“A legal matter is never lost, unless you give up on your dignity, integrity and belief in justice.”
Without justice there is chaos and encouragement of bad behaviour now and in the future. As Lord Justice Stirling once said about the function of justices: “to promote virtue and morality and to discourage vice and immorality.”
[Constantinidi v Constantinidi and Lance  P 253, 278, per Stirling LJ. ]
Sir Patrick Devlin further said that “an established morality is as necessary as good government to the welfare of society”, that societies “disintegrate … when no common morality is observed”.
[Devlin, The Enforcement of Morals (Oxford University Press, 1965) 13-14, 15, 17.]
The founder of “Divorce and the City – London Style“, Sandra is probably Britain’s best known Litigant in Person turned Legal Consultant guiding individuals in all their matrimonial matters in all levels of Courts and with the authorities. Her divorce matter was made famous by Lord Wilson, who was sitting on probably his last family case in the Court of Appeal prior to his transfer to the Supreme Court, on 23rd November 2010 – the very same day as Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their wedding date on Friday 29 April.
Thanks to Lord Wilson sitting as a Lord Justice in the Court of Appeals, Sandra achieved celebrity status as her divorce case gained instant interest with the legal professionals, the public, the justices, and with the media.
Sandra achieved prominence with her aptitude to stand up to defeat the charges brought against her by her then husband who aimed to put her in jail following allegations he made up to the Police. He unjustly used taxpayer’s funds to have his allegations heard in a Magistrates Court over the course of 3 months so as to alone gain access to all matrimonial assets. He pre-meditated the divorce for months if not probably from the day he married Sandra so as to get hold of all her assets and matrimonial assets. As a result he made up criminal allegations against Sandra to gain favours with the family court. The courts were played against each other. One court issued orders that were contrary to the other but both expected Sandra to carry them out. All allegations brought by the Husband were instantly dismissed in the criminal court by District Judge Mr M. Read, given Sandra’s instructions to her criminal barrister who successfully proved that the Husband had a history of making up allegations against women who did not provide him with financial gains and benefits. District Judge Mr M. Read threw out the case from his court in seconds after hearing the evidence and taking note of the Husband’s similar allegations not entertained by any of his former employers. The Crown Prosecution Services (the “CPS”) was warned not to bring cases without evidence and waste the Court’s time with their allegations which were unproven, unfound and contradicted by their own witnesses.
Sandra was put against one of the best known and most powerful law firms representing wealthy divorcees in London – Charles Russell LLP. They represented the Husband who was unemployed at the time for a lengthy period (years). The Husband funded Charles Russell LLP with the stolen funds removed by him months before he raised the allegations against Sandra from the parties offshore accounts. The Husband claimed in court that the only reason why he hired such a powerful expensive law firm was because he was instructed by the American Embassy in London of their status and reputation to win cases. Further to the Husband’s malicious allegations in the Magistrates Court thrown out by District Judge Mr M. Read on 25 August 2009, the Husband introduced with the help of Charles Russell LLP in the Family Courts falsified evidence as to his alleged injuries on 16 June 2009. No court in the UK was able or willing to investigate the falsified evidence put forward by Charles Russell LLP on behalf of the Husband and the divorce proceedings relied only on the Husband’s falsified evidence. The Husband also threatened Judges of consequences if he was not given all matrimonial assets. He also took the liberty not to disclose any of his financials leaving the Family Courts and High Court to struggle as to how the Husband could have been able to transfer the mortgage in his own name as he alleged having debts amounting to £141,000 and his parents living in social housing in the USA having to support him financially with over $10,000 per month for years to cover his monthly required budget of £6,210.
The law firm Charles Russell LLP, now known as Charles Russell Speechlys was thrown out from the Principal Registry Family Division Court (the “PRFD”) for making false statements, following Sandra’s day in court one on one with Ms Madeleine Reardon, known now also as Deputy District Judge Reardon and barrister with 1kbw Chambers and barrister on behalf of the law firm. Ms Hayley Trim who was a solicitor practising at the time as a ‘specialist family lawyer’ at Charles Russell LLP suddenly left the firm during the proceedings and undertook legal roles such as providing information and training needs to the practising lawyers in Bristol at Irwin Mitchell and more recently she is working at Jordan Publishing for “the Family Law online major works providing updating notes on cases and other relevant developments as they happen for The Family Court Practice, Children Law and Practiceand Matrimonial Property and Finance online.”
Lord Wilson, now with the Supreme Court, finally put the case in the public arena when he dramatically delivered in open court, at the Royal Courts of Justice – Court of Appeal and before his appointment to the Supreme Court, his famous Judgement where he built the Husband’s character into that of an honest man and entered defence on behalf of the Husband.
Immediately, Lord Wilson’s Judgement flawed with mistakes of fact and procedural irregularities was followed by extraordinary sensational stories publicised by numerous local and international newspapers, and broadly discussed on-line by law firms and legal advisers aiming to get new business. It followed that all publications by reputable newspapers and comments from the legal community were withdrawn and apologies were given for making public unknown and untrue facts in an on-going legal matter, in the lower courts.
Lord Wilson was highly recommended by an independent selection commission and on 26th May 2011 he was appointed by the Queen, at the recommendation of the Prime Minister and Lord Chancellor, to take up a seat in the Supreme Court after his 6 years of service in the Court of Appeal. Lord Phillips, the president of the Supreme Court, said: “Lord Justice Wilson will prove a valuable asset to this court as another judge with a family law background, whose skill and knowledge has shone through all his judgements at the court of appeal for England and Wales.”
Following Lord Wilson’s Judgement and Sandra’s persuasion for the correct UK Law to be applied and implemented by the Court, the Court of Appeal has now made numerous changes to its court policies and procedures. Successfully, Sandra also obtained a financial settlement from the Court of Appeal following her appeal heard by Lord McFarlane on 29 May 2012 brought on grounds that Justice Eleanor King (as she was then known) sitting in the High Court at the Royal Courts of Justice made up evidence on behalf of the Husband and as a favour to his Barrister Richard Colbey with Lamb Chambers. This Judge left Sandra with an impractical order to be carried out. Since the hearing in front of Justice Eleanor King in 2012, a breakthrough discovery has been made by Sandra with the help from University of Hull in relation to this Judge’s hidden disability – dyslexia (reading and writing deficiencies), kept secret by her from the Ministry of Justice as she failed to check the box in her judicial application for having a disability. This Judge has been promoted by the then Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling in October 2014 to Lady Justice Eleanor King sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in the Court of Appeal.
With Sandra’s divorce matter and her assistance to numerous family cases, the Courts have now taken note that Litigants in Person, at no fault of their own for not having the vast amounts of money to hire legal representation, must be treated with the same respect as if they were to be represented by a barrister. Further, it has been established that the law must be applied in a similar and equal fashion to all, and not just to the selected few who have the financial ability to hire a legal representative (ie barrister) to persuade the court that white is indeed black.
Sandra’s perseverance for the truth, high investigative skills, dedication to the law and justice system, respect for foreign jurisdiction and law, and a quick learner of legal strategies, as developed by adversarial solicitors and barristers, gained her a good and solid reputation with the Justices in the Family Division of the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
Her highly regarded legal skills by the Justices has frequently confused the media and others when they mistakenly referred to Sandra as being a solicitor or barrister. However, at the time of her divorce, Sandra had only a corporate legal background and underwent her first personal divorce. Although, Sandra was discarded from the marriage she managed under extremely difficult times to clearly make her case in Court and seek justice. Sir Paul Colleridge who left the Family Courts as he found them to be inefficient and unfit for purpose was the only Judge to see the injustice in Sandra’s personal divorce when she was left with the impractical order from a lower court and still left financially connected to a Husband who was in debt and who was unable to manage his finances or gain/sustain employment on his own merit. She followed the Law to the letter and gained the attention of the Courts and with the authorities.
After also assisting with numerous cases Sandra gained an extraordinary insight into how a criminal mind works and how a reputable law firm and questionable barristers can wrongly influence the Judges who are not willing to deviate from any evidence put forward only by legal professionals.
Sandra has gained sufficient experience to now be able to provide guidance to very complex divorce cases.
Her divorce matter and constant learning of the law provided Sandra with the necessary skills to be able to successfully act as a legal consultant for clients faced with similar difficult and complex divorces either not desired by legal advisers or cases which are too costly to employ solicitors and or barristers for their entirety. She can assist clients with their emotional well-being as well as with the necessary guidance on how to manage their divorce case.
Persuasion, dedication and understanding of the law are the main points for success.
The UK legal system may appear to be an exhausting process; however, it is what the current legal system requires from every individual either represented or acting as a Litigant in Person and who is willing to stand in front of a Justice who in turn must listen and remain independent so as to do justice. It may not be an easy task especially if someone just exited an abusive and controlling marriage or has been financially depleted by a firm of solicitors. Nevertheless it is a very necessary exercise one must gain through strength.
Sandra has been able to proficiently and accurately teach Litigants in Person how to gain back their confidence and belief in themselves while at the same time develop the much required legal skills and understanding of the legal process and procedures before they are to present their case in Court.
Confidence must replace fear and fear must be taken out of the equation from step one by a Litigant in Person in order to succeed. Sympathy has no place in court and a Litigant in Person must not rely on such behaviour to gain favours with the court. The rule of law and approved precedents are the only elements that makes a case judged correctly and in accordance with the UK legal requirements.
Her clients are clearly informed from the start that sympathy has no place in Court. Also Justices will not take into account any new pleadings if this was not established from the beginning of the process to clearly show the correct facts and grounds on which the marriage broke down. The case will not succeed if it is not based on points of law along with flawless presentation and clear drafting of documents.
Sandra has gained a reputation with the Justices and the Courts for her honesty, integrity and respect for the Justice System while showing a keen interest in helping those who are financially challenged and who have no other option but to require self-representation, as Litigants in Person, during their complex legal proceedings.
Her clients are ranging from the poorest to the richest divorcées with complex cases previously either rejected by law firms or for those clients who simply were not aware that they had injustice done in their matter. She is helping those individuals who want to gain an understanding of the legal procedure and process, be clear with what they are seeking, understand what is actually possible to achieve from the current legal system and learn how to live a stress free life during and after a divorce.
Her clients found her guidance and support to be invaluable.
Sandra gained countless first-hand legal experience from her own lengthy divorce case and through her many clients. Further, she quickly learned from the best of the best of the legal minds in the UK strategies accepted and encouraged by the Justices. She has developed a quick thinking ability under pressure, strategy techniques and efficiency in dealing with legal matters at lower legal cost but with high results involving her clients at every step and ensuring that they understand and learn the legal process themselves so as to save cost. Both the individuals acting alone in Court and Justices faced with Litigants in Person can now profit from Sandra’s legal experience and techniques.
Complex divorce cases are Sandra’ speciality.
Re-opening of final appeals if new evidence, corrupted process and bias can be proven can be established.