Senior Associate Solicitor
I had the good fortune of engaging the services of Joanna Jellings at Simpson Millar. She guided my daughter through what can only be described as an extremely turbulent and traumatic year regarding a complex family case. Joanna has been an absolute pleasure to deal with, extremely professional at all times as well as sympathetic and reassuring throughout the whole process. I cannot recommend the services of Joanna and Simpson Millar highly enough.Richard
Jo-Anna is a Senior Associate Solicitor in our Family Law team. She has specialised in Family Law for almost 10 years and is part of the Modern Families team.
She handles cases involving all elements of Family Law, such as divorce and financial matters, family disputes and domestic abuse, including those with an international element and complex interim issues. In particular, Jo-Anna has become an expert in complex children matters and fertility law including those with international elements. Jo-Anna has extensive experience in matters involving serious allegations from domestic abuse to parental alienation, internal and international relocation applications, Special Guardianship orders and international child abduction. Jo-Anna regularly deals with matters involving fertility law including domestic and international surrogacy. Jo-Anna also has significant experience of private children cases where the Local Authority become involved.
Jo-Anna regularly represents clients in proceedings where serious allegations are made including both securing findings and successfully defending allegations at fact finding hearings. For example, Jo-Anna has been successful in securing complex findings of malicious allegations, fabricated illness, coaching of children and intentionally undermining the relationship of a parent with a child.
As well as helping those with children disputes, Jo-Anna also enjoys helping clients build their families. She can advise on the alternative routes of becoming a parent through surrogacy, donation or adoption and on co-parenting arrangements.
Jo-Anna also regularly represents client in divorce and financial remedy matters and has successfully undertaken many High Court applications within financial remedy proceedings on such issues as applications for committal, interim orders for sale, urgent freezing injunctions, disputes as to third party beneficial interest, enforcement of cost orders, interim maintenance and jurisdictional disputes.
Jo-Anna is well-regarded for her determined approach to the most challenging and sensitive cases and frequently receives praise from clients and counsel for her unyielding commitment to her clients.
Jo-Anna has also produced a number of academic and press comment pieces together with contributing to publications on divorce, financial settlements, alternative families and matters relating to children.
Professional Memberships & Accreditations
Jo-Anna is a Resolution Accredited Specialist in Private Law Children matters and Child Abduction. She has been a member of Resolution since 2014. Jo-Anna is also a member of the Young Resolution Committee.
Jo-Anna is also an active member of the Child Abduction Lawyers Association and supports the work of Progress Educational Trust and Donor Conception Network.
“I have been extremely impressed by your diligence and approach in this case. Your assistance has been invaluable.”
“You are an exceptional solicitor (especially for your youth!) and I was extremely impressed with your commitment and tenacity”
Interests outside of work
Outside of work, Jo-Anna enjoys exercise and food. Whilst they don’t appear to go together, Jo-Anna can generally be found bounding around a gym or gorging at a restaurant. A balanced lifestyle.
- Re A (s54 Criteria)  EWHC 1426
A case where several of the s54 criteria for the making of a parental order presented difficulties, including where one of the intended parents had not spent time with the child.
- TT V CDS (conduct)  EWCA 1215
Court of Appeal decision which confirms a financial settlement can be significantly impacted by the bad behaviour (conduct) of one party.
- Re Z (care proceedings: surrogacy)  EWHC 589 Fam
The first known case with parallel care proceedings and an application for a parental order.
- Re Z (Parental Order: Child’s Home) EWHC 29
A parental order application where the family had been separated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the intervention of the Local Authority.
- M & S v F  EWHC 2176 Fam (single applicant surrogacy)
Case involving a single parent application for a parental order, before the law changed to allow single parents to apply.
- R v R (2017) EWHC 3709 (Hague Convention: Wardship
Case dealing with the interaction of Wardship and Hague Convention proceedings in a case of child abduction.
- Sharland v Sharland  EWCA 95
A case considering the impact of non-disclosure on an agreed financial settlement once embodied into an order.
- Rothschild and Radziszewska v De Souza  EWHC 1855
Case involving assertions that the matrimonial assets were owned by a member of the husband’s family.
- Rothschild v De Souza (December 2018)
Suspended committal – a suspended committal order after repeated breaches of an order within financial remedy proceedings.
- TT v CDS  EWHC 3572 (Fam
Financial remedy case confirming assets can be divided unequally where one party’s need is greater and where one party’s bad behaviour has made it impossible to meet the financial needs of both of the parties.