An experienced and respected lawyer with an international clientele, Sara Hannell has specialised in family law for more than 20 years. She advises on all aspects of family law, with a particular specialism in cases with an international element, as well as prenuptial agreements.
Hannell is clear on why Alexiou Fisher Philipps is a smart choice: ‘Our clients choose us for our individual reputations and expertise. We remain fully involved in the case, because you need in-depth knowledge to provide top-quality advice. Our junior lawyers provide excellent support, but if a client wants me, they get me.’
A partner at AFP since 2003, Hannell is aware of the impact that Brexit is having on her clientele. ‘International families are feeling less settled and less welcome in the UK,’ she says.
‘Some Middle Eastern clients have become less willing to base themselves in London due to a perceived increase in racist sentiment – clients from continental Europe are considering alternative bases to the UK, with the risk of disruption to family units and the potential for family discord.’
Alexiou Fisher Philipps covers a broad range of family law matters including financial disputes at the beginning and end of a relationship, divorce, judicial separation and inheritance act claims, issues in relation to custody of children, emergency measures and arbitration.
Hannell understands the international dimension of divorce, and frequently advises on the best jurisdictions in which to bring proceedings. She is also an elected fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, a member of Resolution and a trained collaborative lawyer.
She has appeared on television and radio commenting on the legal issues arising from family and has lectured on developments in family law. She studied French and history at Oxford University and worked briefly in Paris before qualifying as an English solicitor.
Many clients who expect to be encouraged to fight are pleasantly surprised by Hannell’s pragmatism. But there are times when Hannell must refrain: ‘Two of my prenuptial agreement clients have asked me in the last year whether or not I thought they should go ahead with their marriages. Tempting though it is to advise them, I always resist!’