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Samuel Phillips Law

A year in the life of… Jenny Goldstein

A year in the life

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

I expected to start 2021 returning from abroad after attending my eldest son’s wedding – that was not possible.

As I write this, I am 4 days – PCR test willing – from attending the now 2x cancelled wedding in Dubai.

There are 50 people including the Bride and Groom to make it Dubai with negative PCR tests – what could go wrong!

We already had the Nikah ceremony, in our front living room at 2.30pm on Saturday 30th October with 2 days’ notice and help of our neighbours who pulled in friends of the right cultural background to make it happen – we only had to decorate the house – put on the food – and get the IT working.

Who would know the British Muslim Council had in place a protocol with safeguards to enable this very important part of the ceremony to take remotely?

So, we with our guests in our finery were in our living room and Ghalia were in their finery in their living room in Pakistan.

I never thought the phrase, “the Imam is here,” would be something I would hear in my house on a Saturday afternoon.

A big thank you goes to my lovely client who put me in touch with her Imam to make all this happen.

As always it doesn’t matter who you are – what your belief system is – its all about who you know to ask for help.

All in all, a slightly surreal, but moving experience, as we expect the 3 days of further celebrations will be Dubai.

As for the rest of my 2021: – the SPL team has fully adapted to hybrid working – did it really have to take a pandemic to make this happen – as creatures of habit I think yes.

Having court hearing remotely is now perfectly normal – whilst not perfect, surely, we can do the minor direction hearings this way in the future – saving the court attendance for hearings when evidence is needed? I think of all the hours I must have spent in my 32yrs career waiting around court rooms for hearings to start, what a waste of time.

Divorce financial hearing online even with a complex asset/ business schedule is so doable – I have been doing hearings likely this almost weekly without difficulty – there may be the odd connection issue, but the Judge’s clerks have become very able at sorting issues

All systems everywhere are more sophisticated – sharing information with clients about their case – sharing documents online is all now so normal.

Alternate ways to deal with dispute ie Mediation and Arbitration are finally more popular – why wait for the court and inevitable delay and cost. I can hear the case in our board room – it is fully recorded, and my award is simply sealed by the court as a final order. It is difficult to become an accredited Arbitrator (and so it should be) and including myself there are 6 others locally – all very experienced family Lawyers.

So hopefully I end the year as I had expected to start it, but who knows and if we have learnt anything through this awful time in the world, we need to expect nothing and at the same time everything.

Happy New Year everyone – take care and have fun.

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