Sonny Patel

Partner | +44 (0)207 846 5470 (UK) | +65 (0) 6829 7177 (Singapore)

Sonny is a Partner and Head of the Singapore office of Expatriate Law where he acts for British expatriates and conducts their family proceedings through the English courts.

Sonny is ranked in Chambers and Partners Family/Matrimonial: High Net worth, he is a recommended lawyer in the Spears Family Law Index and was a finalist in the category of International Family Lawyer of the Year at the 2022 Family Law Awards.

Sonny provides English family law advice to a range of British expatriate and international families. He handles the following matters: high net worth divorces, jurisdiction – domicile of origin and the acquisition or loss of a domicile of choice, choice of forum, financial provision after overseas divorce, recognition of foreign marriages and divorces, cross-border enforcement of financial orders, negotiating and drafting multiple jurisdiction prenuptial postnuptial and separation agreements, the relocation of children across international borders.

Sonny is a solutions-driven negotiator and is keen to help his clients navigate the divorce process in a discreet, cost-effective and constructive manner. However, if reasonable agreement cannot be achieved, Sonny is able to draw on 16 years of litigation experience to achieve excellent outcomes for his clients.

Sonny joined Expatriate Law in 2014 when he was seconded to work within Al Rowaad Advocates in Dubai. During his two years in Dubai, Sonny worked closely with local UAE lawyers and advocates and advised British expats in respect of the interaction between English law and UAE law.

Before joining Expatriate Law, Sonny trained and practised exclusively in well regarded central London law firms where he consistently achieved outstanding results.

Although based in central London throughout the earlier years of his career, Sonny was instructed by clients remotely from locations around the world. It was Sonny’s record of success in contested jurisdiction cases and his interest in cross-border family law which led to him to joining Expatriate Law.

Sonny qualified to practice as a solicitor in England & Wales in 2006.

Examples of Sonny’s work:

  1. Contested forum proceedings between England and Singapore. Sonny secured English jurisdiction for a client based in Singapore where the spouse was based in Jakarta and key assets were based in England.
  2. Successfully contested a flawed attempt at securing English jurisdiction for a New Zealander client based in Abu Dhabi, where the majority of the assets were based in New Zealand.
  3. A Hague convention summary return application. After 5 months of fiercely contested litigation, Sonny secured the return to Singapore of a child abducted to England. The mother unilaterally relocated one of the parties’ two children to England without the father’s consent. Sonny assisted the Father within 2 working days of the Mother fleeing Singapore to seize the child’s passport to prevent onwards travel out of England (the mother had family ties to a third country). The mother’s case was that that the child remained habitually resident in England despite living in Singapore for 15 months and/or that the father had consented to the relocation. The court agreed with the father that the child had become habitually resident in Singapore and that he had not consented to the child’s relocation. The court ordered the mother to return the child to Singapore.
  4. Represented a Singapore-based senior partner of a Magic Circle commercial law firm within divorce and financial remedy proceedings through the English courts.
  5. Represented a Singapore-based tech entrepreneur with assets Located in London, New York, Paris and the Bahamas.
  6. Represented a spouse from a high-profile family with assets located in Dubai, England and Mexico, a 7-figure annual income and complex business interests. Discreet, constructive and strictly private negotiations leading to a negotiated settlement.
  7. Representing the wife in a case with assets totalling £3m divided across 6 countries: Norway, Switzerland, Oman, UAE, USA and UK.
  8. An application to set aside a consent order, in circumstances where the other party passed away premature just 3 months after the financial matters has been resolved.
  9. Successfully resisted an ex-husband’s attempt to vary spousal maintenance provisions less than 6 months after the parties had agreed settlement terms.
  10. Conducted a successful Notice to Show Cause application to hold the other party to the terms of an agreement reached between solicitors.
  11. Advising in respect of the Enforcement of a Singapore property adjustment order against assets located in England.
  12. Secured financial provision in England in excess of £1.2m using Part III of the MFPA 1984 for a client who had otherwise been left with nothing following a divorce in Dubai.
  13. Part III after the Italian equivalent of a consent order. The parties entered into an agreement as part of Italian divorce proceedings. The husband reneged on an agreement to transfer a UK property to the wife. Sonny used a Part III application to force the transfer. The husband used every possible tactic to frustrate our client’s application, but eventually, after multiple penal notice applications and an order permitting us to pursue his United Nations pension the husband eventually conceded and agreed to pay all of our client’s costs.
  14. Assisted a client based in Singapore to obtain permission to proceed in England with an application for financial provision using Part III of the MFPA 1984, following a Singapore divorce.
  15. Drafted a multiple jurisdiction, multi-million pre-nuptial agreement for a couple with connections to England and Hong Kong, where the wife brought the wealth into the relationship.
  16. Obtained a globally-effective injunction to protect a wife from digital harassment by her ex-husband after he had been sending abusive emails to her work colleagues and social media contacts. The English court ordered that service by email would be sufficient to make the order effective.

Sonny has a wide range of positive reviews from clients.

Client Care Excellence

Client Care Excellence I have dealt with many solicitors over the years following a toxic divorce, multiple Court sessions since…

Divorcing outside the UK

Divorcing outside the UK Sonny helped me through a very challenging divorce while living in China. It was an unexpected…

Outstanding service throughout

Outstanding service throughout Sonny has been outstanding throughout a lengthy though amicable divorce process fully online, whilst I have been…

Expatriate Law Singapore

Expatriate Law Singapore Sonny and Ambar were very very good in getting my recent divorce done with limited input from…

British Divorce in Singapore

British Divorce in Singapore I can wholeheartedly recommend Sonny. He provided invaluable insight and guidance in terms of navigating my…

Exceptionally Thorough and Committed

Exceptionally Thorough and Committed Sonny represented me in protracted divorce and financial proceedings (issued in the UK whilst resident in…

Our Annual Review – 2023

Annual Review 2023 Happy New Year! On behalf of all at Expatriate Law, I would like to wish you a…
Child abduction Singapore

A child abducted from Singapore to England

A child abducted from Singapore to England A Hague Convention Summary return application A Singaporean/British couple have two dual-nationality children.…

Our Annual Review – 2022

Annual Review 2022 Happy New YearAwards and RecognitionsNotable and Reported CasesSpeaking engagementsThe divorce journey for British expats in SingaporeIn the…
Shortlisted for International Family Lawyer of the Year at Family Law Awards 2022