Our Team

Our Team

Dee Popat

Dee Popat

  • Head of Family Law Department
  • Solicitor/Senior Legal Consultant
Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Law Society of England & Wales
  • Family Law Specialist
  • Legal Affairs Department of Dubai


Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England & Wales (2003)

Legal Affairs Department of Dubai (2014)


  • English
  • Hindi
  • Gujarati

Membership of Social/Networking Groups

IBWG (International Business Women’s Group (Dubai))

Having recently been successfully guided through the UK Spouse Visa application process by Dee Popat at James Berry Law, I am pleased to provide this recommendation of her service.


My initial email enquiry to James Berry Law was promptly responded to, with a short fact-finding meeting taking place a few days later with Dee, at which time the visa application process was outlined. I was given an estimate of the time required, cost, required effort on my part, a broad outline of the process and likelihood of success. All these estimates proved to be very accurate.


Throughout the process Dee and her team anticipated the minor frustrations involved in the application process, were helpful, responsive and a pleasure to interact with; the result has been a feeling of personal attention.


Overall, the service produced the required result in minimum time – value for money.


Kerry Wilton


Kerry Wilton

Thank you Dee for your excellent service in achieving the positive result in respect of my spouse visa application to the UK.  I would anytime recommend you and give you 5 star for your guidance and advise.

With Much appreciation.  S Aromoohan 

S Aromoohan

I approached James Berry & Associates with a complicated personal matter - that of divorce. I was put in touch with Family Law Specialist and Senior Legal Counsel, Dee Popat, who immediately empathised with my situation, advised me accordingly, and provided the necessary guidance to navigate the UAE court system. Dee and her team were professional and attentive throughout the process. All aspects of my case were examined in detail and Dee's advice proved to be sound. Thank you to Dee and the James Berry team. 

RM-UAE Divorce client

Dee Popat is a most efficient and knowledgeable Solicitor when it comes to UK Immigration.  She was able to resolve a difficult situation correctly on the first occasion.   Dee is highly recommended by me.


Dee Popat represented me during my divorce proceedings.  She is extremely knowledgeable about both the UK and UAE matrimonial and family law.  Dee’s proactive and professional approach ensured that the proceedings were succinct and focused.  She was both supportive but also measured in the legal advice she gave, enabling me to make logical decisions within what was a very painful and upsetting experience.  Dee kept me updated on the progress of my case and didn’t recommend unnecessary steps.  She was a strong advocate in a round table discussion, ensuring my interests were paramount and was not phased by the tactics of the other advocate.


I highly recommend using James Berry & Associates notary services. I have visited their offices multiple times to get important documents certified. Every time my visits are seamless and handled with great professionalism by Dee and Irene. I always leave happy knowing that the process is made so easy for me!

Thanks again for all your help! R Holdgate


R Holdgate

Dear Dee,

I am now at the end of what is never a great time in life and that is a divorce. At the beginning I was lost how to react as obviously court correspondence is cold and a little intimidating. However thanks to you and your team you guided me through the process. Advising what I should and should not do, how to react to the demands of the system were so important to me as it removed a lot of stress from a stressful process. Your early guidance on the pit falls regarding costs and how to proceed were clearly highly important. You did bring a lot of comfort and a smile to my face when you dealt with the occasional tricky legal points with a clear professional reply quoting other legal precedents that stopped what looked like a major problem for me. Entering a law office is always a bit intimidating but Irene’s smile and offer of a cup of coffee always settled me quickly. Now I move on in life with new challenges ahead but with a clear path thanks to your amazing professional support. I wish you and the team all the very best for the future.

Finally thank you for the very professional work and support.


Best regards,


S.D- Divorce Client

I worked with Dee during 2014 for my divorce. For what is a stressful situation, I was given clear and professional advice, together with guidance on the various options available to me. This helped me to reach a speedy and satisfactory conclusion, with a minimum of stress.

Andy Gibbins

Thank you again Dee, you were fantastic throughout and your advice was spot on. I felt extremely comfortable with you and thank you for making the process simple enough for me to understand it all and quite unstressful. You guys were fantastic and the work you have put in, meritorious. This is easily evidenced by the outcome of the case.

John Z

Dear Dee

I want to thank you most sincerely for acting on my behalf and for the advice which led to me receiving a settlement which I am very happy with.  You and Irene helped me go through a very difficult process and come out the other end intact. I am so happy I came to you.

Once again thank you, to you and Irene for your professionalism and for your advice and for the satisfactory outcome for me.

Kind regards,



We asked Ms Popat to assist in organising our application for my wife’s UK spouse visa. We felt it would be a stressful process and wanted to have an experienced UK solicitor on our side to give us the best chance of obtaining the visa as quickly as possible.  Ms Popat was most diligent in organising and collating all the information we needed to submit, helped us complete the form, provided insight and advice regarding presenting information in the right way and importantly laid out the excellent organisation of our documents and additional pertinent information on a very clear covering letter. We feel her efforts were pivotal in our very swift and successful application. Highly recommended.”


Mr & Mrs P Smith

For a recently concluded Financial Dispute Resolution that Dee was handling, Counsel who was appointed said "Counsel is grateful for the instructions on this case and especially grateful that the Form E, Statement and preliminary documents were prepared to a high standard.

Raffia Arshad St Mary’s Chambers, Nottingham

Thank you for helping me out with this important matter and I could not be anything else than pleased with the result

AD – A PreNuptial client

A huge Thank You to Dee Popat for her level of care and professionalism in the handling of our UK immigration case.  From the first contact to the conclusion of our case, Dee was incredibly thorough with the large amounts of paperwork we had to provide, and we have nothing but praise and appreciation for the genuine care and patience Dee had for our many questions, and at times last minute requests!  We would not hesitate to recommend Dee, and James Berry Associates to anyone needing assistance with any aspect of UK Immigration and Family Law"  

Thank you again for all of your help Dee, and we will be in touch again in the coming weeks once I have wrapped up my job here, and have the time on my hands needed to get our relocation underway


Dear Dee, 

Thank you for your pleasant and professional reception. I will surely use your services again if required.

Attestation Client

During my divorce, I have turned to Dee for help, advice and assistance. Dee’s responsiveness, knowledge were extremely helpful during this challenging period. She kept me focussed and provided sound advice. Dee was always engaged when needed and was always super responsive to all the queries and questions I had about either the divorce process or the documentation. I always felt that my needs were addressed and attention given to me. I could not have wished for better support than the one I received from Dee. I would wholeheartedly recommend her to anybody who needs professional input in such a tough time as a divorce.

UAE Divorce client

Dee, Thanks for your helpful and efficient assistance.


A client who required completing and witnessing of an international document

Dee Popat was extremely helpful in guiding me through the process of preparing a prenup within a very short timeframe, and I would gladly recommend her to anyone in need of support from a family law specialist in the UAE.

a Pre-Nup client
  • Children and the Law in UAE : Case study

    23 Jun 2022

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  • Financial Remedies Procedure upon Divorce in England

    05 May 2022

    Going through a Divorce is often a very difficult time in one’s life and the additional stress associated to sorting out financial matters can only add to already worrying times. It is therefore essential to obtain specialist legal advice on potentially complex matters when deciding to proceed with a Divorce. When filing for Divorce through the English Courts, one needs to be aware that the financial aspect consequent on the breakdown of the marriage is dealt with through a separate process, although within the Divorce proceedings. We are able to guide and assist you through the whole process.

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  • UK Divorce – The New Law - Elimination of the blame game

    06 Apr 2022

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  • Having a Civil Marriage in UAE

    11 Mar 2022

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  • Having a child out of wedlock in UAE

    07 Feb 2022

    For many unmarried Expatriate couples in the UAE, the new Laws which came into force in January this year, provided hope and reassurance that any child born to them could be recognised in the UAE.

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  • Pre-Nuptial Agreements

    05 Jan 2022

    What is Pre-Nuptial Agreement and is there a need for one?

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  • Family Law Update – The New Law in Abu Dhabi

    09 Nov 2021

    A new Law on Personal Status for Non-Muslim foreigners was issued in Abu Dhabi recently to include matters relating to marriage, divorce and custody.

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  • Mahr – Potential Capital Liability on Divorce - UAE and English Divorce Proceedings

    23 Sep 2021

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  • Financial planning and setbacks associated with separation or divorce

    13 Jul 2021

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  • How to Legally Marry in the UAE during Covid Times

    29 Apr 2021

    Here is a low down on legally planning a wedding in the UAE during Covid times

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  • Divorce in UAE – March 2021

    27 Mar 2021

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  • Changes to Family Law in UAE

    18 Nov 2020

    Many of you will be aware that on Saturday 7th November 2020, the UAE government announced changes in respect of the Law governing matters of Personal Status alongside various other matters of public interest.

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  • Attestation of documents for use in UAE

    23 Sep 2020

    Whilst dealing with Family Law and other legal issues in UAE, you will often be asked to provide attested / legalised documents that have been issued from any country outside UAE.

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  • Update for Ex-pats who want to marry in UAE

    20 Aug 2020

    We often get asked about the validity of a marriage that is performed in UAE.

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  • Covid – 19 Update on travelling to the UK and UK visa applications in UAE

    20 Jul 2020

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  • Covid – 19 Ex-pat Overview for Starting the Divorce process in UAE or UK

    14 Jun 2020

    We have all been through some testing times in these last couple of months. If there has been a breakdown in the marriage and divorce is inevitable, you should be aware of the processes when it comes to divorce during the current Covid- 19 period.

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  • Overview of Family Law and Children Issues in UAE

    08 Apr 2020

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  • UK Spouse Visa

    17 Feb 2020

    A UK spouse visa allows applicants to join their spouse and to live in the UK for an initial period. The most important criteria is that the spouse of the applicant must be a British Citizen, or be settled in the UK through Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), other settled status or have a permanent residence for UK.

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  • Breakdown of the Family Unit

    07 Jan 2020

    At James Berry & Associates, our family law experts who are qualified Legal Consultants / Solicitors can advise you in this difficult emotional situation. We provide sympathetic personal professional advice tailored to your individual circumstances and requirements. It is likely that you may have preconceived ideas as to what your rights and entitlements are and more often than not, may be misled by the people who you look to for support(although this may be unintentional). We offer specialist family law advice and support in ensuring you make informed decisions moving forward. We will look at your case and consider the most appropriate action for you to take in light of your circumstances. Although we are UK qualified Solicitors, we have a clear understanding of the processes in England, UAE and various other Countries.

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  • Overview of travelling to the UK

    12 Dec 2019

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  • Muslim marriages and rights for women whose husbands have multiple wives.

    22 Oct 2019

    UAE Islamic culture and law allow polygamy, giving a man the right to marry up to four wives contemporaneously, provided that he treats his wives fairly and does not differentiate between them. Click here to read more....

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  • Muslim marriages and rights for women whose husbands have multiple wives.

    22 Oct 2019

    UAE Islamic culture and law allow polygamy, giving a man the right to marry up to four wives contemporaneously, provided that he treats his wives fairly and does not differentiate between them. Click here to read more....

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  • UK Immigration –Student Visa

    17 Sep 2019

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    08 Aug 2019

    Planning your destination wedding in UAE?10 Things For You & Your Guests To Consider...click here to read more...

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  • UK Visit Visa

    14 Jul 2019

    Do you want to visit the UK to see your family or friends, for a holiday or for business?

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  • Post Nuptial Agreement

    30 Jun 2019

    Click her to find out more about it...

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  • Tier 1 Start-Up Visa and Innovator Visa

    20 May 2019

    In March this year, the Home Office confirmed the end of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route. The route has been replaced by the Tier 1 Start-up Visa (in place of the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa) and Tier 1 Innovator Visa (in place of the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa).

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  • Do you need to register your marriage in UAE ?

    05 May 2019

    For marriages that take place outside UAE, as long as the marriage is valid in the Country you marry in and you obtain the official marriage certificate, it will be recognised by the UAE however there are a number of steps that you would need to comply with

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  • Spousal Maintenance and Compensation for Ex-pats following Divorce: UAE v UK

    02 Apr 2019

    When deciding the appropriate jurisdiction to divorce in, an influencing factor may be the potential outcomes following a divorce in either UAE or UK. The following is a very brief and simplified overview with regards to potential outcomes in terms of spousal maintenance / compensation in UAE and UK.

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  • Visa Rules for Divorced Women

    14 Feb 2019

    Previously in the event of a divorce, a wife sponsored by her husband had to either leave the country or obtain a residence visa in her own right*. In the case of a husband's death, the widow could stay in country until the expiry of her current residency visa.

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  • How to have a Happy Marriage

    27 Jan 2019

    Dee Popat, our family lawyer, spoke to Gulf News on how to have a happy marriage. Click here to read more....

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  • UK Immigration: UK Spouse Visa

    13 Jan 2019

    Are you a UK Citizen married to a non UK Citizen? If so, we can assist in obtaining a spouse Visa to visit/ live in the UK

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  • Legal Issues and Death in the family

    05 Sep 2018

    Dealing with the death of a loved one is an emotional and harrowing process, and at this difficult time, one needs to ensure that the legal and formal requirements following the death are adhered to at each stage, especially in UAE. The procedures differ depending on whether your loved one passed away at home, in hospital or elsewhere and therefore you should contact the relevant Embassy / Consulate to seek the appropriate advice. It is worth noting that only after the formalities have been completed and the death has been registered with the appropriate authorities in UAE, will you be able to proceed with the funeral arrangements.

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  • Debt And Married Couples In The UAE

    18 Mar 2018

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  • Child Custody Law in the UAE

    14 Sep 2017

    Know about the custodial rights of children in the UAE, the Sharia Law, and the Wadeema Law. Child custodial disputes are decided based on the Sharia law. The Wadeema Law lays down the rights of children and how you can protect them.

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  • Adoption guide for British Expats in Dubai

    19 Jul 2017

    The adoption process for each country varies and you should ensure that you have all the information to assist you with the process in the country of adoption.

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  • Potential issues you could face following your marriage

    12 Jun 2017

    If you married abroad, you should make sure that you have your marriage certificate legalised by the Foreign Office in the country of marriage and then attested by the UAE Embassy in that country

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  • Quick fire Questions and Answers on Divorce in Dubai

    29 May 2017

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  • Potential Issues You Could Face Prior To Your Marriage In The UAE

    09 Apr 2017

    If you need advice on the pre-marriage formalities or would like to sign a pre-nupital agreement, contact Dee Popat by emailing her at dee@jamesberrylaw.ae

    + Read more
  • Overview Of Mixed Marriages And The Law In The UAE

    05 Feb 2017

    With the growth in the expat community and the mingling of people from different faiths, mixed marriages are inevitable. There is nothing wrong with mixed cultural marriages, but as we all know too well, there will always be the old school thinkers who may not approve of or endorse such unions.

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  • Marriage for Ex-pats in UAE

    18 Jan 2017

    Depending on your nationality/religion, the rules and procedures will vary. If you both belong to the same religion, you should not experience much difficulty however, if of different religions, you may face some problems.

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  • Divorce JURISDICTION: UK or UAE ?

    08 Dec 2016

    In Dubai, divorce is either governed by the parties' personal law which may be the law of their nationality or their Country's Sharia law, if Muslim

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  • One Stop Shop for your UK Immigration Needs

    16 Oct 2016

    Our team has a vast wealth of experience dealing with various UK related immigration matters, having dealt with immigration in the UK and Dubai, for over 9 years. We provide advice on areas of UK immigration including but not limited to the following:

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  • Marriage And Pregnancy In the UAE

    29 Sep 2016

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  • Prenuptial Agreements - Part 2 - What to Include

    15 Sep 2016

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  • To Prenup or not to Prenup- Part 1

    20 Jul 2016


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  • Ensuring your UAE marriage is legal

    15 Apr 2016

    If you’ve lived in the UAE for some time, you’ll be all too aware of the various paperwork that is required to make your stay legal; medicals, residency visas and Emirates ID cards are just some of the things that you will have obtained during your first few months here.

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  • Expert Advice – Marrying In The UAE

    11 Feb 2016

    Wedding planning is fun, exciting, and one of those rare opportunities when you can ‘shape’ exactly how you want your day to be, from start to finish. However, beyond the love, joy and happiness, a legal shift is taking place, changing both of your official statuses from ‘single’ to ‘married’.

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  • Divorce in the United Arab Emirates

    02 Aug 2015

    The following comprises excerpts from an article first published in Family Law Week, giving an brief overview of the law applicable on divorce in the United Arab Emirates.

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  • Family Law and the breakdown of your marriage

    01 Jul 2015

    We live in this ideal world where everything is perfect !!! or is this a misconception ?

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  • Dee understands the sensitive issues surrounding the breakdown of a marriage and the impact it can have on the couple and their children.  She applies her vast experience and knowledge to find a satisfactory way forward. She is a good, compassionate listener who realises the importance of allowing the client to vent and express their emotions during any family related process.   
    She crafts a personalised approach according to the needs of her clients.  She has successfully dealt with numerous cases, including situations where the spouse controls the family finances and is able to suggest solutions to enable her clients to find a resolution. She is passionate about her work and is dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcome with a view to avoid contention where possible.  Dee deals with clients of different nationalities and has a sound understanding of cultural issues that may arise in today's diverse societies and differing characteristics, expectations and needs of family units.
    Dee studied law at London Metropolitan University (formerly London Guildhall University) and started her legal career at a London based firm, becoming a specialist in Family Law. 
    Dee has gained extensive experience, having practised family and divorce law exclusively for over 15 years. She became a member of the Law Society’s (England & Wales) Family Law Panel in 2010.
    Dee deals with matrimonial matters (both in the jurisdiction of England & Wales and UAE), and specialises in various matters including : 
    • Family breakdown (divorce & separation) UAE and UK
    • Children matters (residence, contact, maintenance, abduction, injunctions and travel bans)
    • Financial issues upon breakdown of a marriage including high net worth cases and international elements
    • Obtaining of freezing injunctions for overseas assets (in the English Courts)
    • Marriage process and requirements in UAE
    • Islamic Marriage Contracts
    • Pre & Post Nuptial Agreements
    • Statutory Declarations for and advice on International Adoption
    Dee also advises on various aspects of UK immigration law including:
    • Visit visas
    • Family visas
    • Student visas 
    • Investment visas
    • Nationality 
    • Leave to remain in the UK (including Indefinite leave to remain)
    • British Citizenship - obtaining or renouncing
    To read Dee's articles please click here.

    Dee is on the expert panel list for www.bridemeclub.com which is UAE’s premier online information resource, for UAE based brides-to-be and brides.

    Dee provides a fortnightly Matrimonial clinic at James Berry & Associates at API Tower, Sheikh Zayed Road.  If you or anyone that you know is experiencing family issues and require advice on the next step, please contact us at family@jamesberrylaw.ae. or call us on 043317552.




    • London Guildhall University (LL.B. (Hons) degree )
    • Thames Valley University (Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (LPC))

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