Sophie’s drive to provide the best representation for her clients translates to extensive preparation and focus on effective case management in order to advise on and achieve the best outcome. Her vast experience in cross-examination comes to the fore in contested matters. Sophie is readily approachable by instructing solicitors and Direct Access clients and able to assist within short timescales.
Sophie has practiced in Family Law since 2004.
She specialises in Financial Remedies work, Private Law Children matters, and Family Law Act cases.
Sophie has vast experience of all financial remedies matters, having specialised in ancillary relief from the outset of her career. She has particular expertise in cases involving high net worth, complex ownership, businesses, foreign assets, jurisdictional issues and conduct issues. Her attention to detail and scrutiny of the evidence to draw out attempts to conceal accounts or assets and give commercially-minded advice on wide-ranging issues is invaluable.
Sophie has always acted for parents, grandparents and guardians in private law children matters applying Practice Direction 12J involving features of parental alienation, domestic abuse and coercive control, and sexual abuse, dealing with Fact-findings and Final Hearings on a very regular basis. She has a particular interest in disputes over medical, religious and education decisions in a child’s life. Her experience of public law and criminal matters informs her approach to matters involving other agencies and disclosure issues. She has a developing practice in international children law matters.
Sophie acts in Family Law Act injunctive matters, particularly in contested hearings.
Sophie has experience of vulnerable clients, applying PD3AA and of working with intermediaries and BSL and SSL interpreters.
Family Finance & Private Client
Court of Protection
Education and Professional Memberships
LLM (currently studying) University of London
MA (Cantab) 2005
BA Hons Law, University of Cambridge 2001
Middle Temple Benefactors Scholar and Harmsworth Exhibitioner 2002
BPP Bar Vocational Course 2003, specialising in Family Law
Member of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
Association of Lawyers for Children and Family Law Bar Association member
Re M (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1580
Family Finance and Property Cases involving:
An alleged interest in a discretionary trust worth at least £25million, disposition of business assets including equipment and monies, the disqualified director status of the client and his father, interrelated businesses and invoicing, and loss of significant contracts worth in excess of £1.6million each.
Two professionals where one asserted that a mortgage deed had been drawn up between one party and their parents during the marriage, suggesting a genuine debt was owed to parents, which the other alleged was false. The mortgage deed was discovered on a family computer leading to the instruction of a forensic computer expert to establish the creation date of the document from the metadata of the computer file. Subsequently a considerable dispute as to the terms of the letter of instruction led to a directions hearing to resolve the LOI whereupon the client’s position prevailed.
The true arrangements of the complex business structure for a large coffee shops franchise and property letting business worth in excess of £21 million, using a round table settlement meeting before FDR.
Issues of undue influence and duress in relation to loss of employment in family businesses, loss of shareholdings, and past ‘settlement of claims’.
Representation and advice in cases involving illness and disability including disputes regarding:
The impact of sickle cell anaemia on capacity to work in circumstances where the applicant was receiving treatment but had retrained in flexible work to work from home.
The subdivision and adaptation of the family home and the contribution of the wheelchair user to the family finances by his council grant which would have been repayable upon sale.
Enforcement applications and variation of order applications.
Sharing pensions in the context of terminal illness.
Private Children Law proceedings
Applications for Child Arrangements Orders. Notable cases include:
Representing the father in an application for transfer of residence following unproven allegations of physical and sexual abuse made by the mother to the family court and to the police, resulting in transfer of the two children to his care.
Transfer of residence to father following a dispute lasting over 3 years commencing with a PSO application in respect of travel to Iraq, resulting in a protracted contact dispute and ultimately transfer of residence of the child (aged 10) to the father’s care’
Representing the father via Direct Access in a dispute lasting over 3 years commencing with a Specific Issue order relating to a change of school, resulting in a shared care order with primary care to the father. Subsequent applications for enforcement of the order to ensure that the child would be supported by mother in his elite sports training;
Internal and external relocation cases including representing a father in a five-day contested hearing in the High Court where the children were removed from Scotland to London and then to Gibraltar, whereupon Mother alleged domestic violence during contact which was not found as a fact;
Specific issues Orders including representing a mother who was opposed to the circumcision of the child (aged 8) following the father’s application for the procedure to be conducted for religious reasons;
Acting on behalf of the mother to obtain a Termination of Parental Responsibility application following a conviction of rape against mother and sexual abuse of the subject child;
On behalf of the National Bar Pro Bono Unit, Sophie represented a convicted Schedule 1 Offender in his application for indirect contact, advising on and applying for an order to release funds for representation in relation to the mother’s applications, including a change of name because of the media coverage of the case and the father’s notoriety.
Re M (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1580
Sophie obtained permission from Black LJ and was later led by Queen’s Counsel in the Court of Appeal, succeeding in the Appeal against the lower court’s reversal of the burden of proof when making a finding of Non Accidental Injuries.