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Annual Review 2022

Looking back to this time last year, we were looking forward to the recovery from the turmoil the pandemic had caused. Russia’s invasion on Ukraine then brought another layer of complexity and our thoughts are with everyone affected by the conflict.

Since starting our annual round-up in 2018, I am overcome with tremendous pride for everyone in our firm as I look back to take stock of all we’ve achieved. It is a privilege to share these with you, our esteemed colleagues. In our endeavour to support British expats worldwide navigate the landscape of international divorce, we firmly believe that sharing knowledge and expertise is a vital part of achieving this.

The Abu Dhabi family courts, and subsequently all of the UAE courts, announced in 2022 a number of changes to their laws which hugely impact all British expatriates based in the region. In the spirit of knowledge sharing, we have organised a conference in Abu Dhabi (27-28 April 2023) to discuss the latest international family law landscape and you are warmly invited to join us. The cost has been kept to a minimum at just £325 with the support of the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau. This is to allow as many attendees to benefit from the insights of some of the leading experts in international family law. Fantastic rates at local hotels have also been secured. Find out more about the conference or book your place on Eventbrite.

Sonny Patel has also published an eBook Divorce Journey for British Expats in Singapore. The collection of articles distil essential guidance and wisdom and are authored by a wide variety of credible professionals who are (or have been) expats themselves and who advise British expats in Singapore on a regular basis.

As if the legal changes in UAE weren’t enough to keep him busy, Byron James, who heads up our UAE office, continues to astound. 2022 marked his admission to the International Academy of Family Law, being awarded International Family Lawyer of the Year by the Family Law Awards, being top-ranked in Chambers & Partners, and his first case in Supreme Court. All the while, his clients continually praise him for his vast knowledge, pragmatism and calm approach.

Also noteworthy, Hero Lomas was made Partner in 2022. Hero is regularly instructed in cases in the High Court concerning child abduction matters, Hague and non-Hague cases and cases involving the inherent jurisdiction. Clients value Hero’s calm approach and her ability to achieve out-of-court settlements where possible. Hero is also co-producer and co-host of Family Law Live!, a topical chat show which has broadcast over 30 episodes since its launch in 2020, which was also shortlisted in the category of Commentator of the Year in the 2022 Family Law Awards. It takes the format of a permanent panel interviewing guests and is hosted by Hero Lomas, Fiona Lyon, Partner at Anthony Gold LLP, and Hannah Jones, Counsel at 36 Family.

We have published a number of videos, articles and podcast. Interviews with family lawyers from Belgium, Portugal, Spain and Sweden provide an insight into the legal process around divorce in these countries as a foreign national, including considerations around division of assets, spousal maintenance, child arrangements in these countries.

I am thrilled to introduce our latest members of the Expatriate Law team. Ambar Bharwani, Antonia Church and Beatrice Ermolin joined our firm this year and in their short time, have already firmly settled into the team, supporting on a variety of complex and interesting cases. Welcome to the team! We are also delighted to welcome back Sophie Capo-Bianco as she returned from maternity leave.

As ever, thank you for taking the time to read our annual round-up. If you are ever interested in collaborating, such as an eBook, interview, seminar, conference, podcast – you name it – please do reach out to me.

Warmest wishes for the New Year,

Alexandra Tribe

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