27-28 April 2023
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
We extend a warm welcome to family lawyers wishing to attend our conference in Abu Dhabi on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 April 2023.
The 1.5-day event will cover a range of international family law topics, and is aimed at family lawyers from all jurisdictions around the world. The conference will consist of lectures and panel sessions from over 20 top family law solicitors, barristers and Judges. The learning sessions will be interspersed with coffee breaks, lunches, drinks and dinners to enable delegates to meet each other and forge professional relationships and friendships.
You will hear about:
- the new family laws and practices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi which is essential learning for all practitioners advising on cases involving the Middle East
- family arbitration schemes around the world, with a particular focus on the new Abu Dhabi family arbitration scheme for expats; and
- asset protection schemes in the Middle East, mediation, prenuptial agreements, enforcement and jurisdiction issues
The conference will have a strong practical approach. Our aim is to give delegates practical guidance and understanding that will assist their day-to-day practices, regardless of the jurisdiction that they practise in.
The conference will culminate in an optional afternoon and evening trip to a tented camp in the Abu Dhabi desert for dune boarding, camel riding and dinner.
Abu Dhabi is a wonderful place to visit in April, when the weather is perfectly warm and pleasant. The conference is a great opportunity to visit the Louvre Museum of Art and the famous Abu Dhabi mosque, both a short taxi ride from the conference hotel. Abu Dhabi is an hour from Dubai by car (without a border), or a short flight from Oman, for those wanting to extend their trip.
Please do reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for any recommendations.
The conference will aim to start at 9:30am on 27 April, and conclude at 3pm on 28 April 2023.
The new family laws and expat family court in Abu Dhabi
Dr Lena-Maria Möller
Visiting Professor of Islamic Law, University of Münster
The new family laws in Dubai
Managing Partner, Expatriate Law
The Abu Dhabi expat court – 6 months in
Judge (to be announced)
Abu Dhabi Family Court
Arbitration and expat cases
Barrister, Arbitrator, Collaborative Lawyer, QEB
Partner and Head of UAE, Expatriate Law
Family mediation – A global perspective
Senior Director, Clarks Attorneys
Owner, MK Family Law
Partner, Expatriate Law
Senior Counsel and Managing Director, Engelin Teh Practice
Senior Consultant, Expatriate Law
Professor David Hodson OBE KC(Hons)
Co-founder and Partner, The International Family Law Group
Stranded spouses – risks and remedies
Teertha Gupta KC
Specialist Senior Barrister, 4 Paper Buildings
Reverse leave to remove applications (and why they are preferential to child abduction)
William Tyler KC
Joint Head of Chambers, 36 Family
Enforcement in the United Arab Emirates
Speaker to be confirmed
Financial remedies for separating expats – Practical tips and guidance for international family lawyers
Nicholas Allen KC
Joint Head of Chambers, 29 Bedford Row
Barrister, 29 Bedford Row
Alexis Campbell KC
Joint Head of Chambers, 29 Bedford Row
Asset protection methods in the Middle East
Partner, Davidson & Co Law Firm
Senior Consultant, Al Tamimi & Co
Managing Partner, M/HQ
Principal, Trench & Associates DMCC
Prenuptial agreements – International considerations
Senior Associate, Expatriate Law
Child abduction in the UAE
Dr Hassan Elhais
Legal Consultant, Al Rowaad Advocates
Senior Advocate, Founder & Managing Partner, Al Gharib & Associates
Forum non conveniens
Barrister, 1 Hare Court
Nicholas Allen KC
Joint Head of Chambers, 29 Bedford Row - London, UK
Barrister and Joint Head of Chambers at 29 Bedford Row (London) specialising in financial remedy work. Door Tenant at St. Ives Chambers (Birmingham). Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2018. Appointed Deputy High Court Judge in 2021 assigned to the Family Division (previously Recorder of the Family Court from 2016).
Barrister, 29 Bedford Row - London, UK
Sassa’s practice focus is on all aspects of financial remedy proceedings, to include pre-nuptial settlements, Part III and variation applications, and, Schedule 1. She has a particular expertise in cases involving non-disclosure, complex company structures and assets located in multiple jurisdictions. She has appeared in both the Court of Appeal and in the Supreme Court.
Barrister, Arbitrator, Collaborative Lawyer, QEB - London, UK
Duncan is ranked Band 1 in Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 and has a wealth of expertise in complex financial cases involving high and ultra-high net worth clients, including issues relating to businesses, trusts, taxation and international forum disputes.
Alexis Campbell KC
Joint Head of Chambers, 29 Bedford Row - London, UK
Alexis is joint Head of Chambers and a specialist in HNW matrimonial finance and Schedule 1 applications with extensive experience in cross jurisdictional cases. She is particularly well regarded for pragmatic negotiation and where that fails, exacting cross examination.
Senior Director, Clarks Attorneys - Gauteng, South Africa
Beverley is a qualified and experienced divorce mediator and has mediated many difficult and acrimonious divorces and separations. She is also trained in collaborative law, a new field in South Africa. Beverley frequently deals with family law matters with an international angle.
Dr Hassan Elhais
Legal Consultant, Al Rowaad Advocates - Dubai, UAE
Hassan acts for individuals in the full spectrum of family matters, including financial matters and complex custody matters. His unwavering professionalism and commitment to clients attract instructions from high‐net worth individuals on family issues and inheritance claims.
He has been awarded as a leading Divorce and Family Lawyer in the UAE for several successive years by varied reputed organisations in the region.
Teertha Gupta KC
Specialist Senior Barrister, 4 Paper Buildings - London, UK
Teertha is a specialist senior barrister and trial advocate with over 30 years of experience. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2012 and a (Family) Deputy High Court Judge in 2016. Teertha also sits as a part time Circuit Judge (a Recorder) in the Criminal and Civil courts and on the Football Association Safeguarding Review Panel.
Prof David Hodson OBE KC(Hons)
Co-Founder and Partner, The International Family Law Group - London, UK
David is a co-founder and partner of The International Family Law Group. He is an English solicitor, mediator, arbitrator, Australian (NSW) solicitor and a deputy (part time) family court judge at the Central Family Court and Western Circuit. He was awarded the OBE for services to international family law and appointed QC(Hons) by virtue of making a significant impact on the law of England and Wales.
Partner and Head of UAE, Expatriate Law - Abu Dhabi, UAE
Byron is a Partner and Head of the Expatriate Law team in the United Arab Emirates. He has an expert understanding of the local law and culture, in particular the way in which it affects expatriates. He specialises in all aspects of family law, ranging from divorce and financial remedy cases to disputes involving children.
Owner, MK Family Law - USA
Melissa is an international family law expert and owner of international law firm MK Family Law.
Melissa served as a consultant to the Hague Conference on Private International Law in 2013 and is a long-standing member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law.
Partner, Expatriate Law - London, UK
Hero is a Partner at Expatriate Law and practises as a solicitor, collaborative lawyer and mediator.
Hero deals with complex financial issues arising on divorce, including cases involving the ownership of multi-million pound company assets, pre-nuptial agreements and financial claims by parents who are unmarried.
Partner, Davidson & Co - Dubai, UAE
Andrew is a Partner at Davidson & Co and currently heads the Firm’s Dispute Resolution practice which encompasses both domestic and international Arbitration and Commercial Litigation. His experience extends from general commercial and employment related disputes to real estate, general debt recovery and those dealing with complex cross border and multi-jurisdictional facets.
Senior Consultant, Al Tamimi & Co. - Dubai, UAE
Dipali is an English qualified lawyer with over 12 years of experience. Prior joining the Private Client Services at Al Tamimi and Company, Dipali practiced as a corporate lawyer in the London office of a top private equity law firm, specialising in private equity, M&A, P2Ps, IPOs, LLPs, joint ventures, shareholder agreements and corporate restructurings.
Managing Partner, Malhotra & Malhotra Associates - India
Ranjit Malhotra specialises in private international law, commissions expert reports on Indian family law issues in foreign jurisdictions renders expert analysis and testimony for family law, surrogacy and immigration cases and advises foreign lawyers.
He is on the Board of Governors of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. He has also been lecturing regularly on International family law issues in major jurisdiction worldwide.
His firm, Malhotra & Malhotra Associates, is on the panel of lawyers for eleven foreign missions / embassies in New Delhi.
He was the first Indian lawyer to be awarded the prestigious Felix Scholarship to read for the LLM degree at the SOAS in 1992.
Dr Lena-Maria Möller
Visiting Professor of Islamic Law, University of Münster - Germany
Lena-Maria is a visiting professor of Islamic law at the University of Münster and an affiliated research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg. Her research and teaching interests concern contemporary Middle Eastern and Islamic law, with a focus on Muslim family law, as well as comparative and private international law.
Barrister, 1 Hare Court - London, UK
Lily’s practice covers all aspects of private family law, in particular the financial and international elements. Lily is known for her specialism in technical financial remedy issues and is recognised for her expertise in declaration of marital status matters. She has authored chapters in the latest edition of the leading family law textbook, Rayden and Jackson.
Managing Partner, M/HQ - Dubai, UAE
Yann chiefly focuses on private wealth and immigration practice. He has vast experience advising clients with Middle Eastern exposure on implementing intergenerational wealth transfer strategies and structuring their operational assets and global wealth.
Yann is recommended by Chambers & Partners Private Wealth, Legal Week’s Private Client Global Elite and Who’s who legal private client. He was the Chair of STEP Arabia from 2015 to 2018.
Barrister, QEB - London, UK
Morgan focuses on all aspects of financial work in the field of family law, with an emphasis on matrimonial finance cases. He also regularly advises in property disputes between unmarried couples under “TLATA” and applications for financial provision for children. His caseload involves financial cases of significant complexity frequently involving the valuation of shares in private companies, trust assets and complex remuneration structures.
Senior Associate, Expatriate Law - London, UK
Oscar is an expert on international cases, including forum and jurisdiction disputes, with a particular interest in cases within the EU or the Middle East, and advising clients about asset protection through nuptial and cohabitation agreements.
Oscar is a Resolution Accredited Specialist in complex high-net worth financial remedies and in cohabitation cases where parties are not married.
Senior Counsel and Managing Director, Engelin Teh Practice - Singapore
With more than four decades of experience in complex commercial litigation and family law, Engelin has represented several high-net-worth clients in complex international family litigation relating to divorce, maintenance, division of matrimonial assets and child issues, including child abduction and relocation.
Engelin is an internationally accredited mediator and sits on the panels of several mediation centres in Singapore.
Principal, Trench & Associates DMCC - Dubai, UAE
Cynthia specialises in corporate and property law as well as private client. Her expertise is in respect of enabling clients to be established in the Middle East expeditiously in a cost effective way. She has also handled many mergers and acquisitions paying particular regard to succession planning. Cynthia arrived in Dubai in 1989.
Her first language is English but she also speaks Cantonese and French.
Managing Partner, Expatriate Law - London, UK
Alexandra is a specialist international divorce and family lawyer and co-founded Expatriate Law in 2010. Her expertise is in advising international families in the UK, and British expatriates residing in the Middle East.
Alexandra has been accredited by Resolution as a specialist in International Family Law and Advanced Financial Provision, is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and ranked by Chamber & Partners.
Senior Consultant, Expatriate Law - Australia
David has practised family law for over 40 years and is one of the foremost experts in legal jurisdictional disputes. He has been at the forefront of family law reform, acting as an advisor to governments in both Australia and the United Kingdom. He is a dual-qualified lawyer in Australia and in England and Wales, a Resolution Accredited Specialist, and mediator and family law arbitrator in Australia, specialising in Anglo-Australian dispute resolution.
William Tyler KC
Joint Head of Chambers, 36 Family - London, UK
William Tyler KC is a specialist family law Silk appearing throughout the country in the most high profile or complicated private and public law children cases with a particular emphasis on cases raising difficult international issues.
William has huge experience of cases in the Court of Appeal and the UK Supreme Court.
Abu Dhabi Family Court - Abu Dhabi, UAE
A Judge of the Abu Dhabi Family Court will present at the conference. The Judge will be confirmed nearer the time.
About Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is the capital of United Arab Emirates. It is a city built on over 200 islands, all nestled into the sun-kissed sands of the Arabian Gulf. Boasting some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, Abu Dhabi is made up of three main regions (areas) – the UAE capital city and its surrounds, Al Ain (Eastern Region) and Al Dhafra (Western Region). Thanks to its geographically diverse scenery and rich culture and history, the districts within these regions are a dream to explore. Enjoy exquisite desert sunsets in the Empty Quarter, kayak through mangrove forests, marvel at ancient UNESCO World Heritage sites, visit awe-inspiring architectural landmarks, museums and galleries, wander beneath palm trees in centuries-old oases, go wild at adventure and theme parks, relax at luxury resorts and shop in some of the world’s best shopping malls.
The city has busy calendar of events throughout the year. From endless shopping and cultural tours, to desert excursions and wildlife parks for nature lovers, there’s something for everyone.
Plan your trip
The official Abu Dhabi website has a wealth of information for planning your ideal trip.
The UAE is four hours ahead of UTC (Coordinated Universal Time, formerly known as GMT) and there is no daylight saving.
For more information about travelling to Abu Dhabi, exploring the emirate and more about the culture of the UAE, check out Visit Abu Dhabi’s handy essentials guide.
Before you travel it is worth understanding the visit visa regulations of Abu Dhabi. Visas are available free of charge from citizens of most countries, however, you can find out more information about visas for peace of mind.
Abu Dhabi International Airport is approximately 30 minutes away by car and a number of airlines operate from this airport.
Dubai International Airport is a viable alternative and is about 1 hour 15 minutes away by car. A taxi to the conference venue or area from Dubai airport costs approx AED300/GBP60 and no prior booking is required. However, if you’d like some assistance with booking a car, please do get in touch – email@example.com.
Flights to Dubai currently appear to be cheaper, with direct flights available from London from GBP500 and indirect flights from GBP300. (updated 31 January).
Dress ‘code’ for women in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi is an extremely safe place for women; people are very respectful to women in the UAE.
The UAE has an expat population of over 90%, and as a result are very used to visitors. Although Abu Dhabi is a bit more conservative than its neighbouring emirate Dubai, it is still relaxed. On the whole, visitors dress much as they would in any hot country, but it is customary and respectful to avoid wearing very short shorts or skirts and cover the shoulders. Bikinis and swimsuits are fine on the beaches and by pools.
Booking Your Accommodation
We have secured a number of preferential rates for guests of the conference. You can view the information on the hotels below. Make your reservation with the special rates by clicking on the button below for your preferred hotel.
The conference will be held at The Rosewood hotel, and the conference dinner will be at The Four Seasons. All hotels listed below are within easy reach of each other, 5-10 minutes on foot.
Rosewood Hotel Abu Dhabi
Located on Al Maryah Island at the core of Abu Dhabi’s new Central Business District, Rosewood Abu Dhabi will host the International Family Law conference 2023.
It has been recognised as one of the best places to stay and eat in Abu Dhabi by the world’s leading publications, travel magazines and consumer organisations.
Special room rate for stays between Wednesday 26 April to Monday 1 May 2023 (check-out on Tuesday 2 May 2023):
Deluxe room, single occupancy: AED793.10 (approx £182)
Deluxe room, double occupancy: AED894.50 (approx £205)
*Book by 12 February 2023 to secure this special rate. Subject to availability at the time of booking. Rates are inclusive of breakfast, taxes and service charge.
Rooms can be booked via the booking link below or by contacting the hotel directly.
Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island
The venue for our conference dinner, Four Seasons Abu Dhabi Hotel on Al Maryah Island stands out at the edge of the Arabian Gulf.
The definition of luxury, it provides an ultra-modern sanctuary in the heart of Abu Dhabi with expansive views of the city skyline and the Arabian Gulf. The Four Seasons is only a five-minute walk from the conference venue (the Rosewood Hotel).
Special conference room rate available for stays between Wednesday 26 and Sunday 30 April 2023 (check-out Monday 1 May 2023):
Deluxe Room King, single occupancy: AED987.63* (approx £227)
Deluxe Waterfront King, single occupany: AED1,113.13* (approx £256)
Executive Suite King, single occupancy: AED1,897.50* (approx £436)
Promo Code: ELG260423
Steps to book room:
- Click on the below button to be directed to the Four Seasons booking website.
- Click on ‘Check Rates’ button on top right of website. Enter your chosen dates, number of adults staying and the promotional code (ELG260423). Click on ‘Check Rates’.
- Select a room to proceed with your booking and payment.
*Limited availability. Rates are inclusive of premium internet access, buffet breakfast, taxes and service charges. An additional fee of AED125 will apply per room per night for double occupancy.
Le Méridien Abu Dhabi
Situated in the heart of Abu Dhabi, Le Méridien Abu Dhabi is a seven-minute walk across the bridge from the conference venue on Al Maryah Island.
Find refuge in one of 248 newly renovated and spacious guest rooms. Le Méridien Abu Dhabi features a wealth of wellness comforts with a fully equipped gym, spa, pools, access to a beautiful private beach and 12 exceptional restaurants and lounges. Verdant winding walkways connect a picturesque village of eating places and guest rooms.
Update (4 October 2022): The issues with the booking link is now fixed. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Special conference room rates are available for stays between Sunday 23 April and Sunday 30 April 2023 (latest check-out at this rate by Monday 1 May 2023).
Deluxe Guest Room with King-size bed: AED400.29* (approx £92)
*Book by Sunday 1 April 2023 to secure this special rate. Subject to availability at the time of booking. Taxes and service charges are included in the above room rate.
Important: Please use Google Chrome browser to make the booking as other browsers will show an error message.
The standard conference fee is £325.
What’s included in the ticket price:
- 1.5 days of lectures and presentations with PDF notes as appropriate
- Networking opportunity
- Goodie bag
- Coffee breaks morning and afternoon on both days
- 3-course buffet lunch on both days (see below)
Coffee breaks morning and afternoon on the 27 and 28 April
Welcome coffee break
- French style cheese croissant
- Miniature apple pocket Danish
- Vanilla cookies / oatmeal cookies
- Jiggery and honeycomb
- Chef selection of two seasonal whole fruits
Afternoon coffee break
- Chicken shawarma sandwich wrap
- Chef selection of eclairs
- Cheese fattayar/ shrimps wonton
- New York cheesecake
Lunches on 27 and 28 April in the Rosewood Ballroom
Cold appetizers & salad
- Mutabal baba ganoush
- Grilled halloumi with figs and rocket
- Tomato and mint-flavored quinoa salad
- Peppered mackerel with green apple salad
- Assorted garden greens with selection of dressings
- Leek and potato soup with chives
- Chicken cordon bleu, turkey ham and emmenthal
- Roasted fish with asparagus and saffron lemon butter
- Rice pilaf
- Buttered seasonal vegetables
- Potato hara with lemon and chili
- Penne arrabiata
- Chocolate temptations
- Peanut butter cheesecake
- Seasonal fruit Salad
- Bread & butter pudding (hot)
Dinner at the Four Seasons – £100
27 April 2022, 9-11pm in Liwa Ballroom
We warmly invite you to join us for the conference dinner which will be held at the elegant Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi on Al Maryah Island. Tickets for the Conference Dinner may be added to your chosen package during the registration process and the cost per ticket is £100. The dinner buffet will consist of 10 starters, 8 main courses including 3 vegetarian options, and 12 dessert options. The ticket also includes half a bottle of wine with your meal.
The Conference Dinner will be held in a private function space and offers you an excellent chance to make connections with other conference participants from around the world over delicious food.
This is a ticketed event and there are a limited number of places, so please book early to avoid disappointment. Extra tickets may be purchased for guests if desired.
Desert excursion – £45
28 April 2022, 3:30-9:30pm
When in Abu Dhabi, you don’t want to miss the opportunity for a memorable desert excursion. This is a ticketed event and there are a limited number of places, so please book early to avoid disappointment. Extra tickets may be purchased for guests if desired.
- Pickup by 4×4
- 4×4 Dune Drive (Desert Safari)
- Camel farm visit
- Sand boarding
- Camel ride
- Henna painting
- Arabic costume for taking photos
- Tea, coffee, Arabic coffee
- Water, soft drinks
- Henna tattoo
- Desert sunset
- Belly dance
- Tanourah dance
- BBQ buffet dinner
- Drop off
- Quad bike (AED 50/USD 13.62 For 10 Minutes, payable on site)