Sophia Hurst

Sophia’s practice spans a range of commercial and commercial chancery disputes, both in arbitration and litigation.

She has particular expertise in civil fraud and asset recovery and is recommended as a Leading Junior in the directories, where she is described as “incredibly calm, a super clear and succinct drafter, a real team player” and “Incredibly dependable”.  Sophia’s practice also encompasses contractual claims, M&A, joint venture and shareholder disputes, and matters relating to directors/fiduciary duties, banking and finance, and contentious trusts. Examples of her subject-matter expertise are highlighted below. Sophia has experience acting for a broad range of clients across numerous sectors, including major banks, funds, and energy, construction, telecoms and emerging technology companies.

Sophia’s practice often involves disputes with an international or cross-border element and she frequently advises on issues relating to jurisdiction (including applicability of arbitration or jurisdiction clauses) and enforcement of awards and judgments. As well as her London-based practice, she has particular experience in the BVI, where she has been called since undertaking a secondment in 2018, and the Middle East, where she has a substantial practice before locally-seated arbitral tribunals as well as the courts in DIFC and ADGM.

Sophia has published articles, delivered seminars and  appeared on panels on topics related to her practice, including at ICC FraudNet, and the Private Client Global Elite Rising Leaders’ Forum.

Arbitration (including arbitration-related court applications)

Sophia is familiar with the major sets of arbitration rules. She also has experience of obtaining injunctions in the High Court under section 9 of the Arbitration Act 1966 to stay proceedings issued in breach of an arbitration agreement.

Her recent instructions include:

  • Acting for the defendant to an LCIA arbitration alleged to have been commenced as a tactical device to delay substantial litigation (including allegations of fraud) against the arbitration claimant. Sophia successfully obtained a rare order for security for costs of the arbitration and a peremptory order when these were unpaid.
  • Instructed with Ciaran Keller in an LCIA arbitration in relation to a multi-million dollar dispute regarding the ownership and control of a power plant in Uganda.
  • Instructed by the Middle East branch of a major bank in an arbitration relating to failed settlements under the 2002 ISDA Master Agreement.
  • Sole counsel in a substantial challenge to the jurisdiction of the arbitral tribunal in a Singapore-seated LCIA arbitration of a US $60 million joint venture dispute relating to commercial property around the Burj Khalifa, Dubai. Sophia also acted unled in the DIFC First Instance Court and Court of Appeal in related proceedings.
  • Acted as part of the counsel team in a substantial UNCITRAL arbitration relating to a contractual dispute in the in the energy and natural resources sector
  • Donna Union Foundation v Koshigi &Ors: acting for the Receiver appointed by the BVI Commercial Court alongside worldwide freezing orders to support enforcement of an arbitration award.
  • Advised on enforcement matters arising out of an ICSID arbitration award in an energy infrastructure investor-state context.

What Others say

Legal 500 UK Bar 2023, Fraud: Civil:

“Incredibly calm, a super clear and succinct drafter, a real team player and available at short notice throughout Covid. Incredibly dependable.”