Qualifications, Awards and Appointments
2019: Shortlisted by the The Legal 500 for the Regional Junior Barrister of the Year
2018: Appointed to the Attorney General’s Regional Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown
2011: Pupillage at St Pauls Chambers
2010: Bar Vocational Course, Very Competent.
2010: The Lord Justice Holker Scholarship, (Major Award) Grays Inn
2009: Law LLB University of Leeds, First Class.
THE LEGAL 500 - Across all practice areas (2019)
Sophie Mitchell was shortlisted by The Legal 500 for the Regional Junior Barrister of the Year 2019.
THE LEGAL 500: Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence (2018)
AREAS OF PRACTICE
Defamation, Privacy, Harassment (and other overlapping areas):
- Malicious Falsehood (and other economic torts);
- Harassment (criminal or civil);
- Data Protection;
- Misuse of Private Information (and Article 8 torts);
- Breach of Confidence;
- Human Rights;
- Malicious prosecution;
Sophie has gained a reputation for being the Northern go-to defamation junior. She regularly acts for high profile individuals, companies and the press. As Treasury Counsel, Sophie regularly acts for the Government in sensitive privacy matters. She often represents the police. She had sole conduct of one of the only defamation trials by jury at Leeds High Court. Sophie is able to provide urgent advice about injunctive relief.
Sophie provides bespoke training to her instructing solicitors upon request. She is due to give a seminar to the Leeds Law Society on 1st October 2019: “Defamation, Privacy and Harassment – an Overview”.
Recent Case Examples:
Pre-publication advice to the Home Office.
Representing the Judicial Conduct and Investigations Office in a Data Protection Act trial.
Regularly advising the Ministry of Justice in privacy and Human Rights Act cases.
W v CC of X Police – urgently instructed to draft a Defence for the police, denying that a press release was defamatory; it was true, honest and published in the public interest. The case settled shortly after the Defence had been served on the Claimant as he decided not to pursue his claim.
R v P – advised R, an elected, high-profile individual, following comments made in Parliament which were twisted by a whistle blower seeking to blackmail R.
D & Others in a Representative Capacity v S – acted for over 50 Claimants (corporate and personal) suffering harassment, advising on an urgent basis, drafting documents and successfully appearing in the High Court for an urgent injunction.
RD v IS – urgently advising and drafting a pleading in a harassment, defamation and contempt of court case.
KL v BN – advising RL in a malicious prosecution, defamation and harassment case, stemming from a former family law case.
S v L – advising on issues involving defamation, harassment and res judicata (relating to a potential prohibition on re-litigating matters previously litigated: cause of action estoppel, issue estoppel and Henderson v Henderson).
M v S – advised throughout the case and represented M at trial. M, a well-known international businessman, was accused of corruption. Sophie successfully pursued the case through to trial, resisting defences of truth, honest opinion and qualified privilege/public interest, securing M damages, a retraction / apology in his favoured terms and full costs on an indemnity basis.
D & Others v S – Acting for D & Others, a worldwide chain of companies and personal Claimants, suing for defamation, malicious falsehood, data protection/privacy breaches, following a social media campaign accusing them of fraud, falsely alleging that their products breached safety standards.
S v Y – Advising and successfully settling an action for S in defamation and under the Data Protection Act, a locksmith falsely named and shamed by a national newspaper as a burglar and one of the region’s ‘most wanted criminals’, preventing his ability to trade.
P v R – Advising P, maliciously accused of being a paedophile.
Commercial, Contract & Professional Negligence
Recent Case Examples:
Carters & Otr v Irving & Otr  2DS 24 (HC IoM, Staff of Government Appeal Division) – Appeared in the Isle of Man Appeal Court before two chancery Lord Justices, successfully resisting an appeal and claiming indemnity costs. Issues arose about:
- Concurrent contractual and tortious duties;
- Recoverability of personal loss / tortious test of foreseeability;
- The ‘reflective loss’ principle;
- The winding up of companies;
- Indemnity costs.
Irving & Otr v Carter t/a Carters & Otrs  ORD 19 (HC IoM) – Successfully appeared in a 5-day trial in the High Court, taking over the case from a silk at short notice. The case involved an advocate’s breach of contractual / tortious duty and contributory negligence.
Irving & Otr v Carter t/a Carters & Otrs  ORD 19 (HC IoM) – Sophie successfully sought £75,000 costs on account following a liability trial, pending the trial on quantum.
R v P – Advising and settling an action involving a dispute about accord and satisfaction/estoppel in an action about a building dispute.
S v T – A trial involving breach of contract / breach of implied terms under the Sale of Goods Act.
D v P – Represented a building supplies company at a trial about the general principles of the authority of agents.
Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence & Inquests
Sophie has notable experience of dealing with complex medical evidence, drafting questions to and cross-examining medical experts (including cross-examining Consultant Psychiatrists, a Consultant Paediatrician and a Forensic Odontologist). This stands her in excellent stead for work involving fatal or serious injury.
As Treasury Counsel, Sophie regularly defends on behalf of the Government.
Sophie undertakes Claimant and Defendant work, encompassing EL/PL/RTA/credit hire/holiday sickness fast track cases through to significant claims involving life changing injuries. She is very familiar with the law and procedure relating to fundamental dishonesty and fraud.
Sophie regularly advises on civil procedure issues and attends interim hearings/applications: CCMC’s, relief from sanction applications, strike out/summary judgment and complex costs/QOCS arguments.
Experience in family care proceedings means that Sophie has an excellent understanding of the complexities involved in claims involving abuse in care.
Sophie provides bespoke training to her instructing solicitors upon request.
Recent Case Examples:
Attending inquests, particularly involving Article 2 issues.
L v X Council – Advising parents in a fatal accident claim following the tragic death of their child on a school trip abroad, involving issues about jurisdiction, human rights and vicarious liability of the school.
SK v X NHS Foundation Trust – Settling a fatal medical negligence claim in excess of £250,000, where doctors had failed to diagnose cancer.
NC v NL Limited – Acting for a claimant who suffered serious facial injuries following an attack in a nightclub by a doorman, involving a dispute over vicarious liability of the nightclub.
Kimathi v Foreign and Commonwealth Office  (‘the Mau Mau litigation’) -The case made national news here and in Kenya.
Sophie was led in one of the largest civil claims, representing around 30,000 Kenyan Nationals claiming for trespasses to the person arising out of the actions of the British Colonial Administration during the 1952 State of Emergency in Kenya. Sophie has particular experience of dealing with section 32 and section 33 of the Limitation Act 1980.
Sophie handled many of the Part 35 Questions asked of the numerous Physicians and Psychiatrists involved in the case, challenged about injuries such as scars from beatings / torture, rape and psychiatric illness. Sophie successfully caused a Consultant Psychiatrist (who had not diagnosed an illness) to reconsider her opinion and make a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sophie was junior in Court for around 4-weeks during cross-examination of the medical experts.
Sophie has particular experience of the complexities involved in Group Litigation.
Kimathi v Foreign and Commonwealth Office  EWHC 3005 (QB))– Sophie argued, on behalf of around 500 clients, the first reported case to consider the date of issue of a claim in Group Litigation when a Claimant had deceased prior to entry onto the register. It had important limitation consequences.
The Latest News and Cases From Sophie Mitchell
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Head of Chambers
Simon Bickler QC
Nigel Sangster QC
Richard Barraclough QC
Simon Myerson QC
Bryan Cox QC
Jane Bewsey QC
Sam Green QC
John Harrison QC
Nigel. R. Edwards QC