How Erma Rizvi, one of our divorce and separation solicitors is continuing to support clients during the pandemic
Erma Rizvi, one of our divorce and separation solicitors at our Margate office, is working from home, attending remote court hearings and bringing peace of mind for her clients during the coronavirus pandemic. Here she talks about how she is helping clients navigate through the frequently complex situations they are facing and helping put their minds at ease.
Erma explains: “Many families are experiencing new and unexpected challenges as a result of the pandemic, often causing further worry and distress during already difficult times. We are therefore doing all we can to ensure we are easily contactable and accessible.
“Most correspondence is now being dealt with by email and cases are progressing as usual. For example, I have recently been busy preparing replies to questionnaires, checking Form E’s and liaising with third parties to obtain relevant information, with little trouble.”
Boys & Maughan’s family team is making sure it keeps up to date with procedural and protocol changes during the Covid-19 crisis so it can act in the best interests of clients.
“It is crucial that clients are kept up to date in respect of how any changes due to the pandemic will impact their case, for example in respect of remote court hearings,” says Erma.
“Over the past couple of days, in order to prepare for a hearing which took place yesterday, I was busy constantly liaising with the judge, the solicitors on the other side, our counsel and our client to agree the best way forward given that no one would be attending court in person. We were able to agree a specific hearing time with the judge and ensure that all the important documents were placed before her before the hearing took place. The judge emailed us directly with requests for further information. This was a particularly unusual case and it was therefore brilliant to be able to communicate with the judge directly prior to the hearing.”
“In other matters we are working hard to negotiate and settle cases or agree directions outside of court, where possible, so as to cause minimal disruption to the progress of cases generally.
“I have also settled some cases on an interim basis so that the final hearings can be adjourned as it was agreed that remote final hearings are not in the client’s best interests in recent weeks. In order for this to happen, I have had to negotiate and agree a way forward with the opposing solicitors to ensure an outcome that best serves my client. Once an agreement has been reached, we have written to the court to ask for the final hearing to be re-listed.
“Overall, I would sum up that working from home is going remarkably smoothly. I have been able to support clients much as I would do in the office and achieved some very positive results for them.
“My only minor challenge is not being tempted by the easily available treats in my kitchen. To deal with this I have set up my home office upstairs, so I am as far away as possible during working hours!”
Erma Rizvi’s direct dial is 01843 269346. You can contact Erma for advice on a wide variety of matters including divorce, financial remedy, separation agreements, injunctions in cases of domestic violence, child arrangements orders, prohibited steps orders, specific issue orders, prenuptial agreements and property disputes arising from cohabitation.