ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR)

What we do

Here at Broadway House we have a specialist team equipped to assist in the resolution of family disputes through the use of ADR. We are able to offer an array of services, including Arbitration, Private FDRs/DRAs and Early Neutral Evaluation. Our team comprises a dedicated group of practitioners who are able to work with you to assist in the resolution of your clients’ cases, whether that be financial remedy, cohabitation and trust disputes, or private children cases. Our ADR practitioners offer a range of expertise and span different levels of experience, including those who sit as family Recorders and Deputy District Judges. No case is too big or small to rule out ADR.

The current Covid-19 crisis has presented us all with challenges and changes to our day-to-day lives, and our working lives too. These changes affect us and also our clients.  Almost overnight the way in which we work changed and there is uncertainty about when and how it might go back to ‘normal’, or if it will return to a new kind of ‘normal’. Broadway House Chambers has embraced, and continues to embrace, these changing times. We are here for our clients, both new and old.

Rules & Guidance

First, the rules. The Family Procedure Rules, in particular rules 3.3 and 3.4 provides as follows:

3.3 The court’s duty to consider non-court dispute resolution

(1) The court must consider, at every stage in proceedings, whether non-court dispute resolution is appropriate.

3.4 When the court will adjourn proceedings or a hearing in proceedings

(1) If the court considers that non-court dispute resolution is appropriate, it may direct that the proceedings, or a hearing in the proceedings, be adjourned for such specified period as it considers appropriate –

(a) to enable the parties to obtain information and advice about, and consider using, non-court dispute resolution; and

(b) where the parties agree, to enable non-court dispute resolution to take place.

Now, the guidance…

We are all likely to be getting tired of ‘guidance’, after ‘guidance’ and more ‘guidance.’ It is, however, important to keep abreast of where we are. Here is a collection of some key guidance, as at 7 July 2020, in relation to ADR.

  • On 17 March 2020 Mr Justice Mostyn, as the National Lead Judge of the Financial Remedies Court, issued guidance in relation to financial remedy cases. Within that guidance he said this in relation to FDRs: ‘Parties should be encouraged to have their FDRs done privately. Such private FDRs should routinely be done remotely.’
  • Mostyn J’s guidance was given approval by the President of the Family Division on 19 March 2020.
  • The lead judges for the Financial Remedies Court on this circuit are also making use of standard directions, which includes encouragement of the use of private FDRs, arbitration and other non-court based methods for dispute resolution where it is practical to do so.
  • More standard directions in relation to financial remedy hearings in the Central Family Court, include the following:

11. It is the duty of the parties and of the court under Rules 3.3 and 3.4 to consider alternative means of resolving the dispute. The court will need to be satisfied that the parties have properly explored such means. These include but are NOT restricted to:

-Arbitration (Institute of Family Law Arbitrators or Forum of Family Arbitrators);

-Private FDRs where an experienced professional barrister, solicitor or retired judge will assist the parties from a neutral standpoint to reach a settlement;

-Mediation (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/family-mediation)

12.Where the court is not satisfied that the parties have appropriately explored ADR, the hearing will be adjourned so that this may be explored.’

  • The up to date publication of ‘Family Business Priorities previously agreed with the President of the Family Division’, as at 6 July 2020, identifies work which ‘must’ be done, work that ‘will’ be done, and work that the Court ‘will do its best to do.’ Financial remedy work (save for urgent applications) falls into the latter category, as does most private law children work (save for urgent applications and gatekeeping and allocation referrals).
  • ‘The Road Ahead’ published by the President of the Family Division on 9 June 2020 says this: ‘In all Family cases, regard should always be had to alternative means of dispute resolution. At a time when it is clear that the court will struggle to cope with the volume of cases in a restricted working environment, it is all the more important that parties, legal advisers and the judiciary should have express regard to all forms of non-court dispute resolution (in accordance with rule 3.4 FPR 2010) including mediation, conciliation or arbitration. There will be many private law children cases or financial remedy case that may be resolved by one or other of these alternative means. All judges and practitioners are urged to familiarise themselves with these options and be prepared to identify those cases which may be suitable for one or other form of ADR.’

Our expertise

Our Team

Our ADR team consists of:

  • Robert ColeMCIArb (Head of the Family Law Team) – Financial Remedy Arbitration; Private FDRs and ENE;
  • Emily Ward (Deputy Head of the Family Law Team) – Private FDRs and ENE; ENE in Children cases. Emily is a Deputy District Judge. She has a private law children ticket and is a Deputy District Judge of the Financial Remedies Court.
  • Anthony Hajimitsis – Private FDRs and ENE.
  • Roger Bickerdike – Private FDRs and ENE.
  • Matthew Rudd– Private FDRs and ENE
  • Jayne Pye – ENE Children cases; Family Law Recorder (private law and public law).
  • Ian Miller – Private FDRs and ENE.
  • Joanne O’Shea – ENE Children cases.
  • Christopher Brown – Private FDRs and ENE; ENE in Children cases. Chris is a Deputy District Judge and has a private law children ticket. Chris is also a Deputy District Judge of the Financial Remedies Court.
  • Nick Power – Private FDRs and ENE.
  • Kiran Dhillon – ENE Children cases.
  • Adam Willoughby – Private FDRs and ENE.
  • Jake Ellis – Private FDRs and ENE.
  • Ned Sproston – ENE Children cases. Ned is a qualified commercial and civil mediator.

Financial Cases & Children Cases

At Broadway House we offer services and assistance in a wide spectrum of cases.

In the financial remedy arena our ADR team are equipped to provide detailed indications in a range of cases. It is perhaps thought that Private FDRs are for ‘big money’ cases only.  That is not the case. No matter how big or small the ‘pot’ a Private FDR can be of assistance. In smaller money cases private resolution of the case can, in the longer run, be far more cost effective and reduce litigation costs.

In addition to financial remedy cases, ADR is often suitable for disputes in relation to cohabitation and trust disputes. Some children cases, including those with no safeguarding concerns and where there is little to no relevant factual disputes, are also suited to ADR, for example those cases which are, or will be, listed straight from FHDRA to a final hearing, or those which are at DRA stage. The injection of an indication from an experienced practitioner can often result in minds meeting and resolution by consent.

Advantages of ADR

There are many advantages to private resolution of cases, including:

  • An experienced practitioner who is available for the entire day, or the duration of the arbitration;
  • The ability to choose your presiding practitioner to suit the complexity of the case and/or the level of experience required;
  • Choice and freedom of dates and times to suit the parties;
  • Ability to fix a meeting at short notice;
  • Avoidance of delay (which is only likely to increase in relation to those cases which have been issued, or where issue is being considered, given the current health pandemic);
  • Privacy; and
  • Undivided attention from your presiding practitioner, without the pressure of other cases, time estimates or ‘court lists.’

Our Services & Facilities

At Broadway House we are able to offer ‘in person’ private resolution options, in the comfort of Chambers. We have the facilities to conduct the type of ADR which suits you and your client. In the current times, and given the government guidance and need for everyone to stay safe, we are fully equipped to undertake all ADR options by remote means. Our practitioners and clerks are fully au fait with the various online platforms. We will take care of setting up the online platform and simply send you a link to remove any stresses of technology to enable the parties to focus upon resolution of the case. The online platforms we use, including zoom, enable meeting rooms to be set up to facilitate private and privileged discussions separate from your ADR judge/early neutral evaluator and your opponents. Our team are also able to travel to your offices, or a chosen neutral venue, if that is preferable for your and your client.

Fees & Contact Details

Our fees depend on the type of ADR and the complexity of the case. Our ranges are as follows:

  • One day Private FDR or ENE: £2.000 – £4,000
  • One day ADR meeting (Children): £1,500 – £3,000
  • Arbitration: Quotation on request

Some cases may be suitable for a bespoke arrangement, including those where, say, only half a day is required, or those where a written view is sought as opposed to a face to face meeting.

If you would like some further information or wish to discuss a case which is suitable for private resolution / ADR, please contact our clerks on clerks@broadwayhouse.co.uk (so that we may direct to the relevant person, please mark your email with subject ‘ADR’).

"The barristers here are frequently instructed in complex cases involving issues of bankruptcy, business structures, trusts, maintenance, pensions, premarital and non-marital assets, disclosure and add-backs. The set also boasts a number of barristers who specialise in private and public children work and deal with serious abuse allegations, as well as relocations and contact disputes"

Chambers & Partners 2021
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