SOPHIA STAPLETON

Call: 2015 (Lincoln's Inn)

Practice areas: Family, Crime and Education

CPS Level 2

Sophia is a barrister in chambers, with experience in a number of our practice areas.

Sophia is secretary to the pupillage committee and a member of our Equality, Diversity and Wellbeing and management committees.

To instruct Sophia, contact her clerks at clerks@2drj.com or on 070 7936 2613.

Sophia joined 2 Dr Johnson’s Buildings in the Autumn 2016. Sophia has a varied practice in family, criminal and education law. Sophia has a particular interest in matters involving children and vulnerable persons, including those with education, health and care plans. Sophia has experience cross-examining vulnerable persons, as well as representing vulnerable adults and children with the assistance of an intermediary.

Sophia has experience of where there are concurrent family and criminal proceedings, particularly where there are protective orders in place such as non-molestation orders. Sophia has dealt with applications for the making of such orders in the family court, and prosecution of the breach of such orders in the Crown Court.

Sophia is a member of the Equality, Diversity and Wellbeing committee within chambers and is the Secretary of the Pupillage Committee Sophia is a volunteer with Bridging the Bar.

Family

Sophia has a varied family practice focussing on private and public children law including issues of non-accidental injuries, domestic violence, substance misuse, and where children are beyond parental control.

 

Sophia undertook a three-month secondment at Medway Council in 2018 working within the education and child protection legal team. During this time, Sophia’s work focussed on children with Education, Health, and Care plans (EHCPs) and representing local authorities on appeals to the First-Tier (SEND tribunal). Sophia continues to accept instructions on education matters, including at the SEND tribunal.

 

Sophia represents local authorities, parents, grandparents, and children across England in private and public law Children Act cases. Sophia regularly deals with applications out-of-hours for emergency protection and deprivation of liberty orders. Sophia has experience of lengthy fact-finding hearings, including those involving expert evidence and serious allegations of non-accidental injuries, domestic violence, and sexual abuse.

 

Sophia regularly advises local authorities on threshold matters, and serious allegations. Sophia is also available for instruction to draft practice direction documents as well as threshold and Scott Schedules.

Crime

Sophia's practice as a pupil was predominately crime based and she regularly appeared as a trial advocate in the Magistrates, Youth and Crown courts. Sophia continues to appear on behalf of the prosecution and the defence. 

 

Sophia also has experience dealing with appeals against conviction and sentence in the Crown Court.

Sophia is a CPS level 2 approved advocate and a member of the Criminal Bar Association.

 

Sophia has experience of a wide variety of criminal matters involving serious violence, people trafficking, burglary, robbery, dangerous dogs, drugs and education prosecutions.

 

Sophia also lectured in Criminal Law at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Example Cases

Re: E  [2022] (The Family Court at Canterbury) Represented the local authority for a 10-day fact-finding concerning non-accidental injuries of a non-verbal child for which findings were made, and both parents were found to be within the pool of potential perpetrators.

 

Re: P [2021] (The Family Court at Medway) Represented a parent, who was the victim of significant domestic abuse, in private children act proceedings. Findings of controlling and coercive behaviour and domestic violence was sought. The findings were made by the court. A final order was made at the end of the proceedings, with the parent found to be abusive being awarded no contact with the subject child.  

 

Re: A [2021] (The Family Court at Canterbury) Represented the local authority throughout proceedings in a case concerning a deprivation of liberty order and a lack of a suitable secure placement (Reported: https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/OJ/2021/B46.html).  

 

Re: A [2021] (The Family Court at Medway) Represented the local authority throughout proceedings in case concerning a parent whose elder child had been killed and for which there was consequently press interest. The case resulted in the making of care and placement orders.

 

Re: M [2020] (The Family Court at Worthing) Represented a parent at a fact-finding within private proceedings seeking findings of domestic violence in a case for which no evidence had been offered by the CPS in concurrent criminal proceedings. The court made all the findings sought, including regarding an incident resulting in a serious life-changing injury.

 

Re: B [2019] (The Family Court at Southampton) Represented a local authority seeking findings of neglect and physical abuse of a child against a parent and step-parent, for which there was an agreed care plan for the child to be placed with family in Italy. 17 of the 20 findings sought were made by the court.

 

Re: L [2020] (The Family Court at Romford) Successful application for transfer of tenancy from joint to sole tenancy of a local authority property.

 

Re: S  [2020](The Family Court at East London) Successful application for a child arrangements order including progression to overnight contact for a Father that had not had contact with the child for 18 months.

 

Re: F [2020] (The Family Court at Brighton) Represented a parent at a contested interim care order hearing where there was a 20-year history of neglect. The court determined that removal was not necessary.

 

Re: V [2020] (The Family Court at East London) Successful application on behalf of the Local Authority for a care order, following a contested final hearing in a case involving international elements.

 

Re: B & H & K [2021] (The Crown Court at Woolwich) Led by Patrick Dennis in a case concerning conspiracy to burgle and a high number of car thefts. All defendants eventually pleaded guilty and received lengthy custodial sentences (Downs Mail).

 

Re: RM [2020] (The Crown Court at Canterbury) Represented a vulnerable client in a trial on issue (actus reus hearing). The case involved complexities around the extension of interim hospital orders and the question to be put to the jury concerning an offence of specific intent.

 

R v LK [2019] (The Crown Court at St Albans) Successful dismissal application of all charges including burglary, theft and conspiracy to conceal criminal property.

 

R v R (The Youth Court at Willesden)  [2018] Represented the first defendant in a trial involving GBH under joint enterprise, vulnerable witnesses and three defendants. The first defendant was the only defendant of three to be acquitted.

 

R v KB [2017] (The Crown Court at Maidstone) Represented a defendant charged with assisting unlawful immigration for trial. (Kent Online)

Testimonials

"From the minute I met Sophia, she rapidly put me at ease, explained everything to me carefully and professionally. Most importantly, I had been waiting for that day for over a year and in the short time we had she really listened to me , answered my questions, with a kind and professional manner and enabled me to face the witness box. Sophia’s work in court that day, ensuring the conviction was held has radically changed my life. Although it will take some time to move on from this; I have already talked to my gp about reducing my anxiety medicine and thanks to Sophia’s work it will enable me to get on with my life. Lastly, it was really clear that Sophia had read everything thoroughly and I felt she really knew the case."

Appointments and Memberships

CPS Level 2

Criminal Bar Association

Family Law Bar Association

 

Qualifications and Awards

Hubert Greenland Scholarship, Lincoln's Inn

ICLR Pupillage Award 2016

The Times Advocacy Award, Second Place

Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, Canterbury Christ Church University

Sir Thomas More Bursary, Lincoln's Inn

 

2015 Bar Professional Training Course, City Law School (Very Competent)

2014 BSc Legal Studies with Biosciences, Canterbury Christ Church University (First Class)

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