Sophie Buckley

Sophie specialises in employment and discrimination law

She is currently not practising, but sits as a fee paid employment judge in Leeds. She has represented claimants and respondents in a wide variety of cases in all areas of employment and discrimination at tribunal and EAT level. She was a tenant at 9 St John Street Chambers, Manchester until 2001, and from 2001 to 2005 combined practise at York chambers with lecturing in employment law at Northumbria University.

From 2005-2010 she worked in a solicitor’s role as a principal legal officer at the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) and as a senior enforcement lawyer at the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). At both Commissions she advised on or conducted a number of notable cases, including the EOC’s judicial review of the implementation of the Equal Treatment Amendment Directive which resulted in significant amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act 1975. She conducted the only proceedings taken by the EOC under s.71 SDA (application for an injunction in cases of persistent discrimination) (settled).

She also worked on the EOC and EHRC’s suspended formal investigations into sexual harassment in the armed forces and the prison service and assisted with writing and editing the EOC’s legal adviser’s website.

Publications and Broadcasts

Blackstone’s Guide to the Equality Act 2010, Oxford University Press, 2010 (co-author, Chapter 10, Equality of Terms)

Equal Pay Update – a review of recent significant equal pay cases and their implications, Industrial Relations Law Bulletin, 2007 and 2009

Dispute Resolution – the New Law. The 2002 Act and the 2004 Regulations, Northumbria Law Press, 2004 (co-author)

Dunnachie – the return of the phoenix? ELA Bulletin, 2004 (co-author)

Pearce. McDonald and the new Legislation – three steps forward, two steps back? J. Civ. Lib. 08/2 July 2003 67 (co-author)


Notable Cases

While employed at the EOC/EHRC Sophie advised on or conducted a number of notable cases including: :

Pothecary Witham Weld and Hawthorne v Bullimore & Sebastians Solicitors (EHRC intervening) [2010] : ICR 1008

Slack v Cumbria County Council [2009] : EWCA Civ 293

R (Equal Opportunities Commission) v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry [2007] EWHC 483 (Admin), [2007] : IRLR 327

Sharp v Caledonia Group Services [2006] : IRLR 4

Fletcher v Blackpool Fylde & Wyre Hospitals NHS Trust [2005] : IRLR 689 (EAT)

Sinclair Roche & Temperley v Heard and Fellows [2004] : IRLR 763


BA Hons (Cantab) Law with European option (2:1)

Bar Vocational Course (Very Competent)

Queen Mother Scholarship, Middle Temple, 1999

Harmsworth Scholarship, Middle Temple, 1999