John Randle, Solicitor, Family Law at Colemans Solicitors

Private Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) Hearings

13th February 2023 11:34 am Comments Off on Private Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) Hearings

John Randle at Colemans is a specialist family solicitor with over 30 years’ experience dealing with complex, high value divorce cases ….

The court system has been in crisis for some time now, with a lack of judges against an increasing number of contested court cases, both in financial remedy cases and private children law cases, in John’s experience. Over the course of the last year, John has had at least 3 financial court cases postponed by the courts at the very last minute because of a “lack of judicial resources”, in essence there are not enough judges to hear the cases. This has caused considerable stress to clients who are mentally geared up for a hearing and spent vast sums of the lawyers’ fees, only to see the case being cancelled less than 48 hours before the court hearing date, when the money has already been spent.

The solution is now that for clients who can afford it, they are now choosing the PRIVATE FDR option-financial dispute resolution hearing- where they pay for a private judge to give them a day to help them settle the case – a settlement hearing in effect – but the parties pay for the private judge’s time . It is much quicker as they can choose their private judge, usually an experienced barrister or a retired judge. It can appear expensive in the first instance but saves months of delays in the court system and the hearing is guaranteed and not cancelled. It may work out cheaper in the long run because most cases settle at the FDR stage.

The other considerable benefit of this option is that the couple can also choose a hearing date that suits them, rather than a court imposed date. The venue is usually far more comfortable, being commonly at barrister’s chambers or solicitors’ offices, and the facilities for private meeting rooms are much better than at court, where the court rooms are short of space at the best of times. The other really significant factor is that the private judge has plenty of time to read all the case papers carefully and spends a whole day on that one case. At court, the judges have to juggle several hearings in one day and do not have the luxury of time to give the case the careful consideration that each case needs.

To get in touch with John call us on 01628 631051 or email for a discreet initial chat. Alternatively, to find out more about what we can offer you, visit our website

Categorised in: Family Law

This post was written by Colemans Solicitors LLP

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