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Kirsten Sjøvoll
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Kirsten Sjøvoll

"An incredible advocate who is very, very good with clients."

CHAMBERS & PARTNERS 2018
Called: 2012

Kirsten practices predominately in the areas of media, public, and international law. She was ranked as a Leading Junior in Defamation and Privacy in the Legal 500 and in Band 3 for Inquests and Inquiries in Chambers and Partners 2020.

Kirsten’s public law practice covers a variety of areas, in particular, human rights, administrative, inquest, immigration, prison, actions against the police and education law. She is also on the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s list of approved counsel. Kirsten also has a strong background in public international law, having spent several years working for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague. She graduated top of her class in the International Legal Studies LLM at Georgetown University in Washington DC. She has written and spoken on issues of public international law, and her article on the limits of universal jurisdiction in the Kiobel case has been published in the Georgetown University Journal of International Law.

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 is currently instructed as common costs counsel for the claimants in the phone hacking litigation against News Group Newspapers, as well as for individual claimants in cases arising out of Operation Elveden (the payment by newspapers to public officials for information). She was junior counsel to the Claimants in Hannon v NGN and Dufour v NGN ([2014] EWHC 1580 (Ch)), cases which arise from Operation Elveden, the police investigation into corrupt payments by journalists to public officials. 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 is a “night lawyer” for the Independent newspaper and has experience of libel reading in a range of contexts.

Kirsten practices in media and information law and is ranked as a leading junior in the Legal 500. She is currently the editorial complaints officer for the Scott Trust’s Independent Review Panel which is the independent complaints adjudicator for The Guardian and Observer, which is not a member of IPSO. Kirsten acts for both claimants and defendants and has particular expertise in the areas of open justice, privacy, including privacy injunctions and libel law. Notable recent cases include:

  • Fridman & Ors Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd Led by Hugh Tomlinson QC acting for three claimants alleging their personal data was unlawfully processed by publication in the so-called “Trump Dossier” prepared by Christopher Steele. Please see here for the judgment.
  • Ashraf v Dunya News (2019) Acted for the Defendant, an Urdu language news channel in a libel action brought by a former Prime Minister of Pakistan. Successfully argued for a much lower “Chase Level” meaning as well as striking out part of the Claimant’s case at a complex trial of meaning as a preliminary issue before Mr Justice Jay.
  • Flannels Department Stores and Ors v Persons Unknown – led by Hugh Tomlinson QC successfully obtained an interim injunction preventing unlawful protests outside the flagship Flannels department store on Oxford Street.
  • Construction Industry Blacklisting Litigation (II) Acting with Anthony Hudson QC and Ben Silverstone for various claimants who were blacklisted by the construction industry. This case settled successfully in June 2019
  • CBD v Persons Unknown Acted for the Claimant, a large corporation, in securing a permanent injunction in a blackmail case.

Kirsten is ranked as a Tier 3 Junior in Chambers & Partners for Inquests & Inquiries. She acts almost exclusively for bereaved families, often in complex Article 2 inquests. She has particular expertise in deaths in secure mental health settings. Kirsten is currently instructed as junior counsel on behalf of over 250 Scottish Infected and Affected Core Participants in the Infected Blood Inquiry led by Aidan O’Neill QC.

Kirsten  regularly acts on behalf of claimants in civil claims alleging breaches of Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention, often following the inquests. She acted as sole counsel for the Claimants in Daniel v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust [2016] 4 WLR 32 and successfully argued for the applicability of the Article 2 operational duty to healthcare professionals delivering life-saving treatment in a detention setting. The case also expands the notion of “victim” status in Article 2 claims brought by those without a formal legal relationship to the deceased.

More recently, Kirsten acted as junior counsel in the case of Seddon v Thames Valley Police (unreported) which was the first time the English courts considered whether the operational duty to protect life under Article 2 extended to the victim of a fatal accident following a police pursuit. After a 5 day trial, the Court held that Article 2 was engaged and that the officers involved had failed to take all reasonable steps to protect Matthew Seddon’s life. A copy of the Judgment may be found here.

Notable cases include:

  • Ireland v Dorries[2016] 1 W.L.R. 571
    Led by Anthony Hudson QC acting for the petitioner presenting an election petition seeking a determination that the respondent’s (Nadine Dorries MP) election as a Member of Parliament was void as a result of conduct during the election campaign.
  • Ian Jones v The Labour Party[2016] EWHC 866 (QB)
    Led by Helen Mountfield QC. Successfully obtained an order for urgent interim relief brought ex parte on notice, to lift the claimant Mr Jones’ suspension from holding office in or representing the Labour Party.

Perspectives and Alternatives on the use of the Alien Torts Statute

Paper published in the Georgetown Journal of International Law and presented at a symposium in at Georgetown University in Washington DC on 27 March 2012. The paper offers a critical examination of litigation under the ATS in the US courts, particularly in light of the recent US Supreme Court hearings in Kiobel on corporate liability for human rights abuses abroad and suggesting alternative means of ensuring accountability. Available here.

Called to the Bar, 2012 (Honourable Society of the Inner Temple)

City University (September 2010-May 2011)

Bar Professional Training Course (Very Competent)

United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Associate Legal Officer, Appeals Chamber (August 2009-August 2010)

Legal Assistant, Defence (January 2009-August 2009)

Legal Intern, Defence (September 2008-January 2009)

Human Rights Watch (Washington DC)

Pro Bono research associate looking into matters relating to the use of Private Military Contractors in Iraq (October 2007-April 2008)

Honourable Society of the Inner Temple (2009)

Horace Avory Scholarship Benefactor’s Award

Duke of Edinburgh Entrance Scholarship

Georgetown University Law Centre (2007/08)

Thomas Bradbury Chetwood Sr. Prize for Most Distinguished Academic Performance leading to an LL.M.

CALI Excellence for the Future Award (for highest grades in International Human Rights Law; Contemporary Issues in Human Rights).

LLM (International Legal Studies) Georgetown University (2008) (highest mark in year)
LLB (hons) Durham University (2007)

Kirsten is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to her clients, including advice and representation services, Kirsten needs to collect and hold personal data. This includes her client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the matter upon which she is instructed. To read Kirsten’s privacy notice in full, please see here.

Kirsten is regulated by the Bar Standards Board and accepts instruction under Standard Contractual Terms. To find out more information on this and the way we work at Matrix, including our fee transparency statement, please see our see our service standards.

DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS

"She's willing to go above and beyond and spend time with clients in difficult situations. She has good advocacy skills and is able to successfully articulate tricky legal points."

"Kirsten has shown commitment to the case and managed well with the complexities it presented. She provided helpful and insightful advice to the clients and her advocacy was thorough."

"She's excellent with clients as she has a human approach. She's also really good at cutting through the detail."

Chambers & Partners 2021

"Very competent."

Legal 500

"She’s willing to go above and beyond and spend time with clients in difficult situations. She has good advocacy skills and is able to successfully articulate tricky legal points."

"Kirsten has shown commitment to the case and managed well with the complexities it presented. She provided helpful and insightful advice to the clients and her advocacy was thorough."

"She’s excellent with clients as she has a human approach. She’s also really good at cutting through the detail."

Chambers & Partners 2020

"An incredible advocate who is very, very good with clients."

Chambers & Partners, 2018
Matrix Chambers
24 HOUR ASSISTANCE
+44 (0)20 7404 3447
Kirsten Sjøvoll
Called: 2012

"An incredible advocate who is very, very good with clients."

CHAMBERS & PARTNERS 2018

MAIN AREAS OF PRACTICE

  • Commercial Law
  • Discrimination and Equality
  • Election Law
  • Healthcare, Mental Health and Mental Capacity
  • Civil Liberties and Human Rights
  • Injunctions
  • Inquests and Inquiries
  • Media and Information Law
  • Court Orders affecting the Media
  • Data Protection
  • Defamation and Privacy
  • Harassment 
  • Police Law
  • Prison Law
  • Public International Law
  • Public Law
  • Public Law: Information, Data and Privacy
  • Health and Social Care (including welfare benefits)
  • Police, Inquests and Prison
  • Commercial Public Law

Kirsten Sjøvoll

Contact Kirsten: kirstensjovoll@matrixlaw.co.uk | +44 (0)20 7404 3447

Contact Kirsten's Practice Team (Team M): TeamM@matrixlaw.co.uk


Kirsten practices predominately in the areas of media, public, and international law. She was ranked as a Leading Junior in Defamation and Privacy in the Legal 500 and in Band 3 for Inquests and Inquiries in Chambers and Partners 2020.

Kirsten’s public law practice covers a variety of areas, in particular, human rights, administrative, inquest, immigration, prison, actions against the police and education law. She is also on the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s list of approved counsel. Kirsten also has a strong background in public international law, having spent several years working for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague. She graduated top of her class in the International Legal Studies LLM at Georgetown University in Washington DC. She has written and spoken on issues of public international law, and her article on the limits of universal jurisdiction in the Kiobel case has been published in the Georgetown University Journal of International Law.

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 is currently instructed as common costs counsel for the claimants in the phone hacking litigation against News Group Newspapers, as well as for individual claimants in cases arising out of Operation Elveden (the payment by newspapers to public officials for information). She was junior counsel to the Claimants in Hannon v NGN and Dufour v NGN ([2014] EWHC 1580 (Ch)), cases which arise from Operation Elveden, the police investigation into corrupt payments by journalists to public officials. 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 is a “night lawyer” for the Independent newspaper and has experience of libel reading in a range of contexts.

Media and Information Law

Kirsten practices in media and information law and is ranked as a leading junior in the Legal 500. She is currently the editorial complaints officer for the Scott Trust’s Independent Review Panel which is the independent complaints adjudicator for The Guardian and Observer, which is not a member of IPSO. Kirsten acts for both claimants and defendants and has particular expertise in the areas of open justice, privacy, including privacy injunctions and libel law. Notable recent cases include: Fridman & Ors v Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd Led by Hugh Tomlinson QC acting for three claimants alleging their personal data was unlawfully processed by publication in the so-called “Trump Dossier” prepared by Christopher Steele. Please see here for the judgment. Ashraf v Dunya News (2019) Acted for the Defendant, an Urdu language news channel in a libel action brought by a former Prime Minister of Pakistan. Successfully argued for a much lower “Chase Level” meaning as well as striking out part of the Claimant’s case at a complex trial of meaning as a preliminary issue before Mr Justice Jay. Flannels Department Stores and Ors v Persons Unknown – led by Hugh Tomlinson QC successfully obtained an interim injunction preventing unlawful protests outside the flagship Flannels department store on Oxford Street. Construction Industry Blacklisting Litigation (II) Acting with Anthony Hudson QC and Ben Silverstone for various claimants who were blacklisted by the construction industry. This case settled successfully in June 2019 CBD v Persons Unknown Acted for the Claimant, a large corporation, in securing a permanent injunction in a blackmail case.

Inquests and Inquiries and related civil claims

Kirsten is ranked as a Tier 3 Junior in Chambers & Partners for Inquests & Inquiries. She acts almost exclusively for bereaved families, often in complex Article 2 inquests. She has particular expertise in deaths in secure mental health settings. Kirsten is currently instructed as junior counsel on behalf of over 250 Scottish Infected and Affected Core Participants in the Infected Blood Inquiry led by Aidan O’Neill QC. Kirsten  regularly acts on behalf of claimants in civil claims alleging breaches of Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention, often following the inquests. She acted as sole counsel for the Claimants in Daniel v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust [2016] 4 WLR 32 and successfully argued for the applicability of the Article 2 operational duty to healthcare professionals delivering life-saving treatment in a detention setting. The case also expands the notion of “victim” status in Article 2 claims brought by those without a formal legal relationship to the deceased. More recently, Kirsten acted as junior counsel in the case of Seddon v Thames Valley Police (unreported) which was the first time the English courts considered whether the operational duty to protect life under Article 2 extended to the victim of a fatal accident following a police pursuit. After a 5 day trial, the Court held that Article 2 was engaged and that the officers involved had failed to take all reasonable steps to protect Matthew Seddon’s life. A copy of the Judgment may be found here.

Election Law

Notable cases include: Ireland v Dorries[2016] 1 W.L.R. 571 Led by Anthony Hudson QC acting for the petitioner presenting an election petition seeking a determination that the respondent’s (Nadine Dorries MP) election as a Member of Parliament was void as a result of conduct during the election campaign. Ian Jones v The Labour Party[2016] EWHC 866 (QB) Led by Helen Mountfield QC. Successfully obtained an order for urgent interim relief brought ex parte on notice, to lift the claimant Mr Jones’ suspension from holding office in or representing the Labour Party.

Publications/ Research

Perspectives and Alternatives on the use of the Alien Torts Statute Paper published in the Georgetown Journal of International Law and presented at a symposium in at Georgetown University in Washington DC on 27 March 2012. The paper offers a critical examination of litigation under the ATS in the US courts, particularly in light of the recent US Supreme Court hearings in Kiobel on corporate liability for human rights abuses abroad and suggesting alternative means of ensuring accountability. Available here.

Employment History

Called to the Bar, 2012 (Honourable Society of the Inner Temple) City University (September 2010-May 2011) Bar Professional Training Course (Very Competent) United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia Associate Legal Officer, Appeals Chamber (August 2009-August 2010) Legal Assistant, Defence (January 2009-August 2009) Legal Intern, Defence (September 2008-January 2009) Human Rights Watch (Washington DC) Pro Bono research associate looking into matters relating to the use of Private Military Contractors in Iraq (October 2007-April 2008)

Awards

Honourable Society of the Inner Temple (2009) Horace Avory Scholarship Benefactor’s Award Duke of Edinburgh Entrance Scholarship Georgetown University Law Centre (2007/08) Thomas Bradbury Chetwood Sr. Prize for Most Distinguished Academic Performance leading to an LL.M. CALI Excellence for the Future Award (for highest grades in International Human Rights Law; Contemporary Issues in Human Rights).

Education and Qualifications

LLM (International Legal Studies) Georgetown University (2008) (highest mark in year) LLB (hons) Durham University (2007)

Professional Memberships

INQUEST

Articles and Downloads

Article: If the Shoe Does Not Fit: Why the ATS Does Not Work Article: How should damages for libel be calculated Article: Should protecting the anonymity of victims of sexual offences be left to the media? Article: We must not withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights Article: Universities Online: Reputation, Risks, and Reaction Article: Judicial Review Costs Update Consultation Paper: The Judicial Review Consultation: Reflections, Predictions, and Predicaments
Kirsten's Privacy Notice

Kirsten is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to her clients, including advice and representation services, Kirsten needs to collect and hold personal data. This includes her client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the matter upon which she is instructed. To read Kirsten’s privacy notice in full, please see here.


DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS

"She's willing to go above and beyond and spend time with clients in difficult situations. She has good advocacy skills and is able to successfully articulate tricky legal points."

"Kirsten has shown commitment to the case and managed well with the complexities it presented. She provided helpful and insightful advice to the clients and her advocacy was thorough."

"She's excellent with clients as she has a human approach. She's also really good at cutting through the detail."

Chambers & Partners 2021

"Very competent."

Legal 500

"She’s willing to go above and beyond and spend time with clients in difficult situations. She has good advocacy skills and is able to successfully articulate tricky legal points."

"Kirsten has shown commitment to the case and managed well with the complexities it presented. She provided helpful and insightful advice to the clients and her advocacy was thorough."

"She’s excellent with clients as she has a human approach. She’s also really good at cutting through the detail."

Chambers & Partners 2020

"An incredible advocate who is very, very good with clients."

Chambers & Partners, 2018