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Hannah Stanford

Solicitor

Hannah deals with financial settlements following divorce or separation, as well as complex disputes concerning children and matters under The Family Law Act 1996 (with regard non-molestation injunctions and occupation orders).

2021 has seen a rise in cohabitation and property disputes, resulting in an increased number of potential claims under The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA). Not including live and ongoing cases, Hannah has successfully settled all TOLATA cases which she has been instructed upon in the last year without need for court proceedings, saving time and expense.

Recently Hannah received this feedback;

“When I receive a brief from Hannah, I know that it will be thoroughly prepared and she will provide me with all of the information that I require to obtain the best result for our client. Hannah goes over and beyond for all of her clients; she supports and guides them through the court process and provides excellent advice so they attend hearings fully informed of what to expect. Most importantly, Hannah will explore and consider all possible legal avenues so that her clients get the outcomes they desire.” – N. Williams, 5 Pump Court Chambers

Hannah joined the firm in August 2013 and qualified as a Solicitor with the firm at the end of 2018. She joined the Dispute Resolution team in January 2018 and is currently based at our Medway Office.

Recent case study - "I was formally instructed on this matter in early January 2021 and a Final Order was made at the end of March 2021, in line with the client’s proposals for contact.

Upon separating the parties had attempted to resolve matters amicably, through mediation. Unfortunately, communication between the parties had broken down and the other party denied my client any contact with the child (6). The client was of the understanding that there was no other alternative then but to wait for the mediation service to issue an exemption certificate in order that he may bring court proceedings. At that time the court was not listing hearings for ‘routine’ Children Act Applications until four or so months had passed from the bringing of the application. This is a significant amount of time for any parent to be away from their child.

In early January 2021 the client received notification from Social Services that they had involved themselves with the other party. Thankfully, the client arranged an urgent appointment to discuss matters with me to see if anything further could be done. I advised upon an urgent Child Arrangements Order application. A hearing was listed two weeks later. The court, at that hearing, made an Order that contact be reinstated immediately (much to the client’s delight) and directed the filing of witness statements with each party setting out their proposals for contact. After spending a considerable amount of time carefully considering the issues and working on the contact proposals, ensuring that the proposals covered most eventualities with a view to this being in place until the child turned 18 and that they were workable on a practical level, the Court endorsed them. Had the client not approached me when they had then they could have been waiting four or so months to get before a Judge. Instead matters were resolved in just shy of three months. A personal highlight was my receiving a picture of the client and the child together, reunited at last."

What Hannah says:

As a member of the family team, I advise clients on a vast range of issues that are consequential to a breakdown of a marriage, relationship or civil partnership. This may include but is in no way limited to issues regarding property, finance and practical arrangements for any child or children to the relationship. Specific claims may also be relevant, such as those under The Family Law Act 1996 (with regard non-molestation injunctions and occupation orders), maintenance pending suit applications (for financial support during the divorce process) and, in the case of cohabiting couples, claims under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.

I assist clients with financial arrangements following separation and divorce. I have advised on matters involving both modest and substantial assets and have assisted on matters where there are multiple properties to consider, including properties abroad, where there are tax consequences that require consideration.

In terms of disputes concerning children, I have advised on urgent and complex matters including but not limited to matters involving child abduction and neglect.

My advice is frequently sought on property related matters, particularly with regard potential claims under The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 and claims under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.

I am a proud member of Resolution which seeks to promote a constructive approach to family issues, considering the needs of the family.

As a litigator, I also provide advice on contentious trust and probate law using knowledge obtained from The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS). Probate and trust disputes are becoming increasingly common and the legal process of challenging a Will is often extremely intricate and complex, requiring a keen understanding of both the law and the client’s circumstances. Recently I have been involved with cases that have centred around allegations of lack of mental capacity and undue influence and that are now before the High Court.

Outside of the office I spend time with my Dandie Dinmont Terrier, a vulnerable breed, which I am fortunate enough to own. We have been lucky enough to qualify for Crufts, being awarded Best Puppy in Breed in 2020.

If I were not a lawyer, I would be...

An author.

If I were stranded on a desert island and could take 3 pieces of music with me it would be …

The album, No Shame by Lily Allen, Garage Classical from DJ Spoony and then Rise by Gabrielle.