BORN JOHANNESBURG, MARCH 26, 1956. DIED LONDON, FEBRUARY 18, 2008, AGED 51.
WITH INTUITIVE empathy for her clients, family lawyer Simone Katzenberg aimed at resolving disputes in a collaborative rather than confrontational way.
Born Simone Grant in South Africa, she studied law at Witwatersrand University and started practising. She requalified when she came to Britain in 1986 with her husband, Roy, from whom she was divorced in 2004. In 1993 she joined a Hampstead-based firm as a mediator.
Soon a matrimonial partner, she produced a series of booklets, The Seven Stages of Divorce, linking emotional with legal issues and providing guidance through the turmoil of separation and divorce. The Jewish section, on The Get, had a forward by the Chief Rabbi. Her calm approach and practical advice reassured her clients at a vulnerable time and earned the respect of colleagues and other professionals.
In 1998 she joined solicitors Ross and Craig as a partner, but in 2002 she contracted a virulent form of leukaemia. She campaigned for bone marrow transplants and organised screenings. She was helped by her devoted mother, Lily, and her brother, Stefan, a New York haematologist, who provided her with a stem cell transplant.
She is survived by her mother, brother and three sons; Joshua, Gideon and Ethan.