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Sophie O'Sullivan

Sophie O'Sullivan

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Sophie O’Sullivan specialises in business crime and professional regulation. Her practice encompasses: business crime; commercial fraud; asset forfeiture; financial regulation and compliance; sanctions; professional discipline; and health and safety.

Recent or extant work includes:

  • Representing the former director of a wealth management company in £14m confiscation proceedings
  • Assisting the FCA in a dual track Tier-1 investigation into systemic failings of a major global bank.
  • Advising a global entity on sectoral sanctions regimes applicable to its international commercial dealings
  • Representing the director of a major construction company against allegations of corporate bribery and corruption
  • Appeared before the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in a matter relating to convictions arising from international money laundering offences
  • Representing the director of a technology company against allegations of consumer fraud and money laundering
  • Representing the manager of a dementia care home against criminal allegations of wilful neglect and ill treatment
  • Appeared on behalf of a surgeon facing grave allegations of misconduct, lack of competence and dishonesty relating to his gynaecological practice

She is a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown.

Sophie is a contributor to the 3rd edition of Lissack and Horlick on Bribery, the leading work on bribery and corruption offences.

Sophie has extensive advocacy experience having appeared in significant jury trials concerning corporate bribery, large scale MTIC carousel fraud, cross-border VAT evasion, banking, insurance and mortgage fraud.

Sophie has advised on and appeared in appeals before the FTT (Tax Chamber) in cases involving the seizure of goods for alleged non-payment of Excise Duty, breaches of prohibitions and regulations on importation and associated non-restoration appeals. She has also appeared in condemnation proceedings involving the liability of goods to forfeiture under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.

Sophie appears regularly before the GMC, SRA, NMC, GPhC and HCPC, often defending individuals against the most serious allegations of professional misconduct and negligent care as well as acting for both prosecuting authorities and defendants in health and safety proceeding.

Business Crime and Financial Regulation

Sophie acts for companies and company officers regarding allegations of fraud, money laundering, bribery and corruption, tax evasion, insider dealing and sharp practices. She conducts contentious work, appearing in crown and appellate courts, in addition to her advisory practice, providing opinions on legal issues including financial sanctions regimes, market manipulation and sharp practices, financial regulation proceedings and pre-charge advice.

She has particular experience in proceedings arising out of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, acting for company directors and individuals in asset forfeiture and confiscation proceedings.

Sophie has advised on and appears in appeals before the FTT (Tax Chamber) in cases involving the seizure of goods for alleged non-payment of Excise Duty, breaches of prohibitions and regulations on importation and associated non-restoration appeals. She also acts in condemnation proceedings involving the liability of goods to forfeiture under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.

Recent Cases:
  • Project L (2020): advising a global entity on sectoral sanctions regimes applicable to its commercial activities
  • FCA v Company X (2019-20): advising and assisting in the investigation of systemic failings within a major global bank
  • R v FD (2020): acting for the ex- director of a wealth management company in £14 million confiscation proceedings (POCA 2002) arising out of corporate fraud and money laundering offences
  • AUG Logautika v HMRC (2020): acting for a haulage company in proceedings against the HMRC for seizure of goods
  • R v CP (2019): acting for the co-director of a multi-million pound construction company against allegations of bribery and corruption
  • R v JT (2018-19): acting for a haulage director in a multi-million pound cross-border MTIC (carousel) fraud
  • R v AR (2018): appearing before the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division regarding convictions arising out of a international money laundering offences

Sophie is often invited to speak at business crime seminars and conferences. Recently, Sophie chaired a webinar with EY on international internal investigations in the corporate sphere and appeared as a panellist in a seminar addressing the future of Deferred Prosecution Agreements.

Publications:
  • Sophie is a contributor to Lissack and Horlick on Bribery, the leading text on bribery and corruption
  • Sophie has contributed to the Government’s Public Sector Counter Fraud Journal.
Professional Memberships:
  • Attorney General’s Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown.
  • Fraud Lawyers’ Association
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers’ Association
  • South Eastern Circuit

Disciplinary & Regulatory

Sophie has represented healthcare, police and legal professionals in regulation and disciplinary proceedings, including the GMC, GPhC, NMC, HCPC, SRA and MPS. Sophie is often defending individuals against the most serious allegations of professional misconduct and negligent care.

Recent Cases:

  • GMC v EK (2020): Acting on behalf of a doctor facing serious allegations relating to her clinical competency including failing to identify patient risks during consultations, inappropriate prescribing and improper referrals.
  • GMC v GB (2020): Appeared on behalf of a surgeon facing grave allegations of misconduct, lack of competence and dishonesty relating to his gynaecological practice.
  • MPS v PC D and L (2020): Legal advisor to the Metropolitan Police Service in a Stage 3 gross incompetence hearing relating to serious professional failings.
  • NMC v LD (2019): Acting on behalf of an autistic intensive care paediatric nurse charged with incompetence arising from her autism and specific clinical failings relating to treatment of new-borns in intensive care.
  • NMC v PN (2019): Appeared on behalf of a prison nurse regarding allegations of multiple clinical failings said to have occurred in the hours before a prisoner under her care died of an overdose.
  • SRA v RM (2018): acting for a partner of a law firm against allegations of dishonesty amd misappropriation of client funds

Sophie is often invited to speak at professional discipline and regulation seminars and conferences. Recently, Sophie presented a seminar relating to the legal developments relating to dishonesty allegations in the regulatory sphere.

Health & Safety

Sophie has broad experience in appearing in criminal proceedings concerning health and safety breaches as well as criminal allegations arising from conduct in the workplace.

Sophie acts for companies, company officers and individuals, as well as the prosecuting entities, in regard to allegations of systemic failings in safe practices, serious injury in the workplace and criminal allegations of professional wrongdoing and ill-treatment.

She has considerable expertise and experience in criminal proceedings, appearing often in the crown and appellate courts.  When dealing with conduct allegations against professionals which involves criminal behaviour, Sophie appears in the crown court.

Recent Cases:

R v PP (2020): acting for the manager of a dementia care home against criminal allegations of wilful neglect and ill-treatment of a resident under the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005

R v RC (2020): providing pre-charge advice to a doctor in relation to criminal allegations of assault from a patient in relation to cosmetic procedures.

HDC v AC (2020): acting for Harlow District Council for food safety offences

NELTS v SL (2019): acting for a restaurant chain in proceedings brought by North East Lincolnshire Trading Standards

Professional Memberships:

Health and Safety Lawyers’ Association

Appointments & Memberships

  • Attorney General’s Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown
  • Crown Prosecution Service Grade 2 Prosecutor
  • Fraud Lawyers’ Association
  • Proceeds of Crime Lawyers’ Association
  • Health and Safety Lawyers’ Association
  • South Eastern Circuit

Sophie O’Sullivan is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

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