1 Billion) for 2013 by The M&A Advisor, the 2011 Private Equity Deal of the Year by The Deal and Consumer Services Deal of the Year at the 2012 International M&A Advisor Awards.

In 2020, Ms. Ward was profiled as one of The Secured Lender’s Women in Secured Finance. She also has been a recipient of the Banking and Finance Award at the Americas Euromoney Women in Business Law Awards. Ms. Ward is recognized as a leading attorney in Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and has been singled out for her extensive experience in leverage financing work. She also has been included in Best Lawyers in AmericaIFLR1000Legal 500 U.S. and The International Who’s Who of Banking Lawyers.

Ms. Ward serves as co-chair of the firm’s Opinion Committee and she is a former member of Skadden’s Policy Committee, the firm’s governing body. She also served as global co-head of the Banking Group from 2009-14.

Ms. Ward has authored numerous articles related to her practice, including in publications such as Law360, Practical Law Journal and International Financial Law Review, among others. She also has lectured extensively on banking-related topics.

A list of matters Ms. Ward has advised on can be accessed here.



  • J.D., Fordham University School of Law, 1986
  • A.B., Princeton University, 1981


  • New York


  • Member, Board of Directors, Settlement Housing Fund (1994-Present)
  • Steering Committee, The Kate Stoneman Project
  • Working Group on Legal Opinions

Sarah M. Ward