"She's intelligent, clear, approachable and very quick in responding to instructions. She's good at dealing with both clients and experts." "Very impressive, thorough and detailed. A safe pair of hands."
Chambers & Partners 2020
"Sophie is technically excellent, with strong legal knowledge far beyond her years call. She is loved by clients given her personable, courteous and compassionate nature. However, get her in the courtroom or in a negotiation with the other side and she is a force to be reckoned with."
Sophie Beesley was called to the Bar in July 2012. Following completion of her pupillage, she became a tenant at Old Square Chambers in October 2014.
Sophie has a broad practice in all areas of chambers’ work with a particular focus on personal injury, clinical negligence, professional discipline, employment, inquests and motor defence. In these areas, Sophie undertakes a full range of advisory, drafting and advocacy work. Sophie is also often instructed as junior counsel in cases alongside more senior members of Chambers.
Sophie came to the Bar after a successful eight-year career in the private and charitable sectors, as a management consultant for Deloitte and more recently as a senior manager for The Prince’s Trust. Although working full-time during most of her studies, she received the highest possible grades in all her qualifications and numerous prizes from her Law School and Inn (Lincoln’s Inn). She won all her Law School’s advocacy competitions and a further prize in a national mediation competition.
Before starting her pupillage, Sophie gained considerable experience as a self-employed advocate representing clients in the County Court. She appeared in over 200 hearings including mortgage possessions, bankruptcies, set aside and summary judgment applications, and infant settlements. She also worked as deputy director of a pro bono service providing advice and representation in family and domestic violence matters. Sophie ran this service and also managed her own caseload, appearing regularly in the County Court and on appeals.
Sophie is a magistrate, sitting initially in Brent and now in Bristol.
In her spare time Sophie enjoys rock climbing, salsa dancing, clay pigeon shooting and walking with her flat coat retriever Ollie. She chairs and fundraises for Raise the Roof, a UK charity which she set up to support a children’s home in South Africa during her gap year.
Further detail of Sophie’s work can be found under the relevant headings below.
First Class BSc Psychology Degree (Hons) from the University of Warwick.
Outstanding on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)
Distinction in the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)
2012 Lincoln’s Inn Ede & Ravenscroft Student of the Year award for achieving the highest overall BPTC result
2012 Bristol Law School prize for achieving the highest overall BPTC result
2012 Carol Crowdy prize for the highest mark in the BPTC Civil Litigation and Evidence module
Winner of 2012 Albion Chambers’ family advocacy competition
Winner of 2012 Albion Chambers’ criminal advocacy competition
Winner of 2012 Guildhall Chambers’ civil & commercial advocacy competition
Winner of 2012 Master’s award in the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators national mediation competition
2012 Megarry scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)
2011 Lord Denning scholarship (Major BPTC award – Lincoln’s Inn)
ADR Group Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator
“Sophie is technically excellent, with strong legal knowledge far beyond her years call. She is loved by clients given her personable, courteous and compassionate nature. However, get her in the courtroom or in a negotiation with the other side and she is a force to be reckoned with.” “Combines strong legal knowledge and technical ability with excellent client skills.”
The Legal 500 2021
“Identifies the issues quickly and has a lively manner with clients. She’s sensitive in her dealings with them while giving clear and sound advice.” “Very impressive, thorough and detailed. A safe pair of hands.” “She’s intelligent, clear, approachable and very quick in responding to instructions. She’s good at dealing with both clients and experts.”
Chambers & Partners 2020
“A very fine advocate who is very good on her feet.” “Very client-friendly and very personable.” “Very meticulous in the way she drafts documents, very engaging with clients and very proactive.”
Chambers & Partners 2019
Sophie has a particular interest in clinical negligence, having achieved a distinction on this element of the Bar Course. Sophie has built her experience through representation at inquests into hospital deaths including the sudden cardiac death of a young schizophrenic A&E patient and a case concerning the failure to see a spinal haematoma on a post-RTA MRI scan.
Sophie’s recent clinical negligence case load includes claims concerning the late diagnosis of breast cancer, the incorrect diagnosis of an infected haematoma and the failure to provide adequate nursing care, which resulted in a fatality (settled for approximately £20,000). Sophie is also currently acting as junior counsel in a case concerning an alleged failure to diagnose cauda equina syndrome (pleaded in excess of £300,000).
As well as appearing at court in relevant hearings, Sophie also has experience of drafting pleadings and of advising on liability, quantum and evidence.
Sophie acts for a wide variety of clients, employers and employees, including public services, local authorities, trade unions and individuals in every type of employment case. She regularly appears in multi-day final hearings on issues such as discrimination, whistleblowing and unfair dismissal, and at case management discussions and pre-hearing reviews.
Sophie is one of Old Square’s juniors currently being led by John Hendy QC and Ben Cooper in the UK construction industry blacklisting litigation. She recently appeared in:
The Court of Appeal, led by Simon Cheetham, in a case concerning the interpretation of a term of the Civil Service Pension Scheme (Ellis v Cabinet Office  Pens LR 379);
The Administrative Court on behalf of the Ministry of Defence in a judicial review, led by Ben Collins, concerning alleged age discrimination in how the Army’s Terms of Service apply to under 18s (Child Soldiers International v Secretary of State for Defence  EWHC 2183 (Admin));
The High Court, led by John Hendy QC, responding to an application for an injunction which challenged the legitimacy of a trade union strike ballot (Westminster Kingsway College v University and College Union  EWHC 4409 (QB)).
Sophie has been instructed by both family members of the deceased and interested persons. She has appeared in cases concerning road traffic accidents, including on behalf of the drivers who caused the relevant death, and cases involving hospital deaths and allegations of clinical negligence.
As explained above, these cases have included issues such as the sudden cardiac death of a young schizophrenic A&E patient and the failure to see a spinal haematoma on a post-RTA MRI scan.
Sophie’s seven years of experience as a magistrate give her a unique insight into Magistrates’ Court proceedings. She appears regularly on behalf of defendants in hearings at all stages throughout the country.
Sophie is keen to develop her practice in the area of health and safety prosecutions.
Sophie regularly advises in personal injury small claims, fast track and multi-track cases. She has extensive experience of drafting all types of civil pleadings and advising on liability, evidence and quantum for a wide range of civil claims including road traffic, Highways Act, occupiers’ liability, employer’s liability, defective premises and Consumer Protection Act cases.
Sophie has an interest in drafting schedules of loss and during her pupillage developed an Excel spreadsheet tool to look up, manipulate and split Ogden multipliers. This enables her to carry out complex calculations more accurately and quickly than manual calculations.
Sophie regularly appears on behalf of claimants and defendants in interlocutory hearings and contested liability and/or quantum trials, predominantly in the fast track. She appears in interim applications on the multi-track.
Sophie has extensive experience of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeal Tribunal, appealing issues of both eligibility for financial compensation and quantum. For example, Sophie recently represented a claimant who suffered from chronic post traumatic stress disorder following an assault which occurred nearly 10 years ago. Initially valued at £3,000, on appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal, Sophie was able to secure a settlement of £124,000.
Professional Regulatory & Discipline
Mainly focused on the medical profession, Sophie’s interest in professional discipline and regulatory work stems from her involvement in a High Court injunction concerning the extent of an employer’s power to impose requirements on a doctor to disclose historic incidents when obtaining patient consent (Lu v Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust  EWHC 690 (QB)).
Since becoming a tenant, Sophie has been building her experience acting for practitioners in professional regulatory proceedings, as well as related civil and employment proceedings. For example, Sophie recently represented a registrant in a 6-day fitness to practise hearing before the HCPC and juniored Giles Powell in a complex 4-week tribunal case in which a senior consultant cardiologist alleged whistleblowing, disability discrimination and unfair dismissal.