As written by ELREC, Aina Khan OBE is known for decisive and speedy legal settlements across the UK and globally, with unparalleled knowledge of Islamic and Asian issues.
Area of work
Besides serving her clients, Aina often appears in the media, advises the government and academics, and writes and lectures at the UK and International Universities. Aina Khan is also regularly instructed to prepare Expert Reports for Judges.
Aina Khan OBE works as an International Family Law Specialist with Cross-Sector teams: Private International law, Property, Wealth Management, Commercial, Islamic Finance, Dispute Resolution, Venture Capital, Tech, Oil and Gas. In her work, she relies on a personally chosen, trusted network of legal experts – across the UK, Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, South Asia, Africa, North America, South America, and Australia.
Cultural and religious issues versus civil law
In a time when people live, work and marry in different countries all over the world, family law is a fascinating and growing area of law. Thus, Aina Khan decided to focus on this work area at the beginning of her career.
“I found myself specialising in this area at the start of my career, over 25 years ago, because of demand from clients for a niche service. Later on, I started a campaign called ‘Register Our Marriage’ to lobby for reform of English marriage law to make it compulsory for all faiths to register their religious marriages under civil law.
In most countries abroad, religious marriages must be registered with the state, but in the UK, it is up to each faith to volunteer to register. It is only compulsory for three faiths – Church of England, Jews and Quakers. I find this law outdated and not “fit for purpose “as it has not been updated since 1949”, said Aina.
Further on, Aina explained, “we assist in all the areas in which cultural and religious issues overlap with civil law, e.g. Islamic divorce, Inheritance disputes, and Dowry claims for Hindu clients. We act for global families, sometimes dealing with three or four legal systems. In one case of mine, there were nine different countries involved.
Campaign Register Our Marriage spreads awareness of the lack of legal rights of women and children in unregistered religious marriages. This is because they are regarded as just living together, and there are no cohabitation rights in the UK. A Muslim husband has sole financial responsibility for supporting his wife and children, so leaving them unprotected and vulnerable defeats the very objective of marriage. It is against Islam to divorce a woman overnight and leave her and the children dependent on welfare benefits or her elderly parents.”
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