Miss Sophia Gonella
|Member of the Durham Law School|
Sophia is a Part-time Tutor of Trusts Law and Land Law. She was a recipient of the Durham Law School Master of Jurisprudence Studentship in 2020 and her MJur thesis, entitled 'Trusts of the Family Home, the 'Familialisation' of Property Law and the Potential for Judicial Development' explored the blend of trusts, property and family law principles in the context of the property consequences following cohabitation.
Having graduated with a first class honours degree in Law (LLB) from Durham University, she was awarded the Hefin Rees QC prize for attaining the highest mark in her cohort for Media Law. She is a Harmsworth Scholar from The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple and intends to practice as a Family barrister, having obtained pupillage at a leading matrimonial finance chambers in London.
Sophia’s thesis seeks to critically evaluate the current law governing trusts of the family home and its application to ownership disputes between former cohabitants. Her research focuses on the use of judicial discretion in this context and the extent to which it can be deployed when the courts are inferring or imputing intentions to the parties concerned. This research will involve drawing upon recent academic scholarship to critique the existing law and evaluate contemporary criticism of the process of ‘familialisation’ of property law. Sophia will explore how the judiciary could continue to shape this familialisation process and advocate for further judicial development of the law so as to protect economically vulnerable cohabiting parties. Sophia is supervised by Dr Andy Hayward (Primary) and Mr Chris Bevan (Secondary).
Sophia holds office hours on Fridays 16.00-17.00 via Microsoft Teams.