Video: Access to family justice internationally during the Covid-19 crisis – Part 3

This webinar considered family court closures internationally across six jurisdictions in the response to Covid-19 and how each is providing access to justice.

Recorded on 15th May 2020

This webinar discussed the current situation regarding the global access to family justice during the extraordinary times we live in.

This webinar considered family court closures internationally across six jurisdictions in the response to Covid-19 and how each is providing access to justice.
It considered issues such as:
  • When the lockdown has come into effect across different jurisdictions, in particular regarding access to courts and education
  • The current level of access to family courts at first instance and at appeal level
  • How technology and remote access is being facilitated in different jurisdictions
  • Patterns of court closure in holiday periods and how urgent cases are being managed


  • Sarah Lucy Cooper – England & Wales
  • Samantha Gershon – Hong Kong
  • Anthony Gross – Kenya
  • Karen O’Leary – Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland
  • Byron James – Dubai
  • Svetlana Garcia – Russia
  • Manuela Tirini – Italy

Watch full webinar

Moderated by: Sarah Lucy Cooper – England & Wales

Barrister, Thomas More Chambers. Sarah is an experienced specialist Family Lawyer with a particular emphasis on international cases. She is a member of the International Committee of Resolution, the International Committee of the Bar Council and founded the British Spanish Law Association. She has written for a variety of publications including International Family Law Journal and Family Law Week and is a regular speaker to English and foreign lawyers. Sarah has also been appointed as a Family Recorder on the South East Circuit and is a Resolution trained mediator.

You can view the individual presentations from each speaker below.


Download the notes which accompany this webinar.



Samantha Gershon – Hong Kong

Samantha is a partner in the divorce and family team at Withersworldwide. She has over 20 years’ experience in litigation and uses her commercial litigation experience to provide a unique perspective to family law cases. Samantha is currently the Chair of the Hong Kong Family Law Association and was previously the Honorary Secretary from 2016 to 2018.

See Samantha’s presentation below:


Anthony Gross – Kenya

Founder and Senior Partner of A.F. Gross Advocates, Nairobi Kenya, with 40 years of practise in Kenya. Experience of international family law and cross border custody disputes. CEDR accredited mediator, panel of mediators (C.I.Arb) London and Chartered Arbitrator (FCI.Arb, C.I Arb London) Director and Co-founder of Strathmore Dispute Resolution Centre in Kenya.

See Anthony’s presentation below:


Karen O’Leary – Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Karen is the head of family law and specialised in international cases in Caldwell & Robinson. She practices in both Ireland and Northern Ireland and is also qualified in England and Wales. Karen is an IAFL fellow, a mediator and Chartered Arbitrator in Family Law (Finance)

See Karen’s presentation below:


Byron James – Dubai

Byron JamesByron is a Partner and Head of the Expatriate Law team in Dubai. Having been based in the Middle East for several years 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, divorce and financial remedy cases to disputes involving children.

See Byron’s presentation below:


Svetlana Garcia – Russia

Svetlana Dmitriyevna Garcia. Lawyer of Bar Association of St Petersburg. Professor of law in University of Justice of Russia. Member of the association “AIJUDEFA”.

See Svetlana’s presentation below:


Manuela Tirini – Italy

Decennium experience in the field of family law (separations, divorces, termination of more uxorio cohabitation, custody of natural children, parental responsibility, recognition of illegitimate children and all the problems inherent in the judicial and extrajudicial activities that revolve around the family as the central nucleus of our society) and international law.

See Manuela’s presentation below:




View previous recordings

You can view the recordings of the previous two webinars.

Part 1: (recorded on 23 April) which considered the following jurisdictions: Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Poland, Singapore and Spain.

Part 2: (recorded on 4 May) which considered the following jurisdictions: USA, Chile, Malaysia, Scotland, France and South Africa.