A few years ago Debrett’s, the ultimate authority on British etiquette, branched out into the world of marital breakdown and collaborated with the London law firm Mishcon de Reya to produce a Guide to Civilised Separation. “Throwing your husband’s vintage wine collection down the loo or cutting his suits to shreds might seem like a therapeutic gesture when you’re in the throes of rage and despair,” it advised, “but it can rebound on you and undermine your case.”
As we unfurl our napkins at an outdoor table at the Chiltern Firehouse, the celebrity hang-out hotel just off Baker Street, I raise this with my guest. She if anyone will understand. Sandra Davis is one of London’s top divorce lawyers. Head of Mishcon’s family law division, she has handled the break-ups of a string of celebrities: Jerry Hall, the Texan supermodel, in her split from Mick Jagger; Thierry Henry, the Arsenal footballer; Tamara Mellon, co-founder of British fashion brand Jimmy Choo.
There are many more we do not know about — and, she makes it pretty clear, it’s going to stay that way. But as we wait — in vain, as it happens — for a waiter to take our order, she does at least confirm the wine story actually happened.
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