Sophie Kemp

Partner and Head of Department

Public Law | Public Inquiries

“solid and thoughtful" approach to sensitive cases.

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession

"An impressive lawyer who really thinks things through carefully."

Chambers UK, 2021

Sophie is an experienced public lawyer who became the Head of the Public Law team in September 2021. Sophie specialises in judicial review, large scale investigations and inquiries, and business and human rights, and was described by Chambers 2021 as an “impressive lawyer” and “contributor to public law”. She has “substantial expertise in major public inquiries and inquests" (Legal 500 UK 2019). She is “very sharp” (Legal 500 UK, 2017) and “grasps complex issues quickly and comprehensively” (Legal 500, 2015).


Judicial Review

Sophie acts for individuals, charities, companies and regulatory bodies in judicial review litigation. The core of many of Sophie’s cases touch on human rights, including claims for damages under the Human Rights Act 1998. Her work for both claimants and defendants allows her to provide a rigorous, yet sensitive and collaborative approach to litigation. Her client list includes, government agencies, regulatory bodies, charities, professional organisations and associations (notably The Law Society), doctors (in connection with COVID-19 and gender identity matters), senior police officers (former Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police), and individuals.

Public Inquiries, Inquests and Investigations

Sophie has considerable investigative and public inquiry experience representing individuals, institutions, charities, public figures and senior professionals in major public inquiries, inquests, IOPC investigations, and before Select Committees. Sophie represented a number of core participants in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (the Jay Inquiry), investigating the extent to which institutions have failed to protect children from sexual abuse. She is also advising an individual involved in the Under Cover Policing Inquiry. She acted for a number of families in the 7/7 Inquest following terrorist bombings in London, and advised a senior Financial Conduct Authority employee in the Davis Inquiry.

Business and Human Rights

Sophie leads the firm’s Business and Human Rights group. Sophie’s business and human rights practice includes representing The Corporate Responsibility (CORE) Coalition and the International Commission of Jurists to intervene in the Supreme Court case of Okpabi v Shell, a landmark case on corporate accountability brought by thousands of claimants in respect of pollution in the Niger Delta as well as acting for a group of claimants in a group class action alleging breaches of Article 2 and 3 of the ECHR. She is co-author of the “Report of research into how a regulator could monitor and enforce a proposed UK Human Rights Due Diligence law” commissioned by the CORE Coalition, Traidcraft Exchange and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre. Sophie has delivered a number of talks with the Home Office on the Modern Slavery Act 2015 with the aim of promoting this ground breaking legislation to the business community and public sector.

WHAT CLIENTS AND DIRECTORIES HAVE SAID

She really listens and understands where clients are coming from and provides sound advice."

Chambers and Partners, 2022

She is ferociously hard-working and her client handling is incredible."

Chambers and Partners, 2022

Sophie Kemp – absolutely outstanding in helping me think through some very complex issues; very patient and also clear and concise.”

Legal 500 2022

Sophie Kemp combines high level knowledge of the law with a very personal approach.”

Legal 500 2022

Sophie Kemp is an immensely able professional. We have been working with her for five years now. What is outstanding is her capacity to manage complex issues in the wider context and to provide excellent legal advice, whilst still acknowledging the human realities which underpin public law issues. She is consummate and a caring professional and human being."

Legal 500 UK 2021

Stand-out partner Sophie Kemp.... They are market leaders, but maintain a courteous manner in dealing with opponents, all the while protecting their client’s interests to the best of their ability. They are genuinely interested in and impressive contributors to public law."

Legal 500 UK 2021

Sophie Kemp in particular, is intellectually talented, but also highly pragmatic. She represents her clients' interests vigorously, but fairly, and it is always a pleasure to work with, and more strikingly, against her."

Legal 500 UK 2021

Substantial expertise in major public inquiries and inquests."

Legal 500 UK 2019

‘very sharp’ and ‘a delight to work with’"

Legal 500 UK 2017

...grasps complex issues quickly and comprehensively."

Legal 500 UK 2015

Solid and thoughtful" approach to sensitive cases."

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession 2012

Praised by clients for the high quality of her advice, which is "in touch with reality, not driven by emotion or money."'

Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession 2011

 

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Our team is experienced in representing senior professionals, public figures and major corporations before Parliamentary Select Committees.

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Insight from Sophie

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Blogs

Judicial Review Reform – waiting for the sting

Mandatory Covid-19 Vaccinations for Care Home Workers

Safeguarding - 5 golden principles for school leaders

Supreme Court rules that Nigerian communities can have their case against Shell heard in the English courts

The future public inquiry into COVID-19

Appealing and challenging university disciplinary decisions: what students need to know

“Love comes first”: The journey to equal partnerships and marriage in the UK

The suspension of parliament increases legal scrutiny of Brexit – and possibly a public inquiry?

‘World-leading’ Modern Slavery Act 2015: review confirms more to be done

UK: ICO guidance confirms "GDPR firmly on Brexit agenda"

Compulsory data protection audits: Opening Pandora’s box?

NHS & the Berwick Review: Shaping the Duty of Candour

Jimmy Savile: Should the BBC conduct its own inquiry?

Fresh Hillsborough inquests very likely

Virgin Trains: procuring a fight

Information security: a costly business

Challenging a decision of the Financial Ombudsman Service: Dare you?

Policing political speech: when is it legitimate to restrict freedom of expression?

Complaint handling: The BBC answers its critics

Police Appeals Tribunals: Fit for purpose?

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