Sophie Thornley

Legal Director
  • Experience

Sophie qualified as a Solicitor in 2006 and joined Birketts in September 2019. She is a Legal Director in our Construction and Engineering Team.

Having studied for an LLB in law at the University of Sheffield, she then stayed there to complete her LPC. Sophie then undertook her training contract in Birmingham, and on qualification specialised in non-contentious construction, which she practised until she took a career break to look after her young children and move to North Norfolk. Whilst there, she returned to work at a local firm, gaining experience in commercial property, which now nicely compliments her engineering and construction focus.

Sophie now advises on all aspects of non-contentious construction transactions. Her clients are varied, and include all parties involved in construction deals including employers, contractors, consultants, sub-contractors, funders and end users such as purchasers or tenants. 

Sophie drafts, reviews and negotiates warranties, building contracts, supply and services agreements, consultant appointments, agreements for lease, funding agreements and other associated documentation. She is familiar with various standard forms of contract, such as the various JCT and NEC contracts, and also works with bespoke forms and contract amendments.  

Working to help clients to actively manage and mitigate risks, Sophie can assist clients to procure or finance a project and achieve their overall aim of seeing something built. Sophie particularly enjoys working as an extended part of a project team to ensure that clients’ interests are protected, and particularly thrives on project management.

Due to her prior experience in commercial property, Sophie also regularly assists her real estate colleagues with due diligence exercises, advising on the construction aspects of a transaction. She often reports on suites of warranties to be offered in purchases, and advises on how to proceed where those suites fall short of commercial expectations.

Sophie was a school governor for many years, and was a chair of governors of her local primary school for over two years. She is passionate about education, and sits on the Birketts Education Sector Team. She has worked with a large network of independent schools to draft and train their in-house design team on a range of precedents. She also now actively seeks work in the education sector, working with universities, colleges and schools where possible. Her work as a school governor has given her a great insight into the workings of an educational establishment, and the unique challenges posed when carrying out construction works within such a setting. 

Sophie is a board member of the Cambridge LandAid regional hub. LandAid is the charity of the UK property industry, working to end youth homelessness.

Sophie is based at our Cambridge office.

Sophie is a board member of the Cambridge LandAid regional hub. LandAid is the charity of the UK property industry, working to end youth homelessness.

Having relocated to Cambridgeshire, Sophie is enjoying being part of a bigger firm. Outside of work, she mostly runs around after her children and enjoys family time. She is a prolific reader and baker, which combine to mean that she has a large library of cook books. She also sweats daily on her Pelaton and enjoys swimming.

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