Russell Cooke Putney London 2

About Sally

Clients enjoy working with me because of my pragmatic and commercial approach, and my ability to adapt my advice for companies navigating limited legal budgets and rapid growth. I act as a sounding-board for legal and commercial matters by my clients, more akin to in-house legal counsel than external support.

Sally has particular experience advising startup and scaling companies on all aspects of corporate and commercial law. Whilst Sally’s expertise is advising on fundraising and growth, her knowledge extends to share schemes and incentives, brand protection, key commercial contracts and M&A. 

Sally’s specialisms include:

  • funding rounds from seed to institutional investment, including expertise in drafting agreements for advance subscriptions (ASAs and SAFEs) and other convertibles 
  • shareholders' and founders' agreements
  • employee incentives including EMI schemes, CSOPs and growth share arrangements
  • acquisitions and exits

Sally acts for clients across a variety of sectors including hospitality and professional services and but has a clear focus on technology.

She joined Russell-Cooke in 2020, following three years working at a specialist law firm working exclusively with startups, having trained and spent the first six years of her legal career in the corporate division of Herbert Smith Freehills. 

Guy Wilmot and Sally Johnston are excellent advisers. They are advisers who advise and recommend as opposed to being consultants listing out various options and risks. Invaluable for entrepreneurs of high growth businesses.
The Legal 500 (2022)
Sally has always been very dedicated to MQube as a client and has an excellent breadth of knowledge. In particular she has been invaluable on a number of complex and innovative financing rounds for the company and we are grateful to have her support.
Neil Marshall • CFO • MQube
As a new entrepreneur, understanding the legal landscape can feel at times overwhelming. Calm, containing and incredibly supportive, Sally has been a remarkable and consistent support throughout this journey. She is extremely knowledgeable and patient, available to offer advice and guidance. I would unreservedly recommend her to any entrepreneurs who want to know their legal matters are in safe and very competent hands.
Patrick Davey • Founder • MOAI Health Limited


  • Advising Bumper International on a new SAFE instrument and secondary share sales as part of its £26.1 million Series A extension
  • Advising electric vehicle scale-up in connection with a combined investment and secondary purchase by Zouk Capital with a total value of £6.4 million. The transaction included negotiation of investment documents, assisting with the setup of a dedicated asset financing arm for the client and a partial sale and purchase of shares from an existing corporate shareholder
  • Advising MQube on various fundraisings and conversion of a large SAFE
  • Advising on multiple third-party commercial contracts for a company providing financing solutions in the automotive industry from customer terms and conditions to key commercial contracts, as well as their CSOP and growth share scheme

Sally's highlights



The future is now—the Future Fund and the ticking clock for borrowers

Senior associate Sally Johnston and trainee John Thompson provide insights into the Future Fund, a UK Government-backed scheme...
Sally Johnston, Senior associate in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, corporate and commercial team. John Thompson, Trainee in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, private client team.
Multiple Authors
5 min Read
Sally Johnston, John Thompson

Introduction to fundraising: from SAFEs to Series A

From SAFEs to Series A


Russell-Cooke completes management buyout of coffee company group

Guy Wilmot, Partner in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, corporate and commercial team. Sally Johnston, Senior associate in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, corporate and commercial team. Olivia Bailhe, Associate in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, corporate and commercial team.
Multiple Authors
1 min Read
Guy Wilmot, Sally Johnston, Olivia Bailhe
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