Sophia Dzwig

Sophia Dzwig

Call: 2017

"3 Verulam Buildings is first-class."

- Chambers & Partners UK Bar (2022)

“The set boasts some of the strongest practitioners in the market.”

- Chambers & Partners UK Bar (2022)

Practice Overview

Sophia is a commercial barrister with a broad practice spanning litigation and international arbitration in all areas of Chambers’ work, including experience in art and cultural property, fraud, insurance, banking and financial services, media/privacy and general commercial disputes of all sizes.

Sophia has a particular interest in art and cultural property disputes and in 2021 Sophia undertook the Institute of Art and Law’s Diploma in Art Profession Law and Ethics, for which she received a high Distinction.

Sophia is a modern languages graduate. She reads, writes and speaks French and Italian, has basic Spanish and a reading knowledge of Portuguese.

Sophia is panel counsel to the Serious Fraud Office’s Proceeds of Crime International Assistance Division (Panel C). She has appeared as sole advocate in the High Court (Commercial Court, Chancery Division and Administrative Court) and appears in a variety of disputes in the County Court. Sophia is also regularly instructed as junior counsel in larger commercial teams.

  • LCIA arbitration for unfair prejudice under s.995 Companies Act 2006 with Andrew Fletcher QC and James McWilliams.
  • Successfully represented insurers in a HKIAC arbitration on a trade-credit insurance policy with Nicholas Craig QC.
  • LCIA arbitration on a trade-credit insurance policy with Colin Edelman QC and Peter Ratcliffe.
  • Appeal under section 69 Arbitration Act 1996 from LMAA arbitration arising out of Petrobras bribery and money-laundering convictions (HPOR Servicos de Consultoria Ltda v Dryships Inc [2018] EWHC 3451 (Comm)) with Ali Malek QC.
  • Junior counsel for a state in an arbitration under an investor-state treaty.
  • Tribunal secretary in LCIA arbitrations.
  • As a Judicial Assistant in the Commercial Court, assisted Sir Michael Burton in enforcement application under s103 Arbitration Act 1996 in J (Lebanon) v K (Kuwait) [2019] EWHC 899 (Comm) (later in the Court of Appeal Kabab-Ji SAL (Lebanon) v Kout Food Group (Kuwait) [2020] EWCA Civ 6).
  • Alongside her busy practice, in 2021 Sophia undertook the Institute of Art and Law’s Diploma in Art Profession Law and Ethics, for which she received a high Distinction.
  • Advising major auction house on issues arising from sale of stolen Chinese artefacts
  • Sole counsel acting for a bank in relation to a freezing order under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 against a defendant convicted of mortgage fraud.
  • Claim arising from sale of a portfolio of assets in the coronavirus-related market crash in March 2020 – acting for a bank with David Simpson.
  • Claim against forex trading platform retaining client’s money, with Rajesh Pillai QC.
  • Claim for recovery of £290,000 loan (sole counsel).
  • Claim and advice relating to penalty clause in hire contract (sole counsel).
  • Successfully represented insurers in a HKIAC arbitration on a trade-credit insurance policy with Nicholas Craig QC, involving structured trade finance and coverage/ avoidance issues.
  • LCIA arbitration on a trade-credit insurance policy with Colin Edelman QC and Peter Ratcliffe, involving structured trade finance and coverage/ avoidance issues.
  • Assisting Sir Ross Cranston in the Cranston Review arising out of criminal misconduct at HBOS Reading.
  • Claim relating to a letter of credit with Ali Malek QC.
  • Obtained Civil Restraining Order as sole counsel in cryptocurrency-related dispute.
  • Advising on Consumer Credit Act 1974 repercussions of improper service and notice.
  • Sole counsel in numerous other banking and finance cases in the County Courts, including County Court trials.
  • Co-author, ‘Bank Resolution: Key Issues and Local Perspectives’ INSOL with James Potts and Hodge Malek QC
  • Sole counsel for a bank in relation to a freezing order under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 against a defendant convicted of mortgage fraud.
  • Acting for a defendant group in SKAT v Solo Capital Ltd & Ors, a multi-billion pound fraud and unjust enrichment claim by the Danish tax authority, with Andrew Onslow QC and Tom De Vecchi, including obtaining dismissal of the claim against her clients on a preliminary issue on the ‘revenue rule’. 10 case management conferences included disputes over: preliminary issues, PD51U disclosure pilot and confidentiality including restrictions imposed by foreign civil and criminal jurisdictions.
  • Acting for a defendant to a claim by the Kuwaiti national pension fund arising from alleged payment of secret commissions, with Adam Kramer QC and Ian Higgins
  • Acting for the National Crime Agency with Andrew Sutcliffe QC in proceedings for freezing order and civil recovery order arising from alleged money laundering.
  • Member of the Serious Fraud Office’s Panel of Counsel (Proceeds of Crime International Assistance Division, Panel C).
  • Appeal under section 69 Arbitration Act 1996 from LMAA arbitration arising out of Petrobras bribery and money-laundering convictions (HPOR Servicos de Consultoria Ltda v Dryships Inc [2018] EWHC 3451 (Comm)) with Ali Malek QC.
  • Sole counsel in numerous enforcement applications in the High Court, including amendment of freezing order, winding up of a company, charging orders and orders for sale, arising out of fraud and unjust enrichment claim.
  • As a Judicial Assistant in the Commercial Court, assisted Jacobs J in 5-week trial in Vald. Nielsen Holding A/S Newwatch Ltd v Baldorino & Ors [2019] EWHC 1926 (Comm) relating to management buyout at an undervalue.
  • Acting for a defendant group in SKAT v Solo Capital Ltd & Ors, a multi-billion pound fraud and unjust enrichment claim by the Danish tax authority, with Andrew Onslow QC and Tom De Vecchi. 10 case management conferences included disputes over: preliminary issues, PD51U disclosure pilot and confidentiality including restrictions imposed by foreign civil and criminal jurisdictions.
  • Multi-million pound amendment application in the Commercial Court raising issues of conflicts of laws (Avonwick Holdings Limited v Azitio Holdings Limited & Ors) with Ali Malek QC and Richard Brent QC.
  • LCIA arbitration for unfair prejudice under s.995 Companies Act 2006, arising from breakdown in multi-million pound family business, with Andrew Fletcher QC and James McWilliams.
  • Advising on unfair prejudice petition, arising from breakdown in multi-million pound family business, in a Caribbean jurisdiction.
  • Numerous appearances as sole counsel in insolvency and bankruptcy applications.
  • As a Judicial Assistant in the Commercial Court, assisted Jacobs J in 5-week trial in Vald. Nielsen Holding A/S Newwatch Ltd v Baldorino & Ors [2019] EWHC 1926 (Comm) relating to management buyout at an undervalue.
  • Insurance contribution claim relating to defective cladding with Tom Weitzman QC.
  • Acting for insurance broker in negligence and breach of contract claim relating to a fatal industrial accident with Tom Weitzman QC.
  • Advising on war and terrorism (LMA 3030 standard wording) coverage of political protests, with Tom Weitzman QC.
  • LCIA arbitration on a trade-credit insurance policy with Colin Edelman QC and Peter Ratcliffe, involving structured trade finance and coverage/ avoidance issues.
  • Successfully represented insurers in a HKIAC arbitration on a trade-credit insurance policy with Nicholas Craig QC, involving structured trade finance and coverage/ avoidance issues.
  • Advising Premier League football club on business interruption insurance coverage with Adam Kramer QC.
  • Successfully acted for the claimant in Acorn UK Finance Ltd v Markel [2020] EWHC 922 (Comm)£16m professional indemnity insurance avoidance trial, with Adam Kramer QC.
  • Advice on pet-insurance fraud claim (pro bono via Advocate).