Sophie undertakes multi-track work and is particularly experienced in dealing with complex medical evidence, regularly undertaking conferences with experts from a range of disciplines and with notable experience of cross-examining Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Paediatricians and Forensic Odontologists. This stands her in excellent stead for work involving fatal or serious injury. She has a particular interest in serious psychological, psychiatric and neurological injuries.
Sophie was Counsel in Kimathi v Foreign and Commonwealth Office  (‘the Mau Mau litigation’), one of (if not the) biggest personal injury trials ever brought, involving work both here and in Kenya.
Sophie undertakes Claimant and Defendant work. Selected as one of few Treasury Counsel in Leeds, she frequently acts on behalf of the Government and other public bodies. Her work often involves allegations under the Human Rights Act 1998.
Sophie’s CV lends itself to personal injury work of a sensitive nature involving privacy, data protection and Article 8 issues. Her former experience in family proceedings and in the Mau Mau case provides her with an excellent understanding of the complexities involved in claims involving current and historic abuse, having dealt with numerous allegations ranging from torture, rape, sexual assault and abuse, infant and adult abuse injuries (from fractured skulls to stab wounds), often with a human rights element.
Sophie regularly advises on civil procedure and undertakes the full range of personal injury litigation work: CCMC’s, relief from sanction applications, strike out/summary judgment, fraud/FD allegations and complex costs/QOCS arguments.
Inquests, particularly involving Article 2 human rights issues. Sophie represents both public authorities, such as the Ministry of Justice following deaths in prison, and families of the deceased. Recently appeared at a complex and lengthy inquest, before a Jury, on behalf of the family of the deceased against a psychiatric hospital where a patient, supposed to be on suicide watch, took an overdose.
Notable Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence & Inquests cases
Thackrey v the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police
Acting for the Claimant in Thackrey v the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police in a personal injury, privacy and human rights claim testing the law on suspect anonymity following Cliff Richard v BBC. The police’s decision to publish (pre-charge) the name, photograph and information that the Claimant had sexually assaulted a minor caused the Claimant to receive threats to kill him by vigilante ‘paedophile hunter’ gangs. He suffered serious PTSD, attempted to take his own life and had to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act to protect himself. The alleged victim later retracted her allegations and accepted they were false.
Kimathi v Foreign & Commonwealth Office (2018)
‘The Mau Mau Litigation’ – The case made national news here and in Kenya.
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 s.32 and s.33 of the Limitation Act 1980, now frequently instructed to act in cases involving these issues.
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’s work successfully led to a Consultant Psychiatrist (who had not diagnosed any illness) to reconsider her opinion and diagnose PTSD. Sophie was junior in Court for around 4-weeks during cross-examination of the medical experts.
Miller v Stephensons of Easingwold Ltd
Acting for a Claimant who was 14 when he was run over by a coach. He was air lifted to hospital having suffered a cardiac arrest and a severe brain injury. Successfully negotiated a liability settlement. The case proceeds to trial on quantum, pleaded at over one million pounds and involving complex medical evidence from neurologists, neuropsychiatrists, neuropsychologists and general surgeons.
A v Ministry of Justice
Sophie is representing the Defendant following allegations that its probation officer routinely sexually abused a juvenile during her detention in 2005. Advising in relation to s.33 Limitation Act 1980 given the historic nature of the allegations.
Jones v Ahmed
Acting for a Claimant who suffered a near fatal head injury following a collision with a car, causing a severe brain injury with long lasting psychiatric injury. The Claimant is extremely vulnerable, suffering from agoraphobia and has not left the house since the accident many years ago. The case involves complex medical evidence from neurologists, neuropsychiatrists and psychologists.
L v X Council
Advising parents in a fatal accident claim following the tragic death of their 7-year old child on a school trip abroad, involving issues about jurisdiction, human rights and vicarious liability of the school. The accident was widely reported on the news.
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 & Commonwealth Office (2016) EWHC 3005 (QB)
Sophie argued, on behalf of around 500 clients (as part of a discreet issue in the larger case), 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, having important limitation consequences.