Sophie Murray

Sophie Murray

Prosecutes and defends serious crime.

YEAR OF CALL 2013

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Education

The University of Law, London: BPTC – Very Competent
Kings College London: LLM – Distinction
Newcastle University: LLB – 2.1 (Hons)

Appointments

CPS Panel Level 3
SFO Disclosure Panel

Memberships

Young Fraud Lawyers Association
Young Legal Aid Lawyers
Criminal Bar Association
Women in Criminal Law
Honourable Society of the Inner Temple

Overview of Practice

Sophie has developed a specialist criminal practice, both defending and prosecuting, in a full range of serious and complex cases. She accepts instructions in all areas of Chambers’ work, with a particular emphasis on document heavy cases and matters involving complex legal argument.

Practice Areas

Sophie has developed an established practice across a full spectrum of criminal offences, as both a led junior and junior alone.

Sophie places great emphasis on client care and has extensive experience working with young and vulnerable people, in particular those with learning difficulties and mental health problems. She has represented clients with Asperger’s syndrome, Schizophrenia and has experience of working with sign language interpreters and intermediaries. She has experience of a full range of witness handling involving young and vulnerable people, including the cross-examination of child witnesses and victims, and has completed the Vulnerable Witness Training programme.

Sophie enjoys cases which involve the use of expert evidence. She is comfortable with presenting and challenging such evidence including computer, DNA, fingerprint cell site, ANPR and complex medical evidence. Sophie has successfully made submissions of no case to answer, assisted by deploying expert evidence in a case involving the alleged attempted transmission of HIV. Sophie is experienced in making a range of successful legal arguments including in relation to admissibility of evidence, dismissal of charges, availability of defences and interpretation of statutes.

Sophie has a particular interest in Appellate work. She has successfully appeared in the Court of Appeal twice as a junior alone, where she was commended for her “forcefully written” and “concisely developed” oral submissions. She has also accurately advised the CPS in an unduly lenient sentence matter. Sophie advises clients on appeals against conviction and sentence, in matters where she was not trial counsel under the advice and assistance scheme.

Sophie has both defended and prosecuted in matters involving fraud and money laundering (see example cases below).

Sophie has recently assisted the Serious Fraud Office as LPP counsel in relation to a large and complex international fraud investigation. She previously assisted the CPS and Thames Valley Police with a disclosure review in relation to a £250 million fraudulent trading, corruption and money laundering case.

Sophie has experience of defending in confiscation proceedings. She also has experience representing clients in POCA enforcement proceedings and in applications to vary confiscation orders under the inadequacy provisions. She recently represented a defendant in a confiscation matter involving hidden assets worth more than £250,000.
Sophie regularly appears in the First Tier Tax Tribunal on behalf of HMRC and the Home Office in relation to restoration appeals. Sophie provides written advice and drafts Statements of Case in relation to these matters. Sophie has also appeared on behalf of the Home Office, HMRC and the NCA in cash forfeiture and condemnation proceedings in both the Magistrates and Crown Courts. She has notably advised in complex matters involving the seizure of extended diesel, nitrous oxide and alcohol taken out of duty suspension (liability worth in excess of £2 million).

Sophie was invited to speak to Home Office staff in a talk relating to the law and procedure in complex condemnation proceedings.

Example Cases

Led Junior

R v XX and Others (Isleworth CC) – Defended XX, jointly charged with 5 others in an attempted murder case involving a shooting at Isleworth Train Station. Background of drug dealing / suspected gang rivalry.

R v PS (Lewes CC) – Defended vulnerable adult (with autism and learning disability) charged with historic sex offences involving multiple complainants. Case further involved complex expert evidence relating to the making and distributing of indecent images using a range of social media platforms, across a number of devices, and the use of alias accounts.

R v XY and Others (Cardiff CC) – Defendant’s father was convicted of being part of a large scale drug dealing enterprise. Defended XY, who was jointly charged with three others of laundering the proceeds of that crime.

R v G & Others (Isleworth CC) – Prosecuted four Royal Mail employees accused of committing fraud on the Royal Mail by abusing the PPI system. Fraud worth in excess of £11.5 million.

Junior Alone

R v JN (Inner London Crown Court) – Defended JN, who was accused of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm, by intending to transmit HIV. Case involved expert evidence in relation to HIV transmission.

R v TJ (Canterbury Crown Court) – Prosecuted TJ for a series of commercial burglaries. Case involved the presentation of cell site and ANPR evidence.

R v DK (Reading Crown Court) – Defended DK in robbery case involving complex factual defence. Included legal argument on availability of defences.

R v HS (Reading Crown Court) – Defended HS in a matter involving an allegation of threats to kill and multiple domestic assaults. Cross-examined two 7 year old witnesses in accordance with Vulnerable Witness training.

R v B (Basildon Crown Court) – Defended in case involving supply of Class A drugs.

Appellate work

R v TJ (Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)) – Appeal (with leave) against extended sentence in domestic ABH matter.

R v JH (Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)) – Appeal (with leave) against sentence in “third strike” burglary matter.

R v CW (Oxford Crown Court) – Prosecuted a sentence in a case involving a series of armed robberies. Provided advice to the CPS that the sentence passed was unduly lenient. Matter referred by the Attorney General and the sentence was subsequently increased.

R v FD (Canterbury CC) – Provided advice on appeal against conviction in aggravated burglary matter involving the use of a firearm.