Approximately half of Kirsten’s practice comprises media and information law, although she has a particular interest in cases with both a media and public law component. She was instructed as common costs counsel for the claimants in the civil phone hacking litigation against News Group Newspapers, and has acted for a number of individual claimants in that capacity. Hugh Tomlinson QC and Kirsten Sjøvoll act for the claimants in Hannon v NGN and Dufour v NGN, the lead ‘Operation Elveden’ cases (civil claim arising out of payments to police officers). In addition to phone hacking, Kirsten undertakes a range of defamation, data protection, and privacy related matters and accepts instructions on behalf of both claimants and defendants. She regularly carries out pre-publication work for national newspapers.
Kirsten also has a broad public law practice, encompassing a wide range of areas. She is experienced in administrative, human rights and regulatory work (both for claimants and respondents) and actions against the police. From February 2014 spent three months on secondment to the Financial Conduct Authority. Kirsten has a significant immigration practice, with a particular focus on refugee, asylum and immigration detention. She is also on the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s list of approved counsel.
Kirsten is regularly instructed to act in inquests on behalf of bereaved families. She has experience of complex and lengthy Middleton inquests, often with multiple interested parties and most recently acted on behalf of the family of John Stabler, in an inquest into his death in custody and in which the jury found a number of failings on the part of healthcare and the prison service. She is also instructed on behalf of the family of Matthew Seddon, who died following a police pursuit. The inquest is due to be heard later in 2015. Kirsten is a member of INQUEST.
Kirsten also has an extensive background in public international law. Prior to coming to the Bar, Kirsten worked for several years at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague, both for the Defence and later as an Associate Legal Officer for the judges of the Appeals Chamber. She maintains a keen interest in all areas of public international law, particularly questions of jurisdiction and prior to the handing down of Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum by the US Supreme Court last year, published an article in the Georgetown Journal of International Law arguing that the Alien Tort Statute in its current form is not fit for purpose and does not extend to cover wrongs committed overseas where there is no jurisdictional link with the United States (a view ultimately shared by the US Supreme Court in Kiobel). Many of her current cases have elements of international law and she is involved in organising the Matrix/LSE joint lecture series on current issues in international law.
Kirsten completed her undergraduate degree in law from Durham University in 2007, and received an LLM, with distinction, in International Legal Studies, with a Certificate in International Human Rights Law from Georgetown University in 2008. While at Georgetown, Kirsten won the Thomas Bradbury Chetwood, SJ, prize for the most distinguished academic performance leading to a Master of Laws Degree (International Legal Studies) and was awarded prizes for achieving the highest marks in both International Human Rights Law and Contemporary Issues in Human Rights. She is a member of the American Society of International Law and the Bar Council Human Rights Committee.
Kirsten accepts instructions under the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.