Sophie has a broad commercial dispute resolution practice, with a particular focus on banking & insolvency, building & construction, competition, insurance and property disputes.
She acts as junior counsel in large-scale litigation at both trial and appellate level, straddling a wide range of industries, most notably the construction and infrastructure, insurance, property and shipping sectors. In addition, she appears as sole counsel in all State Courts and the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).
Sophie also recently acted in the Paradise Dam Commission of Inquiry, led by senior counsel.
Sophie’s experience extends to working as part of large multi-disciplinary teams of lawyers and experts. Before being called to the Bar, Sophie worked as an Associate in the commercial litigation group of Norton Rose Fulbright, acting for both national and international clients on a range of complex disputes.
She is presently a member of the author team for Civil Procedure Queensland, together with the Honourable Justice Bond of the Supreme Court of Queensland and Mr Mohammud Jaamae Hafeez-Baig.
Sophie served as associate to the Honourable Justice Patrick Keane in the High Court of Australia in 2016-2017.
A selection of past and ongoing cases in which Sophie has been briefed includes:
> Acting, unled, for a director of a bulk fuel supply company, in liquidation, during a two day public examination in the New South Wales Supreme Court by the financiers of the company who were owed collectively more than AUD 64 million.
> Appearing (led by Nicholas Andreatidis QC) for a leading engineering consultancy before the Paradise Dam Commission of Inquiry. The inquiry will determine if and to what extent the governance, processes and systems involved in the design, construction or commissioning of the Paradise Dam (near Bundaberg) contributed to structural issues.
> Appearing (led by Simon Couper QC) in the Queensland Court of Appeal for Royal and Sun Alliance Plc, a London based insurer, regarding the reasonableness of a settlement reached by the insured with the Commonwealth of Australia in relation to the total constructive loss of HMAS Bundaberg- judgment pending.
> Appearing (led by Melanie Hindman QC) in the Supreme Court of Queensland representing a building contractor in relation to the provision of further security under a construction contract- judgment pending.
> Appearing (led by Gerard Forde) in the Supreme Court of Queensland in relation to whether a settlement agreement reached between two parties ought be set aside on the basis of mistake- judgment pending.
> Acting (led by Nicholas Andreatidis QC with Anthony Messina) for trustees of a pension fund in relation to whether a mortgage agreement properly precluded the mortgagor from relying on the Limitation of Actions Act– judgment pending.
> Acting (led by Declan Kelly QC) for a telecommunications company in respect of a judicial review application relating to the proper construction of the Telecommunications Act.
> Recent matters as sole counsel include advising and appearing for litigants in building disputes, contractual disputes, body corporate disputes and judicial review applications.
As a solicitor, Sophie acted in a number of significant commercial matters in the State and Federal Courts.
> Acting for BY Winddown Inc, an American based client, defending cross-border proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland, commenced by the purchaser of a vessel, for alleged breaches of contract and implied undertakings as to quality or fitness under the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth).
> Acting for five mining companies in defending proceedings issued against their subsidiaries in relation to contracts for the construction and modification of rail infrastructure connecting to the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal near Gladstone. Aurizon commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland alleging that the clients breached implied terms to deal fairly with, and act in good faith towards it.
> Acting for Royal and Sun Alliance Plc, a London based insurer, defending a claim in the Supreme Court of Queensland made by the insured in relation to the total constructive loss of HMAS Bundaberg. A key issue at trial was the reasonableness of a settlement reached by the insured with the Commonwealth of Australia for the destruction of the vessel.
> Acting for the Retail Food Group, defending an application for preliminary discovery by Asahi Beverages relating to a misleading or deceptive conduct claim in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
> Acting for a major publicly listed airline in relation to an incident that occurred at one of its premises. Advising on all aspects of the dispute, including potential claims that may be made by and against the client.
> Advising the Australian Maritime Safety Authority on whether to commence proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia pursuant to the Protection of the Sea (Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage) Act 2008 (Cth) to recover the clean-up costs of responding to a pollution incident.
Bar Association of Queensland
2017 Solicitor, Norton Rose Fulbright
2016 Associate to the Honourable Justice Keane, High Court of Australia
2016 Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Queensland University of Technology