Sandie Okoro

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Sandie Okoro was appointed as Senior Vice-President and General Counsel of the World Bank Group in November 2016.


The World Bank Group is a multilateral organisation with its headquarters in America and its members include most of the world’s countries. Five institutions make up the World Bank Group to collectively serve as a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries.


World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kimsaid at the time of her appointment:“Sandie Okoro is a highly regarded thought leader with a strong track record of developing new legal approaches in the field of international finance.Her experience managing legal and financial risks at global financial institutions will make her a great asset for the Bank Group and our Board.”


Sandie was previously the Global General Counsel for HSBC Global Asset Management, a post she took up in 2014. She was also Deputy General Counsel of HSBC Retail Banking and Wealth Management and a member of the Executive Management Committee of HSBC Global Asset Management - responsible for the company’s legal risks and legal teams across all of its jurisdictions in 24 countries. She was the only female and ethnic minority lawyer holding such a coveted role in the City.


Before joining HSBC, she was Global General Counsel at Barings. She was appointed to the Management Board and Panel of Experts of The Hague-based Panel of Recognized International Market Experts in Finance, which assists with the settlement of international disputes of complex financial transactions. Sandie played a leadership role during the financial crisis, particularly in respect to the mitigation of counterparty risk exposure.


Sandie has come a very long way since her first job, at the age of 14, looking after the money on the tills at Marks and Spencer. Prior to her post at Barings, she worked her way up from being Schroder Investment Management International’s first lawyer in 1998 to becoming its Head of Legal and Corporate Services in 2003 and also managed its global legal panel.


As World Bank Group Senior Vice-President and General Counsel, she is the principal adviser and spokesperson on all legal matters. She also serves as the legal adviser to the Board, management, the Inspection Panel, and the CEO of the Global Environmental Facility Program. Sandie leads the World Bank’s Legal Vice-Presidency, which is responsible for all legal services provided to internal and external clients.


Sandie has received many accolades for her work and volunteer efforts. Most recently, in July 2016, she was named as one of the 100 Women to Watch by the Female FTSE Board. The year 2014 saw her receive many honours for her achievements. She won an award for her Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession at the Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence; she was named for the third successive year in the Powerlist, and she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Law by the City University. She also had a stint as President of International Lawyers of Africa (ILFA), having previously been a director there.


Sandie has a history of championing diversity in the legal profession. In 2009, she became the first ambassador for the Law Society’s Diversity Access Scheme and has also, for some years, mentored many of the aspiring lawyers on the BLD Foundation Legal Launch Pad programme.  


Sandie, the daughter of a Nigerian father and a Trinidadian mother, read Law and Politics at Birmingham University, graduating in 1986. She attended the Inns of Court School of Law (now the City Law School) for her Bar Finals. She was called to the Bar (Lincoln's Inn) in 1987, but in 1990 re-qualified as a solicitor before joining Schroder’s.




See Also: 
The In-House and the Legal Eves sections.