Sophie Roberts

Special Counsel

Qualifications: LLB, BFA

Industries

Practices

Expertise

Sophie has extensive experience advising and representing Commonwealth government agencies in judicial and merits review proceedings involving challenges to government decisions in a range of statutory schemes. She is committed to delivering high quality, cost effective legal services to government clients in line with relevant policy objectives.

Sophie regularly appears as a solicitor advocate in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia and the Federal Court, has instructed Counsel in complex judicial review proceedings in the Full Court of the Federal Court and the High Court of Australia. Sophie is experienced in the carriage of high-volume litigation and consistently achieves excellent results while working collaboratively with her clients to manage risk.

Sophie has undertaken multiple secondments to Commonwealth clients, working within in-house legal teams, delivering advice on legislative reform and defending administrative decisions and merits review matters.

Prior to joining private practice in 2018, Sophie worked as a senior lawyer at the AAT where she provided legal advice on statutory interpretation, migration and refugee law, privacy and Freedom of Information.

Experience

  • Advice on the construction, interpretation and application of social security, migration and citizenship legislation and procedural issues arising in the course of litigation.
  • Representing the Department of Home Affairs in judicial review proceedings in the Federal Court and Federal Circuit and Family Court (formerly the Federal Circuit Court) and in merits review proceedings before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal across all areas of the Department’s litigation caseload, including significant appeals with broad implications across the Department’s various practice areas.
  • 12-month secondment with Services Australia litigation and FOI section representing the agency in merits review proceedings in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and providing advice to the policy section on potential applications for further administrative review of decisions of the Social Security and Child Support Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
  • 6-month secondment with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment working with the Department’s policy team and the Office of Parliamentry Counsel on a legislative reform project to streamline and modernise agricultural levies legislation.