Emily Soothill

Emily Soothill

Emily Soothill is a solicitor in our Bristol office. Prior to joining the firm, Emily worked in the International and Group Claims department of Leigh Day and trained at Herbert Smith Freehills, where she worked in the firm’s London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong offices.

Emily has previously volunteered with Reprieve, representing indigent clients facing the death penalty in America, the International Organisation of Migration, assisting internally displaced persons following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and the International Refugee Rights Initiative in Uganda.

Emily has an LLM in Public International Law and is a member of the International Law Association’s Study Group on Business and Human Rights, Police Action Lawyers Group, and INQUEST Lawyers Group.

Expertise

Emily helps individuals use the law to challenge decisions that violate their rights, seek accountability for unlawful treatment and claim compensation for harm that they have suffered. She has a diverse caseload which includes public law challenges, unlawful detention claims, civil claims on behalf of people arrested while protesting, and inquests on behalf of bereaved families.

Emily is currently representing asylum seekers accommodated in Napier and Penally Barracks in judicial review challenges regarding the adequacy of their accommodation. She is also bringing a systemic challenge to the refusal of asylum support and accommodation to destitute failed asylum seekers during the COVID-19 pandemic and a group claim for damages on behalf of individuals detained unlawfully pursuant to the Dublin III Regulation.

Emily has particular expertise in international human rights litigation against corporate actors and complex group claims. She has worked on a number of corporate accountability cases, including a claim against African Barrick Gold (Acacia Mining) relating to injuries and deaths at the North Mara Mine in Tanzania, which was identified by The Lawyer as one of the top 20 global disputes of 2015, and a compensation claim against Anglo American South Africa and AngloGold Ashanti, brought by former gold miners with the debilitating lung disease silicosis, leading to a ground-breaking settlement for 4,365 former miners.

Emily also has experience of bringing civil claims on behalf of victims of human trafficking and has delivered training to NGOs in this area. In 2016, Emily helped secure the first High Court judgment ever handed down against a British company for claims arising from modern slavery.

Sample Cases

Significant cases on which Emily has worked include:

Galdikas and others v DJ Houghton Catching Services and others, Claim No. HQ14P05429: Landmark High Court case against British company on behalf of victims of modern slavery.

Kesabo and others v African Barrick Gold and North Mara Gold Mine, Claim No. HQ13X02118: Claim against African Barrick Gold (Acacia Mining) relating to injuries and deaths at the North Mara Mine in Tanzania.

Qubeka and others v Anglo American South Africa Ltd and Anglo Gold Ashanti Ltd: South African arbitral proceedings in which thousands of South African gold miners successfully obtained compensation for silicosis against Anglo American and Anglo Gold.

R (MK) v Secretary of State for Home Department (High Court): Challenge to systemic delays in the determination of asylum claims by unaccompanied children.

Cushnie v Ministry of Justice, Claim No. A02CL457: Disability discrimination claim alleging failure to provide adequate medical treatment and make reasonable adjustments for disabled prisoner.

OECD Complaint by the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy to the UK National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

NB and Others v SSHD, Claim No. CO/312/2021 (ongoing): Judicial review challenging the legality of conditions at Napier Barracks and the Defendant’s system for allocating asylum seekers to barracks accommodation.

EW v SSHD, Claim No. CO/4866/2020 (ongoing): Systemic challenge to the refusal of asylum support and accommodation to destitute failed asylum seekers during the COVID-19 pandemic.