Joanna advises on all private family law matters, including divorce, judicial separation, financial settlements, cohabitation claims, and children matters such as international relocation and surrogacy. She has a wealth of experience advising on pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements as a financial planning tool. She is regularly instructed on these, often involving high net-worth clients with international considerations.
Joanna’s clients are based in the UK and abroad, often with substantial assets and complex arrangements. During financial negotiations, she uses her commercial insight, strategy and judgement to achieve swift, practical and cost-effective resolutions where possible. Her cases often settle out of court, and she provides strong representation when court proceedings are required. Joanna’s clients are fully supported throughout the time they work together.
Joanna qualified in 2004. Having been a partner in two niche family law firms, she joined Lester Aldridge in 2023 as a Partner in the London office.
Joanna has published many articles on family law in legal journals and has delivered seminars to law firms, accountancy firms and charities.
- Member of Resolution
- Accredited collaborative lawyer
- Recent international nuptial agreements include acting for a client ringfencing her share of a well-known company she founded plus future sale proceeds and acting for a client whose fiancée’s inheritance was estimated at c. £150m.
- Acted for a client in a divorce settlement where the parties were based in four countries and considered international tax regimes and protection and tax efficiency of pension sharing. She succeeded in distinguishing case law regarding the exclusion of post-separation assets.
- Acted for clients where judicial separation was more appropriate than divorce proceedings, in one case because one party was terminally ill, and in another to preserve generous spousal pension provisions for her client’s significantly younger spouse.
- Acted in cases with significant non-disclosure, including forensic financial analysis and expert evidence proving the spouse’s income to be at least three times his declared level.
- Acted for intervenors – and clients whose family members have joined proceedings as intervenors – asserting financial interests in matrimonial property. Joanna has successfully pursued that the spouse pays significant shares of her client’s legal costs.
- Acted for those wishing to vary or terminate periodical payments to their ex-spouses. Recently acted for an ex-husband who applied to terminate periodical payments notwithstanding his annual earned income exceeded £1m gross and his ex-wife earned less than £50,000; the judge ordered termination and, unusually, for the ex-wife to contribute to the ex-husband’s legal costs.
- Acted in leave to remove (international relocation) proceedings for a non-resident mother applying for children to return from England to the US. After LTR was granted, the father unsuccessfully appealed and unlawfully removed the children, resulting in High Court hearings. Joanna secured an order for children to live in the US with their mother.
- Joanna’s clients often reach resolutions outside the court process, including roundtable and four-way collaborative meetings.