A prominent human rights lawyer has been jailed for contempt of court, after refusing to hand over files to the the body that regulates solicitors.
High Court judge Mr Justice Leech sentenced 41-year-old Soophia Khan – often referred to as Sophie Khan in the media – to six months imprisonment, for breaching a High Court order requiring her to hand client’s files over to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), according to the BBC.
The High Court order came after the SRA launched an investigation into Khan’s Leicestershire-based law firm, Sophie Khan & Co Ltd, over allegations of dishonesty. In an email to City AM, the SRA said it could not disclose details regarding the allegations of dishonest, as the investigation is still ongoing.
In August 2021, the SRA intervened to close down Khan’s law firm, on the grounds that they suspected “dishonesty on the part of Soophia Khan,” the regulator said on its website.
Just day later, Khan announced via Twitter that her law firm had “taken over” by a separate company, Just for Public Ltd, as she stated that “client work continues as normal.”
Khan is listed as one of two “persons with significant control” over Just for Public Ltd on Companies House. In November 2021, the SRA obtained an injunction to stop Khan from acting as a lawyer through Just for Public Ltd.
Khan breached two High Court orders calling on her to had over documents, resulting in a warrant being issued for her arrest in November 2021.
As reported by the BBC, Mr Justice Leech, in handing down a six-month sentence, said: “I consider Ms Khan’s contempt of the court to be serious,”
“Her failure to comply with the orders involved not only an attack on the administration of justice, but also defiance of her regulator.”
Outside her work as a solicitor, Khan has built up a profile as an outspoken activist through appearances on major broadcasters, including Sky News, BBC, and LBC.
Through her media appearances, Khan has campaigned against use of tasers in routine policing, and has called for reforms to the way UK police forces operate.
Khan has also spoken out against vaccine mandates and Covid restrictions, in various publications including this newspaper.
From 2017 to 2019, Khan also served as Chair of The Law Society’s Civil Justice Committee.
Khan has been approached for comment.