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Specialist family law firm opens in Darlington as COVID-19 puts strain on relationships

A leading solicitor with 20 years’ experience in family law has opened a new firm in Darlington.

Donna Sandall, who was born and raised in the town, has branched out on her own after two decades spent working at High Street firms in Peterborough and Durham.

Donna Sandall Family Law is based at The Darlington Arena and will help clients dealing with a range of issues including divorce, finances, child arrangements, separation, pre and post-nuptial agreements and much more.

Donna has built up a reputation as an experienced and exceptional family lawyer, well respected by her peers in the legal profession as well as members of the judiciary. Although the COVID-19 pandemic means clients cannot be seen in person for face-to-face meetings, Donna is continuing to offer full support via telephone, video conferencing and email.

Donna said demand for advice on divorce and separation is on the increase, as the Coronavirus pandemic puts relationships under enormous pressure.

She said: “January and February are traditionally very busy months for divorce lawyers as time spent at home together in close quarters during Christmas and New Year can put struggling marriages under even more stress. Some people also choose to wait until after the festive period is over to seek legal advice on this subject.

“The Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen many people spend far more time at home and resulted in financial worries, has further accelerated this trend and it appears a higher than normal number of people are enquiring about divorce.

“Despite the current lockdown restrictions, the courts are open and cases are being dealt with remotely. I have dealt with dozens of remote court hearings since the first lockdown in March 2020 and it’s pleasing that the legal system has adapted to function well in unprecedented times.”

Donna, a married mother-of-two who lives on the outskirts of Darlington, said she was excited about starting a new specialist family law firm in her home town.

She added: “I was born and raised in Darlington and although I moved away for university and work, I was always looking for an opportunity to get back to my roots.

“I spent the past two years working for a firm in Durham but was very keen on establishing my own business, with a more modern outlook, where I have full control over cases and can offer the highest-level of expertise and client care from start to finish of each case.

“It’s great to be setting up in Darlington and I look forward to a long and successful future here.”

Donna studied law at Manchester University and Newcastle College of Law. She qualified as a solicitor in 2002 and is a long-standing member of Resolution - an organisation of over 6,500 family lawyers and other professionals in the UK. Donna is fully committed to practicing its ethos of a sensitive and non-confrontational style of working and always strives to put her clients at ease during what can often be a difficult and emotional time.

The Darlington Arena is owned by Darlington Mowden Park Rugby Football Club and chairman Mick Birch said he was convinced Donna Sandall Family Law would be a success.

He said: “I am delighted to welcome Donna Sandall Family Law to The Darlington Arena and the DMPRFC Family. As a conference, function and office facility the arena is able to meet all the requirements of any new business.

“Donna first approached the arena in the autumn and very soon made the decision to move in but, due to current circumstances, had to delay her move.

“Donna is a very warm and approachable lady and I have every confidence her new law firm will be successful. I wish her the best of luck.”

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