Sapna Malik > Leigh Day > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Leigh Day
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Work Department

Personal injury


Sapna has over 15 years’ experience, specialising in bringing international claims with a human rights dimension. She is currently representing former Libyan dissident, Abdul-Hakim Belhaj, and his wife who allege that the UK government was complicit in their unlawful rendition back to Libya, where they were subjected to brutal treatment. In 2012 she settled a related claim brought by Libyan Sami al-Saadi and his family against the British government. Sapna is also jointly leading a team representing approximately 600 Iraqi citizens who claim that they were subjected to unlawful detention and treatment by British forces in Iraq, with approximately 80 of the claims resolving in 2013. This follows the resolution of over 180 similar claims in the previous two years. Sapna also represented the family of Baha Mousa (deceased) who was unlawfully killed in British detention in Iraq, and nine Iraqi citizens tortured alongside him that resulted in a global award of £2.83m and official apologies from the Armed Forces Minister and the British Army. Sapna continued to represent the victims at the Baha Mousa Inquiry, which reported in 2011, together with Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers. Sapna has also taken over the running of the firm’s claims on behalf of over 80 Afghan citizens detained by British forces in Afghanistan who claim that they were unlawfully detained and treated or who claim that they or their relatives were unlawfully injured or killed by or with the complicity of British forces. A preliminary issue trial to determine whether the UK was able to lawfully detain Afghan citizens in Afghanistan in the landmark case of Serdar Mohammed was held in January 2014. Sapna has previously represented Guantanamo Bay detainee, Binyam Mohamed, in a civil action against the British Security Services for alleged complicity in his torture, which resolved out of court in 2010. She has also represented around 300 British military veterans in their claims against the Ministry of Defence arising from their participation in chemical warfare experiments agents at the Porton Down military laboratories from the 1940s-80s, which they claim was without their informed consent. As well as receiving substantial compensation awards for the veterans, a governmental apology was also secured. Since December 2010, Sapna has been a member of the Foreign Secretary’s Advisory Group on human rights.


Trained Leigh Day; qualified 1998; partner 2005. Current directorships: Human Dignity Trust and Article 36.


Lawyers Advisory Committee of Peace Brigades International.


University of East Anglia (1992 BSc Hons Environmental Sciences, 1st); University of Westminster (1994 graduate diploma in law, commendation; 1996 post-graduate diploma in legal practice, distinction); University of London (2002, part-time LLM Masters in Law, distinction).

Lawyer Rankings

London > Public sector > Civil liberties and human rights

(Next Generation Partners)

Sapna MalikLeigh Day

Described as ‘synonymous with human rights‘, the practice at Leigh Day stands at the forefront of civil liberties and acts in landmark cases pertaining to international human rights, sexual violence issues, actions against the state, and immigration mandates. Jamie Beagent oversees the group, which is skilled in undertaking a range of domestic human rights work and representing NGO’s. Core members of the group include Daniel Leader. who is experienced in complex multi-party actions; privacy law expert Sean Humber, and Rosa Curling. On the international side, co-head Richard Meeran and Sapna Malik are the key contacts for cross-border human rights matters; the team has a specialism in acting in international abuse cases that cut across the fields of personal injury and human rights issues. Founder and senior partner Martyn Day is also a recommended contact.