Sophie Given

Sophie is a litigator who specialises in government and administrative law, primarily in Commonwealth Jurisdictions and Commissions of Inquiry. After four years as a commercial litigator, Sophie was called to the Bar in 2004, returning to private practice in 2013. At the end of 2013 Sophie was seconded into the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse where she acted as Principal Solicitor in the YMCA and Salvation Army Case studies.

Sophie’s time at the New South Wales Bar gives her unique expertise as a litigator, providing her clients with unparalleled solicitor advocacy and strategy developed as Counsel.

Sophie advises and represents Government departments and agencies in relation to their decision making and the judicial review of those decisions. Sophie is experienced in the carriage and management of high-volume and cohort as well as urgent litigation and injunction work.


Sophie’s experience includes advising:

  • The Minister for Immigration (in various portfolios) since 2004, including as Counsel. She has represented the Minister as an advocate in the High Court, Federal Court (and Full Federal Court), Federal Circuit Court and Administrative Appeals Tribunal proceedings, including:
    • CED16 v Minister for Immigration (2020) 380 ALR 216;
    • SZWBH v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2015] FCCA 436;
    • SZWBH v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (2015) 229 FCR 317;
    • Shrestha v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (2015) 229 FCR 301;
    • Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v SZONJ (2011) 122 ALD 87;
    • SZNZK v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (2010) 115 ALD 332;
    • SZMZE v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (2009) 111 ALD 597;
    • SZMFJ v Minister for Immigration (No.2) (2009) 107 ALD 134; and
    • SZHWW v Minister for Immigration (2008) 101 ALD 552;
  • New South Wales and Federal Law Enforcement agencies in relation to publication of information including compliance Criminal Proceedings legislation involving children, administrative law appeals, subpoena issues, GIPA and FOI matters, Administrative Appeals in NCAT and the AAT and judicial review proceedings on questions of law in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, on appeal from lower courts:  see for example Gooley v Senior Constable Chad Stewart (2018) 86 MVR 478; Templeton v Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) (NSW) [2018] NSWCA 154;
  • Local government agencies in civil prosecutions work including as the Local Court prosecutor at the Downing Centre Local Court for environmental offences. Other civil prosecutions work includes investigations and civil actions in classes 4 and 5 of the Land and Environment Court and firearms and security licences in NCAT;
  • Department of Human Services in matters involving fraudulent overpayment and review of government entitlements and pension schemes: see for example Schmidt and Secretary, Department Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs [2010] AATA 644 as well as acting for the Child Support Registrar in appeal proceedings to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia;
  • Commissions of Taxation in Charara v Commission of Taxation [2009] NSWSC 730; and
  • Individuals in large scale regulatory prosecutions: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v ABB Power Transmission Pty Limited [2003] FCA 626.

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