Revised 2019 Edition

Now featuring Dread Pirate Roberts and Silk Road

Kingpin: Legal Lessons from the Underworld

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The revised edition of Kingpin: Legal Lessons from the Underworld, is Principle and Founder, Sarah Bartholomeusz’s second book which explores the crucial legal lessons mainstream businesses can learn from the inherently risky and volatile Underworld inhabited by the most infamous Kingpins in history. 

The book provides a wealth of diverse lessons our mainstream leaders will never encounter and cannot teach.

About the book


Who are the most innovative and creative business leaders of all time?

Names such as Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Nikola Tesla and Bill Gates usually come to mind, but Kingpin proposes an alternative. What if the most innovative and creative entrepreneurs operate on the fringe of business culture, outside the generally accepted confines of corporate organisation and governance?

Despite the immoral, destructive and violent culture of the illicit drug trade, drug Kingpins are – first and foremost – entrepreneurs and risk managers. As pioneers of the underworld, they face unique challenges arising from the illegal nature of their trade. Their unpredictable and inherently risky world provides a wealth of diverse business challenges rarely encountered by mainstream business leaders. Thus they provide us with lessons that we can learn from no one else. The most successful Kingpins are visionary leaders who survive by implementing effective business strategies and policies. By suspending our judgement of the drug dealer and focusing on the Kingpin, we open our minds to their pioneering spirit.

Their skills, flaws, triumphs and downfalls are magnified by the volatile environment that shapes their enterprises. By bravely exploring where others fear to tread, Sarah Bartholomeusz reveals unique insights that have eluded the minds of the world’s most respected business experts and provides us with innovative approaches to managing risk during times of rapid change.

The eight people examined in this book have been chosen because they are all high achievers in their field. The shock of their real-world impact, though often reprehensible, has reverberated across the globe. While the Kingpins as leaders operate within a similar rule set to executives, they come from widely differing backgrounds and they build their businesses in an environment of extreme volatility. This makes them ideal subjects of study for business experts at the cutting edge of industry. Their responses to compliance situations are not curtailed by the law, best practice or, at times, even logic. This makes them some of the most innovative and creative business leaders in the world, and they therefore provide us with lessons that are simply unavailable through the study of mainstream leaders.

You'll Learn More About

Kingpins understand the value of differentiation

Ross William Ulbricht used cleaver marketing tactics and PR exercises to entice people to his website. He focused on being different from his competitors, rather then being better then them.

Kingpins know that it is all about the product

Khun Sa’s rise to power in the Golden Triangle opium trade can be attributed to his skill in developing and commanding a sophisticated army to focus on what he knew was most important: the product.

Kingpins are cutting edge innovators

Joaquin Guzmán maintained his wealth and power with innovation, after discovery of his Mexico–United States tunnel, he developed a variety of new methods to transport his products over the United States border.

Kingpins know how to inspire people

Dawood Ibrahim solidified his power by inspiring people to follow him, and he established D-Company, a sophisticated, diverse criminal network comprising both Hindus and Muslims.

About the Author


Sarah Bartholomeusz


Sarah is the founder and CEO of You Legal, a top tier legal concierge service. You Legal is a new category of law firm providing corporate and commercial legal services to clients, including ASX listed companies. You Legal’s team members are based throughout Australia and in five other countries.

You Legal’s Growth Shield provides clients with customised, watertight policy documentation. Policies are the strategic link between the vision for a business and its day-to-day operations. Growth Shield helps companies to future-proof their business by simply and transparently transforming their existing policy framework in a three-step process.

Sarah is the Chair of the Catalyst Foundation Inc. and she serves on the South Australian Government’s Education Standards Board.

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Kingpin Revised Edition: Legal Lessons from the Underworld

Now featuring Dread Pirate Roberts and Silk Road